SD-WAN May Not Be Perfect ...

by Adam Gervin

...but the right SD-CORE will make you believe it could be.

It's that time of year. 2018 is on its way out the door. We're winding things down, and we're making plans.

And in 2019, the single most important thing you can do to enhance your SD-WAN is to connect it to an SD-CORE.

That's the way you keep your business always-on. In fact, it's the best present you can give to your CIO or VP Net Ops this holiday season: peace of mind. Nothing beats a reliable WAN that is easy to start and maintain, and that won't drive you to insolvency.

But which SD-CORE do you choose? Rather than give you a huge list of 10 or more categories, I thought we'd stay true to our roots, and simplify. When it's all said and done, every meaningful distinction among SD-COREs comes down to differences in control and security.

Control Matters

There are a million different companies with an equal number of claims of magical routing or WAN optimization techniques. The names and claims are really impressive, but give you no real information. And that's a shame, because HOW the SD-CORE is controlled matters a LOT.

Here's the reason — the better the control, the more efficient the SD-CORE. And the more efficient the SD-CORE, the lower the cost for a given level of performance.

That's a pretty convenient litmus test. Forget the fancy names. Look at the SLA. If there isn't an SLA, move on. And if there is one, look at the numbers. They're usually pretty similar among vendors. And then look at the price. Higher pricing means less capable control.

There are a few other signs if you're looking closely. By far, the best level of control is at the individual packet level. If a vendor doesn't own the backbone network or have a direct relationship with the backbone provider, they can't control each and every packet. So you can toss out SD-COREs that rely on public IP backbones because they can't see packets end-to-end, never mind control them every step of the way.

But let's say the SD-CORE provider offers packet-level control of their own backbone. Let's say you're Google or something like that. You're using advanced AI techniques to analyze the network, then compute a centralized solution, and then push that solution across your network. That's pretty good, except for the fact that it takes time to do this analysis and push it out, and in that time everything has probably changed. After all, AI is figuring out the best solution in the face of insufficient information. Turns out, when it comes to packet-switched networks, you have all the information you need for an autonomous solution. And autonomy is not only better, it's best.

Autonomy trumps AI because, ironically, it doesn't require any intelligence. Every node on the network can independently calculate its own perfect control solution, in parallel. Whether the network has 10, 10 thousand, or 10 million nodes — the speed of the control is only limited by the time it takes to measure the network. And that, for a ball the size of the earth, is only 150 milliseconds. Tops.

That's Perfect Network ControlTM, and only Mode has it. We start with world-class private underlays from providers like Ericsson and other major service providers. They've kindly allowed us total control of every packet on the network, end-to-end. We seamlessly stitch them together for superglobal coverage, and the result is an SD-CORE unlike any other: Mode SD-CORE. And while we can never claim Mode SD-CORE is perfect, the solution that every node on our network uses is nothing less. Perfect Network ControlTM continuously drives Mode SD-CORE towards a perfect network — in the face of ANY external changes — every 150ms.

The result is unmatched efficiency, typically 300% better the state-of-the-art. It's that efficiency that lets Mode SD-CORE deliver worldwide high-availability SD-CORE performance for a price no one else can touch.

Want to know more? Come listen to Mode CEO Paul Dawes on December 20 as he discusses Enterprise WAN in the Cloud Era.

And come back to this blog next week when we'll tell you about the second most-important consideration in choosing the right SD-CORE to enhance your SD-WAN: security.