Traditionally businesses take on huge investments in their WAN and at many times the cost of upgrading to keep up with the network demands or moving to a new provider is painful and typically becomes a long drown out project that ties up business time, money and resources. This is where IWAN helps; this solution is transparent to the underlying network that is runs on. Thus, making the corporate network an overlay to the underlying ISP’s network(s). At the same time simplifying the overall WAN architecture and providing a flexible, consistent management domain that allows businesses to be provider agnostic and bring branch offices online in days rather than weeks.
Today private backbone networks in general are high-cost networks that get sold due to them providing a consistent end-to-end reliable network. They also fall short in many aspects that are critical to businesses. Businesses are almost always constrained with provider’s time and WAN provisioning, effectively making the business move slower. Now with improvements in the reliability, performance, and relative cost of Internet connections lead many organizations to leverage the Internet to address these challenges by connecting branches directly to the Internet, to supplement the WAN; and by using the Internet as the WAN. This is an example of how IWAN(Intelligent WAN) has great potential to solve many business issues and creating a more flexible architecture to meet business needs.
Cisco's IWAN strategy is a new concept that many businesses are looking at to make the business more flexible and agile. IWAN helps business improve efficiency in all aspects of the business. From simplifying the network, streamline operations, deployment and management of their WAN while at the same time provide huge savings by right sizing the branch office WAN to provide intelligent active/active connectivity to the Internet and corporate network. Today’s workforce and their associated applications depend more and more on the network with each application carrying key network metrics and thresholds that define the QoE (quality of experience) to users. This is where the IWAN is able to dynamically steer applications across links when performance fallout out of threshold. This is one of many key components that make up the IWAN strategy. Below I outline some more benefits that encompass the overall IWAN strategy that business can leverage to overcome limitations in their current architecture.
Intelligent WAN Deployments: Balancing Cost with SLA
Here is a great article giving more information on how Cisco’s IWAN strategy could be your future WAN backbone. http://www.provenmethod.com/iwan-cisco-betting-internet-will-future-wan-backbone/
Key Business Outcomes that IWAN can bring:
- Transport Independent Design
- Fast to deploy. (Faster-to-Market) Provider agnostic providing a consistent operational model.
- IWAN allows you to get up and running fast and still maintain a single management routing domain to simply design and operational support. This design supports multiple internet delivery options including 4G, satellite, etc. so that business operations can be brought up day 1.
- Makes network more flexible, reliable and more effective in meeting the business needs.
- Distributed Secure Internet Access
- Local internet access without backhauling to corporate
- Increased performance and productivity.
- Branch workers using SaaS Apps and apps run slowly and users get frustrated because they share bandwidth with all traffic on the network and gets hair-pined through the DC to enforce security and compliance centrally. With IWAN CWS (Cloud Web Services) can allow to enforce security and allowing Internet traffic go directly off at the Internet taking load off the internal WAN. You are able to centralize policy and enforcement but in the cloud and now you have faster app performance witch allows for happier users and increase productivity.
- Intelligent Path Control
- Allowing the network to adapt to Applications performance needs bringing a reliable and consistent user experience.
- IWAN PfR able to detect brown-outs (packet drops) Meeting normally interrupted and meeting rescheduled. With IWAN it provides alternate paths dynamical to keep Video conference working and provide consistent Video experience. Meeting is not canceled and due to intelligent WAN detecting poor quality and moves traffic to another link. Increases productivity.
- Optimizing Applications Performance
- Application acceleration and bandwidth optimization to give users LAN like speeds.
- (MediaNet) enabled media-aware network so that the network can intelligently apply critical network services to provide a consistent media rich experience to the users.
- Accelerating deployment of applications, minimizing complexity and ongoing operational costs, increasing visibility into the network, and helping to scale the infrastructure for the best quality of experience (QoE), by ensuring predictability, performance, quality, and security
- Can detect and optimize different media and application types (telepresence, video surveillance, desktop collaboration, and streaming media) to deliver the best experience
- Network-aware: Can detect and respond to changes in device, connection, and service availability
- Simplify network approach and increase operational efficiencies.