I came in asking for a software only SD-WAN solution and guess what, I got my wish! I think what Cloudgenix is doing is amazing and it is exactly what the industry needs in this space. In short they are fusing a cloud managed, application routed, encrypted overlay via a software router.
There is really a lot to digest here so if this topic interests you I encourage you to just watch the videos. There isn’t a lot of information out there on Cloudgenix outside of the NFD videos:
A few highlights on the solution:
- Provides dynamic, multi-path application level route control
- VXLAN over IPSec encapsulation of traffic
- ION Fabric: full mesh of endpoints built on top of your existing WAN
- Software routers (you can buy a generic x86 appliance from them if you would like)
- Horizontally scaleable up to multi-gig of encrypted traffic
The Cloudgenix solution also provides many of the add-on application features that WAN optimizer can provide such as FEC (Forward Error Correction) and SAS optimization. At the end of the day Velocloud and Cloudgenix deliver a very similar solution but the main differentiation is that Cloudgenix is focused on a pure software delivery model.
The demo that Cloudgenix presented at NFD9 was very similar to that of Velocloud but Cloudgenix was focused on showing the perspective of a network administrator looking at how the solution responds to WAN issues whereas Velocloud’s demo showed the impact from a user perspective.
All in all SD-WAN is an exciting topic and I am going to be very interested in watching the development of these solutions. In the mean time I leave you with this nice little info-graphic explaining why we all need SD-WAN:
Fresh off of NFD9 one of the more apparent trends this past week was that SD-WAN is going to be a huge topic in 2015. We heard from two vendors in this space this week, both of whom most of the information presented was totally new to me. VeloCloud being the first came out with a most impressive sessions and demonstration.
VeloCloud Architecture Overview
As I posted about in my initial impressions blog, VeloCloud is indeed focused on delivering hardware but unlike other vendor solutions I was aware of, VeloCloud is selling an actual WAN edge appliance, known simply as the VeloCloud EDGE. A second and the more significant differentiator of VeloCloud is the ‘cloud’ deliver model as their name suggests. Rather than having to buy head-end devices organizations can either start with or rely entirely on VeloCloud’s ‘cloud’ delivered GATEWAY. The gateway can integrate with existing VPN technologies to provide connectivity into any organization with a current VPN solution.
The most impressive part of the VeloCloud solution is the dynamic multi-path and application level traffic optimization capabilities. At it’s core VeloCloud is performing per packet mullti-path capabilities by doing full assembly and re-assembly of traffic from Edge to Gateway. This allows VeloCloud to dynamically move traffic to any number of available paths depending on a number of performance metrics and application characteristics. For example, MPLS, broadband internet and wireless LTE connectivity can all be connected to an Edge device with traffic able to traverse all three simultaneously or perhaps the best path for latency and jitter if the application profile is voice or video.
This features list on VeloCloud’s website is a good resource if you want to understand the capabilities of the solution:
The VelocCoud demonstration was possibly the most impactful of all of the NFD9 presentations. They delivered on exactly what they promised with this demo. In short it was two HD video feeds, one using a legacy WAN site with dual internet with ECMP load balancing and standard routing failover, the other was an identical dual internet site with a VeloCloud Edge. When downstream issues such loss of connectivity or even as latency and jitter were introduced the Velocloud edge almost immediately identified and corrected by moving traffic off of the affected link. Velocloud also took this opportunity to show off their FEC (Forward Error Correction) mechanisms by introducing significant packet loss on both links. The result was predictably that the video feed for the standard was such a significant degradation in video quality that it was no longer even discernible what the video was on the other hand the site with Velocloud Edge took corrective and the result was almost zero degradation of the video quality which was quite impressive.
All in all VeloCloud made a significant impact and their presentation was talked about favorable for the remainder of the week by all of the delegates.