There is much hype around SD-WAN, and every day a new vendor pops up a SD-WAN solution.

For someone who is trying to understand and evaluate these solutions, it’s easy to get buried in the details of each product feature, which only leads to frustration. It’s far more important to think about applications and uses cases, which can positively impact business. More specifically, instead of product feature comparisons, identify the business criteria for how well SD-WAN solutions accomplish the goal of delivering applications to users with excellent user experience while addressing cost and simplifying network complexity:

  • Application user experience: Real-time communications like voice and video need consistent network quality (with low packet loss and jitter) while other applications, such as video on-demand, place heavy demands on bandwidth. As applications increasingly are centralized, using application or desktop virtualization solutions (Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop), the network needs to be both highly reliable and resilient.
    • Ask yourself: Do these SD-WAN solutions address all these aspects of network quality?
  • Cost: Recurring MPLS network charges are one of the biggest cost items for today’s IT. When you use cheap alternatives such as a business class Internet, what happens to reliability and network quality?
    • Ask yourself: Do you have a solution that doesn’t compromise reliability and network quality for cost?
  • Complexity: Today’s networks are built on branch routers that are fragile and complex to manage. When you want to roll out a network wide change, you would need the network expert(s) to tweak configurations across all devices and hope nothing breaks.
    • Ask yourself: How do these new solutions address complexity? Can your network enable turning-up new capabilities across your network quickly?

Citrix helps enterprises say YES to revolutionizing their network and we designed our NetScaler SD-WAN solution to address all these demands on the network. As part of the NetScaler portfolio, NetScaler SD-WAN is designed for delivery applications across the WAN reliably and securely. This month, we announced enhancements to the NetScaler SD-WAN platform offering features to enhance reliable and secure application delivery combined with intelligent branch routing technology.

NetScaler SD-WAN

Let’s take a look closely and see how the NetScaler SD-WAN solution stacks up:

  • Unifies multiple network links like MPLS, business class Internet, 4G/Satellite, etc. into a truly bonded logical connection which offers the aggregate bandwidth to any application
  • Continually monitors the underlying links on a packet-by-packet basis and adapts within a few milliseconds to network degradations or failures, dramatically increasing the resiliency of the network
  • Works at the packet granularity level enables the solution to employ additional capabilities like inline packet re-transmissions and duplicating packets across links to reduce jitter. These abilities significantly improve the packet loss and jitter characteristics of the aggregate network
  • Blends multiple cost effective networks without compromising quality of the aggregate network, the solution can significantly reduce the recurring network spend.
  • Consolidates key network functions (VNFs) like path selection, routing, security, WAN optimization, and visibility on a converged platform which is easy to manage from a centralized tool. This provides the ability to enforce application centric policies across the network, make QoS changes or turn up new services on-demand.
  • Offers new Zero Touch Deployment Service which enables authenticated and automated bring up and integration of a branch site with minimal user intervention

This week, we’re at the Open Networking User Group (ONUG) Fall Conference 2016 in New York. Citrix recognizes the ONUG as the leading forum that is shaping the SD-WAN requirements for large enterprises. We’re participating in the conference to help business leaders understand the business value of deploying SDN technologies, including implementing SD-WAN, within a software-defined architecture. If you’re at the show, be sure to stop by and say hi.