Manufacturer Achieves Successful SD-WAN Migration with NETSCOUT Visibility

How to mitigate disruptions to network and application performance during a migration

Person wearing glasses with reflection of monitor seen in glass lens

A new wave of innovation is challenging the dominance of traditional wide-area networks (WANs) and their software-defined cousins. This latest-generation of software-defined wide area networking (aka SD-WAN 2.0) is said to be faster, cheaper, and optimized for multicloud. But SD-WAN technologies are a blind spot for many companies, who will need network and application performance management to help troubleshoot problems and enable informed capacity planning. Which is why one global manufacturer migrating to this new breed of SD-WAN recently chose NETSCOUT to maximize its visibility and performance at every step.

Taking It WAN Day at a Time

Legacy WAN, until recently, hasn't changed dramatically. Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) has powered enterprise WAN environments for at least two decades. But an MPLS connection is much more expensive than standard internet connections and sometimes harder to manage. Organizations using MPLS often redirect much of their traffic so it’s going to and from cloud providers from geographically dispersed data centers rather than sending it directly to the cloud.

What happens when the volume of traffic from software as a service (SaaS), branch offices, remote workers, clouds, and other sources becomes too difficult to manage on a pure legacy WAN network? Enterprises still need a way to detect and monitor the various types of application traffic converging over MPLS to maintain WAN performance.

SD-WAN, formally introduced in 2014, enables organizations to create network infrastructure with a variety of connection types, including MPLS, LTE, or broadband. It is considered more convenient and cost-effective than WAN because organizations can use the cheapest bandwidth available. Despite that, SD-WAN relies on its interaction with cloud services, service providers, SaaS applications, and endpoint devices to route any type of traffic. Like with WAN, however, it’s critical to analyze those interactions to optimize them and detect disruptions at corporate branches, data centers, and cloud edges.

Technology is meant to transform business services rather than simply replicate them—especially as the network edge grows increasingly complex. But what works for one organization might not be right for another.

Ready WAN You Are

Four fundamental shifts are primarily driving interest in the next generation of SD-WAN:

  • Multicloud adoption and increasing globalization
  • Cheaper, higher-performing broadband
  • Legacy infrastructure optimization and the desire for automation
  • Delivery of all branch services, such as networking and security, from the cloud

With the growing popularity of multicloud, proponents of the next generation of SD-WAN believe it will pave the way for faster, more efficient business services. But having multiple cloud vendors can make it more complex and difficult for organizations to troubleshoot issues throughout the communications ecosystem. SD-WAN can become a blind spot for companies seeking to achieve a comprehensive view of their network and application performance. Enterprises migrating to the new SD-WAN will need to enforce proper monitoring strategies for analyzing interactions to optimize performance across SD-WAN. One way to do this is to employ application and network performance management throughout a migration to identify and solve any performance issues on the fly in a matter of minutes.

Knowing WAN It’s Finally Time to Migrate

Recently, a longtime NETSCOUT global manufacturing customer—an early adopter of SD-WAN technology—reached out to us for help migrating to a next-generation SD-WAN solution without losing visibility of its network implementations and application performance. The company’s IT leaders sought to include our nGenius Enterprise Performance Management before, during, and after their migration to:

  • Preserve business continuity and avoid employee and customer disruptions
  • Create a ready-to-use solution that combines advances in software-defined networking technology with proactive, holistic, vendor-agnostic network and application monitoring
  • Realize lower network operating expenses and faster service delivery to remote office users

How did they do? And what challenges did they overcome?
Read our new case study, “Assure Successful Migration to Next-Generation SD-WAN Solution,” for the complete story about this multibillion-dollar manufacturer’s network initiative and how NETSCOUT's nGenius Enterprise Performance Management was integrated into the process.