5G is a true enabler of SD-WAN because it provides high bandwidth and (ultra) low latency in locations where fixed-line networks may not be available. In addition, it offers enterprises advantages because it can be made available almost immediately, without the standard wait times to be connected to service providers’ fixed line networks. For new offices or even temporary working groups this is a highly valuable service.
Service providers are increasingly targeting this part of the enterprise market with software defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) services to connect branch offices and other fixed locations to the corporate network to enable higher quality real-time applications such as videoconferencing and other high bandwidth unified communications and collaboration applications
To ensure the high quality experiences expected of these can be delivered, service providers will need to be able to monitor their 5G networks to assure SD-WAN services. This is a complex undertaking that is likely to span several different types of network transport encompassing 5G, 4G, MPLS and commodity internet connections. All will need to be continually assessed so the performance required has maximized availability.
A further challenge is that SD-WAN services are not comparable in terms of revenue to leased lines or dedicated VPN capacity so the cost of operating them must be carefully controlled. The good news here is that, because 5G is a virtualized environment, software – or virtual – instrumentation to assure the network, providing intelligent visibility into the performance of individual services over the different network types.
This intelligent smart visibility can then be used to identify anomalies, prioritize traffic or ensure additional bandwidth is made available. A further benefit to enterprises utilizing SD-WAN over 5G is that this approach also provides enhanced, integrated security.
The flexibility of SD-WAN service is enabled by the virtualization of 5G networks. However, it is important that the virtual network is service-aware and knows what it is supporting. This is one of the challenges that having intelligent visibility into a network addresses. The visibility provides the insight necessary for the system to make an automated decision that supports a great user experience for the network.
To learn more about assuring virtual and SD-WAN networks visit the NETSCOUT NVF Smarter page
- Service Provider