Zyxel’s SD WAN VM Orchestrator provides customers with a virtualised option for SD WAN and VPN capability that can be deployed on existing virtualised servers, giving you all the benefits of these advanced remote access technologies at a much lower cost than MPLS, as Thorsten Kurpjuhn, European Security Market Development Manager, explains.
Software-defined WAN (SD WAN) is one of the fastest-growing areas of networking. For the increasing number of organisations that need to have fast connections between remote offices – within a country or across continents or the entire globe – it’s a perfect answer to the challenge of providing secure and cost-effective links between locations.
Zyxel already provides this capability with its VPN series of firewalls appliances, which come with SD WAN as well as VPN functionality and a one-year license for Nebula Orchestrator SD WAN and Security Services. These are great options for business that need to provide secure remote connections between locations and VPN connectivity for their users.
We are now also adding the option of deploying a virtualised version of the SD WAN. This will mean that organisations will be able to deploy the solution on existing servers within their virtualised data centre.
We are doing this in two stages. First of all, within the next few weeks, the new Zyxel SD WAN VM Orchestrator will be made available. This allows the orchestrator software to be deployed on a virtual server, from which you can manage Zyxel’s VPN devices right across a WAN.
Then, in 2020, we will also introduce a fully virtualised SD WAN option, which will give you all the SD WAN and VPN functionality within a virtual environment. With this option, you will get all the functionality that you would get with a hardware appliance, including dynamic path selection, WAN optimization, and content filtering, as well as orchestration of connections.
The virtual solution will be entirely software-based, but of course you will still be able to manage connectivity – virtual and / or hardware-based – using the Zyxel SD WAN VM Orchestrator.
SD WAN is ideal for large organisations that have many different locations and also need to provide safe VPN connections for remote and mobile workers. It is also a great option for smaller ISPs and managed services providers (MSPs) that need to establish the most cost-effective and flexible, yet reliable and secure, point-to-point connections.
With the Zyxel virtual solution, when a request for traffic to pass from one remote site to another is made, the SD WAN software will establish a direct connection. It will do this dynamically i.e. by selecting the best possible pathway for that type of traffic available at that time. This direct connection will allow traffic to move between the two remote points without interruption, so it will always be clear, fast and dependable.
Once the connection is no-longer required, it is dropped, making the lines available again and ensuring no unnecessary costs are incurred. Users will be completely unaware that any of this is happening. They will simply experience the benefits of a speedy, smooth, and seamless connection. Of course, you do still need infrastructure and wide-area connections that the orchestrator can use, but that will already be in place, in the form of leased line, broadband and other connections.
You would, however, no longer need to make use of an expensive MPLS service – and that is going to save a lot of money. The connection speeds you will be get from the virtualised SD WAN will be just as good or even better than those you might experience with MPLS.
Optimising connections between offices will mean much better performance for applications such as VoIP, video and collaboration. These are increasingly important to distributed organisations and as more of us work on the move or remotely, the use of advanced collaboration and conferencing is growing very quickly indeed.
The Zyxel SD WAN VM Orchestrator and SD WAN virtual solution are built on VMware technology, so they are solutions that can be trusted. Some customer organisations will still prefer to deploy our hardware-based VPN50, VPN100 and VPN300 devices for SD WAN connectivity. But where customers, ISPs or MSP are already operating a largely virtualised environment, the virtual SD WAN option will make a lot of sense. Either way, you will get the benefits of Zyxel technology that delivers great performance and security for remote connections, at a great price.