WWT Advanced Technology Center (ATC) Lab Services team helps design, build, and execute a proof of concept with a mega-scale Retailer that was interested in a global technology refresh of their retail stores and distribution outlets.

A mega-scale Retailer was looking to test out SD-WAN solutions to drive ROI from MPLS circuit savings with their ISPs. They were prevented from doing so, however, due to the time and costs associated with procuring and staging a test environment in addition to constraints on their IT staff. A proof of concept to compare leading SD-WAN vendors likely would have taken the customer 6-12 months to execute on their own.

The Retailer turned to WWT and the capabilities of its Advanced Technology Center (ATC) to compare four SD-WAN solutions in a proof of concept to accelerate their decision-making.

SD-WAN solutions from the targeted vendors needed to show how easily traffic could be recognized and segmented into business critical and non-business critical data. More importantly, the SD-WAN solution needed to be easily configurable for steering of this critical and non-critical data over MPLS connections and Internet connections.

In addition to ATC Lab Services, WWT provided knowledge and maturity around the methodology and process of the lab program in the ATC to effectively manage vendors. The World Wide ATC Lab Services team were viewed by the Retailer as a trusted advisor through each phase of the lab with the different SD-WAN vendor solutions.

technical SD-WAN use cases tested in the lab: 

  • Network brownout detection, reaction, and mitigation.
  • Ease of use in terms of installation of the solution in brownfield production environments.
  • Day 2 support activities using an SD WAN controller with the solution.
  • Ability to recognize, mark or tag, prioritize, and steer traffic up and down specific tunnels based on a set of criteria.
  • Integrate new SD WAN technology solution with brownfield environments while establishing and maintaining 99.999 uptime in cutover scenarios.
  • Compare each solution for abilities around Hub and Spoke vs. Full Mesh Overlay SD WAN Fabrics.

Examples of specific SD-WAN test cases followed:

  • Build Basic Network Overlay Fabric – Hub and Spoke compared to Full Mesh
  • Define standard applications recognized by the SD WAN solution
  • Define a customer applications to be recognized by the SD WAN solution
  • Build traffic rules for application paths across the overlay fabric
  • Failure Test of multiple components and network links
  • SD WAN operations
  • SD WAN controller failure scenarios

 Devices Under Test:

  • Versa – Analytics, Director, and FlexVNF
  • Viptela – Vmanage, Vsmart, Vbond, and Vedge
  • VeloCloud – Orchestrator, Gateway, and Edge
  • Cisco – IWAN Master Controller and Border Routers

Testing tools: 

  • Ixia Traffic Generation for mimic of customer traffic in data centers and branches
  • Traffic Jam Impairment for Delay, Loss, Jitter in the Wide Area Network
  • Virtual Infrastructure for SD WAN Orchestrators for various Vendors