Code upgrades, change application and visibility were deciding factors in a proof of concept that evaluated Cisco Viptela.

SD-WAN Solutions Offer Increased Efficiencies

Applications that manage warehouse operations need to be fast, reliable and cost-efficient. A large Wholesaler had determined SD-WAN would improve the quality of service of warehouse applications and streamline operations.

The modern approach to branch routing would allow them to centrally manage 600 sites from the cloud, which would lessen the cost of maintaining legacy on-premise infrastructure. Two routers operating at each site would provide greater redundancy and better quality of service than the company’s existing MPLS circuits.

Before coming to WWT, the Wholesaler had been exploring Cisco SD-WAN (Viptela) and another leading SD-WAN solution. To move forward with infrastructure modernization initiatives, they needed a safe place to compare the products away from their production environment.

ATC Provides Valuable Insight for Selecting SD-WAN

The company used the WWT Advanced Technology Center (ATC) to perform a proof of concept product comparison. WWT recreated the customer’s branch network in the ATC providing a safe environment to test the competing solutions head to head. To mimic the Wholesaler’s branch network, WWT used the following testing tools, which are available through the ATC:

  • Ixia IxLoad/IxNetwork Traffic Generation
  • Windows 10/Windows 2012 VM’s
  • Built-in SD-WAN tools
  • PRTG
  • VLC Media Player
  • WAN Emulator

WWT performed a series of test cases that included:

  • Cloud Management and Orchestration
  • Automation and API Capabilities
  • Zero-touch Provisioning
  • Data Center and Branch LAN/WAN Routing Integration
  • Failover Testing, Circuit Degradation and Application Re-route
  • Segmentation
  • Service Insertion
  • Defining Custom and Standard Application Sets
  • Building Traffic Rules for Application Paths

Ready to Deploy

The Wholesaler was able to execute the proof of concept in four business days. If the company tried to conduct the proof of concept internally, it would have taken them more than eight weeks based on the time it would take to organize and build the lab, as well as coordinate vendor support and visit vendors onsite.

Additionally, the Wholesaler saved an estimated 200 hours of IT staff time needed to conduct the proof of concept, which would have pulled staff away from production-related responsibilities.

Ultimately the Wholesaler determined that Viptela was the right SD-Wan solution for them. Factors influencing their decision included Viptela’s abilities related to:

  • Change application: GUI showed the differences between existing configurations and configurations being made as well as actual changes being made.
  • Code Upgrades: Code upgrades could be performed at sites with high-availability pairs without an outage.
  • Visibility: Configurations allow for monitoring of data provided by Net Flow.

Because of WWT’s accelerated approach to product comparisons through the ATC the Wholesaler is on track to pilot Viptela before large-scale deployment.