Mode Cast

Mode's SD-Core: The Experts Weigh In

"Gartner's report came out and said that the day of the hardware router will be ending in just a few years. Probably 90 percent of routing will be done using SD-WAN."

— Steve Garson, President of SD-WAN Experts

Featuring:

Steve Garson,
President of SD-WAN Experts

Description:

In this Mode Cast from the Core, JoAnne McDougald speaks with Steve Garson about Mode's SD-Core and what it has to offer SD-WAN architectures. Steve is based in Denver and consults with firms on building SD-WAN systems.

Listen on SoundCloud [Or read the transcript below]

Transcript:

JoAnne McDougald:
"Hello and welcome to another edition of Mode Radio. I'm here today with Steve Garson. We are coming to you from ONUG. We're in New York City. It's October, it's beautiful, and Steve had a wonderful presentation yesterday. He's talking about new technologies within networking, and we're really changing the face of networking. ONUG is the place where people come together to be able to set the line of sight for where networking should go over the next several years. They really have set the stage this year, and a little word called security seems to be on everyone's mind."

Steve Garson:
"Just a little bit."

Jo:
"Just a little bit. Steve, welcome. Tell our audience a little bit about who you are."

Steve:
"Okay. I'm based in Denver, Colorado, and I work with enterprises worldwide in helping them design and engineer their wide-area networks, which today revolves around SD-WAN. Our company goes in, and we do a NetFlow analysis so that our clients can understand exactly what the complexion of all their network – all their wide-area network traffic is so we can right-size the network, get the right kind of transports, and where appropriate, provide them with an MPLS quality circuit or an MPLS circuit to make sure that their latency-sensitive applications perform exactly the way they should."

Jo:
"And that's where the SD-WAN comes in. They give you a choice. You can be on MPLS. You can be on the regular Interwebs. And there's a new player in the room. That's Mode. And you get to have the possible Mode Core at your availability."

Steve:
"Exactly. The Mode Core is very attractive, because really people just need a private core or an MPLS-like circuit for specific applications. And when you're moving to SD-WAN, a good majority of your traffic can be – can perform properly using dual Internet connections. But there are some applications, or voice or radio, where that might not be the case. And in a situation like that, Mode can provide that quality at often ten percent of the cost of what an MPLS circuit might cost."

Jo:
"Yeah, and SD-WAN just across the board has been – cost has been at the base of that technology, helping clients figure out that not every packet is equal, and some can go on less expensive circuits."

Steve:
"Exactly."

Jo:
"And so new players in the market just means the market is growing. I think [Gartner] came out with something shy of $40 billion for... "

Steve:
"Yeah, Gartner's report last week came out and said that the day of the hardware router will be ending in just a few years. People will be putting their routing... Probably 90 percent of routing will be done using SD-WAN."

Jo:
"So it's not a surprise that Cisco's been snapping up a few of those SD-WAN companies, Viptela among them last year – and just really changing the face of that, because obviously they've been the biggest player in routers. So if SD-WAN is the way it's going to go, they need to be there, as well."

Steve:
"That's for sure."

Jo:
"So tell me a little bit about your talk yesterday."

Steve:
"Well, I'll tell you what I highlighted. What I highlighted is basically research – empirical research showing the difference in performance on different Internet paths in different parts of the world. People – I hate to use the word naively, but I will – they naively look at measuring latency with ping, and it's a lot more complicated to do accurate measurements of latency across the Internet.

In doing this research with a very large sample size, we came up with accurate median and average latency, as well as variance and standard deviation. So you can see that, for instance, if you're going from New York to Singapore, your latency variation can vary by 100 percent, sometimes more. And when you're designing an SD-WAN, you have to understand your application performance requirements, and many software vendors will tell you specifically what the maximum latency and packet loss that an application will use.

You have to make a decision: Do I need an SD-Core or an MPLS network to satisfy those requirements? Or can I use just the Internet? And when you have short-latency pass, you can get away with two Internet connections, but with long-latency pass, it's another question. It's a matter of what your application performance requirements are."

Jo:
"Right, and in the end it's just making sure that those applications are serving the customers as expected. I know last night I was trying to check in for my flight, and I got a notice that said, sorry, come back later."

Steve:
"That happens."

Jo:
"That happens. That's bad. That's a bad customer experience. And I think really what we're looking for is if I'm streaming video, and I'm especially using – "

Steve:
"Voice and video are the big ones."

Jo:
"Yeah, and I use Zoom every day. This is not the shameless commerce section of this, but being able to have video conferencing around the world at my fingertips is super important to my business – and I'm sure to yours."

Steve:
"Definitely."

Jo:
"And what we want to be able to do is enhance and let the technology just become seamless and invisible. And when I get a jitter or a denial – "

Steve:
"Yeah, the key is you want it to work all the time, and when you're dealing with business applications, especially with large enterprise, glitches in your network cost money – especially for manufacturing."

Jo:
"And your customers – what's top of mind for them? What's top of mind? Out of the ONUG conference, what have you seen that people are looking for? And what do you see as the line of sight for networking in the next few years?"

Steve:
"Well, there's a big movement to SD-WAN, and companies need to look at security as part of that evaluation process. A lot of companies are looking – you know, initially going to the SD-WAN evaluation just wanting to reduce their dependence and the cost of MPLS, but it's a lot more complicated than that.

In a perfect world, you're going to look at security and SD-WAN as an integrated solution, and there are companies that specialize in that – you know, Versa Networks, Open Systems... Their job is to offer an integrated solution, and that really differentiates them from anyone else in the marketplace."

Jo:
"Yeah, I think that's why a conference like this is so important. It gives all these vendors an opportunity to meet each other face-to-face, as well as to meet with some of the top companies that are working with the ONUG organization. I know Citibank is here. Bloomberg is here."

Steve:
"Bank of America. There's a lot of major companies here."

Jo:
"And security and SD-WAN together. I think that's what I'm hearing from you."

Steve:
"Definitely."

Jo:
"Thanks so much for joining us today, Steve."

Steve:
"A pleasure. Nice talking to you."

Jo:
"Thank you."

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