Do You Have Real-Time Visibility into Your WAN?

Karma BennettSD-WAN, Visibility, Voice/VoIP

a mechanic looks under the hood, just as a sys admin looks at your network
a mechanic looks under the hood, just as a sys admin looks at your SD-WAN network

Just as a mechanic needs to be able to look under the hood to fix your car, your sys admin needs visibility into your network

IT pros have been complaining about visibility for at least a decade. They all need it, but don’t have enough of it. Lack of visibility is a major pain point in IT operations.

The term defies easy definition. But in essence “visibility” refers to the ability to see what’s going on inside a network, an application, an IT environment. It requires a rich set of tools that can gather data on performance, availability and other factors and present them in real time in a meaningful way.

The concept of visibility goes hand-in-hand with the notion of control. When IT pros can see what’s going on inside their systems and networks, they are better equipped to troubleshoot problems and take steps to improve performance.

#NetworkVisibility is the ability to see what’s going on inside a network. It requires a rich set of tools that can gather data on performance, availability and other factors and present them in real time in a meaningful way.Gaining visibility has never been easy, and it’s becoming more difficult as the IT infrastructure becomes more complex. Organizations are operating multiple wired and wireless networks, dozens of applications, scores of appliances, and multiple cloud platforms. They may have voice over IP (VoIP) systems, video conferencing systems and collaboration tools—some onsite, some cloud-based. Not all of those systems will have tools for monitoring and analyzing performance metrics, and those that do may require someone with an engineering degree to figure them out.

The WAN has always been a blind spot. Network administrators typically have limited visibility into their WAN circuits, other than whether the link is up or down. So when VoIP calls are garbled and video conferences freeze, there’s not a whole lot that administrators can do. They may suspect that the WAN is the culprit but are unable to prove it or to pinpoint the source of the problem. They’re also unable to hold service providers accountable for their contracted service-level agreements (SLAs).

Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solutions are supposed to make WAN management easier. With SD-WAN you can aggregate multiple links and establish software-based policies for controlling how traffic is routed and prioritized. Typically, you can also manage all of your remote sites through a centralized console.

But very few SD-WAN solutions give you visibility into the WAN. A few provide data on network behavior and usage. Some support the Netflow or IPFIX protocols, which allows you to inject network flow data into a collection tool for future analysis and reporting. But administrators really need to see events that cause network traffic to be rerouted and how WAN performance and Quality of Service are impacted.

InSpeed Quality Service (IQS) gives you that visibility. IQS continuously monitors traffic quality and dynamically manages throughput to prevent buffer bloat and minimize latency, jitter and packet loss. Through InSpeed’s unique Control Center you can see, in real time, how your circuits are performing and how IQS is responding to network and traffic conditions. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist—IQS shows your high-priority traffic, normal-priority traffic, and latency and packet loss in a simple-to-read timeline.

InSpeed also monitors the ISP’s throughput to validate its advertised bandwidth, and measures InSpeed’s improvement on the ISP’s connection to validate Quality of Service. IQS provides a report with these and other metrics.

Visibility may be elusive in today’s complex IT environment, but you don’t have to guess what’s going on inside your WAN. InSpeed lets you look under the hood and see in real time how IQS is maximizing quality and performance. Contact our sales team to get started.

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