If you were to listen to most marketing information about SD-WAN you would think that it is designed to work purely on public internet links as that is probably the easiest application to explain, and just about anyone can understand the benefits of using multiple internet links of different types from different ISPs to provide resilient internet and site to site VPN connectivity.
Private networks can be used for SD-WAN too.
However, the ‘WAN’ in SD-WAN can be just about any type of connectivity – private links included, and depending on your requirements you might only want to use private links.
Yesterday Andy Harris and I did a technology demo for a customer where the primary WAN connectivity was actually a local Wi-Fi infrastructure network and I’m going to share some detail on that to show you why that can be really useful.
Resilient Local Network Connectivity
The customer needed to demonstrate a man portable battery powered SD-WAN solution as part of a larger opportunity where a smartphone/tablet based application needed to be run reliably across a golf course.
The key factor was the local network reliability and resilience as the application was very time sensitive. The idea was that although a wireless network was going to be available that could be used as a primary connection they also wanted to be able to use alternative network connectivity if needed in case the local wireless network became unreliable – and they wanted to be able to extend the wireless network coverage on demand.
I was asked to put together a solution design to fulfil these requirements and then demonstrate and prove the network resilience to the end customer. An additional challenge was that the location chosen for the demo didn’t actually have a wireless network that covered the course currently so I needed to bring one with me – one that could cover three holes of the course to allow for a ‘real world’ demo.