Maintain Complete Operational Visibility into Multi-vendor SD-WAN Deployments

Keep your SD-WAN vendors honest.

Hybrid and cloud networks are commonplace today, with many organizations deploying Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) links instead of traditional WAN solutions.

There are lots of benefits to using this technology. SD-WAN solutions are centrally managed and can be hosted in customer-owned data centers or in the cloud, offering a very flexible solution to meet needs. As SD-WANs enable organizations to mix and match network links using both broadband and 4G LTE instead of expensive MPLS links, it’s easy to see why enterprises are turning to SD WAN to drive costs savings and operational efficiencies.

But what happens when there are network performance issues after the SD-WANs have been deployed?


Imagine the scenario where your organization has just spent half a million dollars deploying SD-WAN after months of technology reviews, questions from senior stakeholders, and justifications for purchase. You’ll reduce costs by connecting over broadband as opposed to costly MPLS, right? Not to mention the advertised increased application performance, the business productivity, and operational efficiencies.

But right after deployment of SD-WAN, the network goes down or the performance is severely impaired, and suddenly you are scrambling to identify the root cause of the issue.

Was it the SD-WAN implementation? After all, everything was working fine before deployment. Perhaps your SD-WAN vendor has network performance monitoring capabilities, but when you check with them, they reassure you that it is not a problem on their end, it has got to be your network.

But how can you be certain? Many SD-WAN vendors offer native monitoring capabilities, but they are limited in scope, often primarily monitoring only the components of their solution.

The SD-WAN vendor does not know who, or what is connected to the network – they have no LAN visibility. But with a platform like VIAVI Observer, your organization is empowered to have visibility into the entire network. Using aggregated data from multiple sources – both Netflow and packet—with the ability to deep dive into full fidelity forensics, you can rely on Observer to validate the problem is in your network as your SD-WAN vendor stated….or you can challenge them with solid evidence that points to another source.

With the right tools, this evidence is easy to find. With the patent-pending machine learning driven End User Experience score, problems are broken out by domain at various points in the network. Now you can easily determine whether the root cause of the performance issue is in fact associated with the SD-WAN implementation – or not. Then, you can leverage the forensic level network conversations as concrete evidence to put an end to the finger-pointing.

4.4 User Experience

With ML-driven EUE scoring with problem domain isolation breakout, you can challenge or corroborate what an SD-WAN vendor has to say.

This need to cross-check becomes even more critical when multiple SD-WAN vendors are at play. Multiple vendors mean multiple orchestration systems, and it can become difficult to reconcile and track between them all. Hopping from one console to another and back again can be frustrating.

However, to an agnostic monitoring platform like Observer, any vendor’s SD-WAN components simply become data sources that you “listen to” and leverage for end-to-end traffic visibility and performance analysis. You can do a deep-dive into forensics with the same platform, eliminating the tedious console-hopping exercise.

IP Viewer

Observer’s IP Viewer can show how network traffic moves over which interfaces by combining User, MAC address, and IP relationships

SD-WAN is a great technology. If you are planning to deploy SD-WAN, it is very likely that you hope to lower connectivity costs and increase business productivity. However, it is equally critical to keep the vendor(s) you selected honest to ensure that these original motivations are achieved.

VIAVI Observer complements your SD-WAN vendors’ monitoring to ensure that the true root cause of problems is established quickly and fixed fast.