Network Communications News (NCN) October 2017 - Page 30

HUGHES SD-WAN LAUNCH Have it all with Hughes Dan Thornton, head of solution development at Hughes Europe, talks to NCN about the company’s new SD-WAN solution. H ughes Europe, part of Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes), global provider of managed network services, has announced availability across Europe of the Hughes Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) service for the distributed enterprise, joining its suite of HughesON managed services for multi-site organisations. The company says its service has been developed to enable digital transformation and overcome many of the current network challenges faced by legacy private networks. Hughes is looking to deliver something new as organisations seek greater network flexibility, improved customer experience and greater operational efficiencies as well as trying to securely protect business and customer data. By providing predictable application performance across the internet for cloud enablement, fast delivery of new services and cost savings from bandwidth optimisation, combined with high security at the edge, the Hughes Managed SD- WAN service has been designed to solve these challenges. Dan says, “As companies move to the cloud, the network becomes more and more important. People used to link into company HQ, this happens less with more traffic heading straight onto the cloud. The IT landscape has changed.” Dan underlines that systems have to cope not just with the apps they are running, but deliver a fast and positive customer experience and security too, all of this is sitting on the internet. Traditional approaches such as via DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) can be used, but cannot always guarantee high quality and Hughes says it recognised this early. A tricky problem to solve indeed, but Hughes says its experience with satellite comms definitely 30 | October 2017 Dan Thornton of Hughes Europe points to the SD- WAN future helped, applying some of these techniques to terrestrial systems. A key problem, as always, is delivering improved performance, without prohibitive cost. Dan underlines that overheads are kept manageable with SD- WAN as existing networks can be used, also making transition easier for the end user and for those installing the up-grade. Dan says, “Companies can find out exactly what it is they need, where they need to be strong and an SD-WAN system to suit can be built, it’s not a one size fits all approach. For resellers, transition is easier too as SD-WAN is basically an overlay to what they provide already. A lot of it is done with templates, so the technical knowledge needed to install is not always as high as you might think.” Dan also argues that organisations want to see what is going on, via a dashboard, where efficiencies are being made and so on, but they want the intelligence to be automatic, another SD-WAN advantage. The system is rolling out in Europe after first being launched in the US. Dan explains, “Quite a bit of the push so far has come from US companies that have had systems fitted and have seen the benefit and are now pushing it out across the European operation. Ultimately what its delivering is peace of mind, protection from poor service and down time, hugely important for companies these days.” System detail The Hughes Managed SD- WAN service leverages Hughes ActiveTechnologies to transform ordinary broadband connections into enterprise-grade high performance WANs, including support for demanding streaming applications. Included in the package is ActivePath which incorporates algorithms and techniques that exploit the use of multiple network paths, ensuring applications are delivered without interruption across t he secure WAN regardless of degradation on a single path. Also on board is ActiveQoS which continuously measures end-to-end capacity on broadband links, dynamically updating priority queues and traffic shapers to maximise each site’s bandwidth usage. This results in improved performance for VoIP and video traffic across all outlets, especially those with lower bandwidth service. The service also includes ActiveClassifier which automatically and dynamically classifies traffic based on flow behavior, eliminating the time- consuming process of manually configuring and maintaining rules to classify and prioritise specific applications required by other SD-WAN products. This optimisation is particularly critical for real-time and cloud-based applications allowing this traffic to be prioritised over non-time sensitive data. The service also offers ActiveCompression which reduces network congestion and improves application performance, especially at bandwidth- constrained sites. As well as developing ActiveTechnologies to provide performance optimisation of the WAN network, Hughes has built the platform on the Fortinet Enterprise Firewall to provide protection against security threats and targeted attacks. A p a r t i c u l a r st re n g th i d e nt i f i e d b y t h e m a ker i s the a b i l i t y to m e et sp e c i f i c b us i n es s n e e d s w i t h so l u t i o n s f rom Hu g h e s b a se d o n t h e For ti n et 6 0 se r i e s f i rewa l l p l at fo r m , Meraki , Ci sco a n d V i p r i n et . More information: europe.hughes. com/solutions/connectivity/sd-wan