SD-WAN Made Easy

Peplink BlueChip products

This is part two of last week’s post, “Is it time for SD-WAN?”

Replacing a hard-wired MPLS network with SD-WAN makes sense for the added security and cost savings alone, but it can also provide increased performance and easier management. Peplink is an innovator and leader in SD-WAN technology, and makes building your SD-WAN straightforward and inexpensive.

Using Available Channels

The Peplink SD-WAN is built from available connections at each site. The options include MPLS, Cable, DSL, Fiber, Cellular, and even Satellite. In most of the populated areas of the United States, Cable connections are the first choice. Exact figures are difficult to discern, but roughly 90% of the country has cable Internet available. DSL is available over phone lines to roughly 90% of the country as well, but it isn’t the same two universes. Between the Cable and DSL, nearly every location has fast connection options.

Peplink builds the SD-WAN from more than one connection. In some cases both Cable and DSL are used, and often, when only one wired broadband option is present, cellular is added to the mix. Frontier and its partners have even created SD-WAN networks where no traditional broadband options are available, like at sea, using Cellular and Satellite.

How it Works

The SD-WAN is established with a Peplink router at each end location. The Peplink devices use their proprietary SpeedFusion technology to take whatever connections are available at any site, and bind them together to make a secure single pipe open only to your SD-WAN network. By binding channels, Peplink creates a connection that is faster, more reliable, and more secure than any of those single connection options alone. Even if the connection options are different in every location, SpeedFusion will seamlessly blend them with any other connection protocols anywhere in the world.

In the main office or primary location there will usually be a Balance router. The Peplink Balance line is extensive with 12 different Peplink Balance routers. Often the entry level Balance 20 has all the necessary capability for a smaller concern with only a few offices and users. The Peplink Balance One is also a good choice as it offers more flexibility and growth potential. Although Peplink classifies it as a “small business” router, even the Balance 210 can handle up to 150 users. There are options for any sized enterprise. Peplink has Balance routers to serve an entire campus; the Balance 2500 can manage 5,000 to 20,000 thousand users and host up to 4,000 SpeedFusion VPNs.

For businesses that no longer host their own servers, it is possible to establish a primary node of the Peplink SD-WAN in the cloud. Peplink’s FusionHub is a virtual router that loads into Amazon Web Services, VMware, Citrix XenServer, Oracle VirtualBox, and Microsoft Hyper-V. FusionHub brings the same capabilities, uses the same control software, and has the same interface as Peplink’s physical hardware routers.

The other Peplink network end-points — branches, satellite offices, remote locations, or even vehicles — require another Peplink router, or another FusionHub installation. While a Balance 20 might be the main host device for a small business, it may also be the best choice for a small branch in a corporate network of banks. In addition to the 12 different Peplink Balance models, there are 16 Pepwave Cellular routers. Any of them, as well as a FusionHub instance, are suitable end-points for the SpeedFusion connection.

Hundreds of Configuration Options

Theoretically, a Peplink SD-WAN could be deployed between two tiny Pepwave MAX BR1 Mini mobile routers. Despite the fact that they are each only 4 inches square and one inch tall, they can connect to cable or DSL as the primary channels with failover to their built-in LTE-A cellular modems with dual SIM card slots. There are Pepwave MAX Routers in police fire vehicles around the world. The MAX Transit models are certified for shock and Vibration Resistance, Railway Applications, and Electromagnetic Compatibility. All of the Pepwave MAX line can operate correctly at temperatures from -40° to 149°F. The HD2 IP67 is suitable for the most rugged outdoor conditions, including certification for lightning immunity. For every application, and every sized office there is a suitable Peplink SD-WAN product.

Because of the wide range of models available, and the 100% compatibility between models, even the most extensive Peplink SD-WAN network of offices and branches could have the exact same, secure, unbreakable network in each of their delivery trucks, anywhere in the world. As an added advantage, all of the devices, regardless of the number, can be controlled, configured, or updated from one location with the same InControl2 interface. But that’s a subject for another post.

With the appropriate, affordable Peplink or Pepwave routers, you will have everything you need to establish an SD-WAN network.

Frontier Computer’s engineers, with our partners, can help you create an SD-WAN solution exactly tailored to your needs.

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