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Using Scrutinizer by Plixer to monitor SD-WAN traffic

14th August 2020

More enterprises are investing in WAN optimisation. Our world is becoming more remote, and our workplaces more digitised. There are many reasons for this, but none greater than the recent pandemic, which has either accelerated plans for facilitating remote collaboration and use of WANs, or catalysed their urgent creation. 

We’ve previously discussed the benefits of monitoring WAN with MPLS namely, guaranteeing performance for real-time traffic and SD-WAN: efficient routing, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. We also discussed Scrutinizer as an affordable and effective solution to monitor both types of traffic.

Now, however, with the rising popularity of WAN optimization using SD-WAN traffic, we’re going to dive deeper into the capabilities of different vendors for enterprises as they scale their infrastructure. The ultimate purpose of this is to help enterprises save money, manage application performance and secure their network and WAN ecosystem.

SD-WAN vendors and their features

Delay metricsClient delayNoNoYes
Delay metricsServer delayNoNoYes
Performance metrics (network performance)Jitter by interfaceNoNoYes
Performance metrics (network performance)Round trip timeYesYesYes
Performance metrics (network performance)Packet lossYesYesYes
Performance metrics (network performance)LatencyYesYesYes
Performance metrics (network performance)Bandwidth consumptionYesYesYes
Carrier visibility (transport-agnostic and path selection)MPLS, cellular, and broadbandYesYesYes
Carrier visibility (transport-agnostic and path selection)Dynamic path selectionYesYesYes
Application awarenessLayer 4 visibilityYesYesYes
Application awarenessTraffic identificationYesYesYes
Application awarenessApplication prioritisationYesYesYes
Application awarenessQoS policiesYesYesYes
CompliancePCI DSS, HIPAA and GDPRYesYesYes
Deployment typeSaaSYesYesYes
Deployment typeOn-premiseYesYesYes
Deployment typeMulti-tenantYesYesYes
ConfigurationExtensive via RESTful APIYesYesYes
ConfigurationHigh performanceYesYesYes
Security data encryptionIpsec (AES-256)YesYesYes
End-to-end encryptionSSL/TLSYesYesYes
Real-time threat intelligence-YesYesYes
NetFlow supportV5YesYesYes
NetFlow supportV9YesYesYes
NetFlow supportIPFIX/cflowdYesYesYes

Using this chart, organisations looking at how to manage their employees and processes remotely have a reference point for the features they require, and the vendors that provide them. There are a lot of factors to consider, chiefly amongst them: cost, scalability, carrier visibility, application awareness, deployment, and security. And what you’re really looking for is a return on investment (ROI) the knowledge that any new monitoring and optimisation solution will impact your bottom line and help you not only survive these challenging times, but grow your business through them. Remote work means flexibility, which is critical to navigating uncertainty. Your infrastructure will need to accommodate it. WAN and WAN optimisation helps your organisation become more resilient and better prepared for the unknowable.

Scrutinizer by Plixer: a cohesive solution

Scrutinizer, from Plixer, collaborates with SD-WAN vendors to develop metadata, which gives Scrutinizer greater visibility into enterprise branch offices and edge routers. SD-WAN allows the export of V5, V8, V9, cflowd, and IPFIX. 

SD-WAN’s value proposition is driven by a simplification of WAN and branch networks, improvement in WAN and application performance, reduced expenditure, improved management, and enhanced network visibility and security. These combined factors explain its rising adoption; the global SD-WAN market is expected to grow from an estimated market size of $1.36 billion in 2018 to $17.92 billion by 2024. Specifically, the advantages of monitoring SD-WAN traffic through Scrutinizer are in application performance monitoring and threat detection. Applications that traverse the SD-WAN ecosystem require end-to-end visibility, to identify where resources are necessary and potential bottlenecks. 

VeloCloud, Viptela, and Silver Peak, shown above, have flow exports to provide real-time visibility into the metadata of branch offices – and, using Scrutinizer, flow exports provide insight for NetOps to focus on key areas, such as remote monitoring, lateral movement, and data exfiltration. Combining visibility and rich context, Scrutinizer helps NetsOps ensure that remote employees have a positive day-to-day user experience whilst using mission-critical applications. 

Lastly, Scrutinizer helps SD-WAN owners detect malware, botnets, and persistent or new threats, for faster detection, investigation, and threat resolution, through its flow analytics. For more information on using Scrutinizer to monitor SD-WAN traffic, or bolster and expand the capabilities of SD-WAN vendors such as VeloCloud, Viptela, or Silver Peak, contact us today.

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