SD-WAN solutions are making it possible for enterprises to take advantage of cost-effective Internet bandwidth, and boost direct-to-cloud network performance. However, the shift to Internet-based networking and overlay tunnels creates new visibility challenges that require Digital Experience Monitoring to solve.

Networks are bending to the shape of the cloud

Enterprises have rapidly embraced SaaS, and migrated applications from data centers to public cloud service providers. This shift means that backhauling traffic from end-user locations like branch offices, via costly MPLS wide area network circuits makes less sense. As a result, many enterprises are moving to direct Internet connections from branches, and adopting SD-WAN solutions that can steer application traffic based on centralized orchestration policies. SD-WAN devices can manage a mix of connectivity across the entire network, including direct ISP links, MPLS, and VPN tunnels. Deploying an SD-WAN network can bring cost savings, better network performance for SaaS, and automation benefits to network operations.

SD-WAN brings new visibility challenges

The benefits of SD-WAN are accompanied by an increase of complexity and a loss of visibility into wan performance issues that can arise due to a vast increase in the number of external service providers that you rely on.

Unfortunately, neither traditional monitoring tools nor the limited visibility provided by SD-WAN vendors is sufficient to give you the real-time insights you need into your overall SD-WAN deployment. Legacy network monitoring solutions focus solely on collecting passive data from infrastructure (such as Cisco routers) connected to your internal LANs and WANs.

Application performance monitoring isn't relevant to the SD-WAN technology domain since it focuses on instrumenting and reporting on the performance of application code. Many of the issues that arise for SD-WANs occur in external networks, where legacy tools can't provide visibility. Ultimately, SD-WAN monitoring needs not just to address network issues, but how the entire network is delivering application performance and user experience.

DEM For SASE (1) (2)

DEM modernizes visibility for SD-WAN

Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM) restores visibility by integrating user experience insights from multiple points in the service delivery chain, including endpoint devices, network and Internet paths, network traffic, and application and API data.

To learn more about these challenges and how to address them, read our blog post on "Why you need independent SD-WAN visibility."