Rewards and Risks of Software-Defined WANs

 
 
By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 01-04-2017 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Rewards and Risks of Software-Defined WANs
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    Rewards and Risks of Software-Defined WANs

    Most hardware-based defenses lack the ability to mitigate DDoS attacks, but cloud-based mitigation solutions that leverage SD-WAN can mitigate these attacks.
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    Eliminate Manual Traffic Handling
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    Eliminate Manual Traffic Handling

    SD-WAN can eliminate manual traffic handling by automating route engineering services and optimizing traffic across multiple networks. That means service providers will be able to react to DDoS attacks and mitigate them more quickly.
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    Protect Infrastructure During a DDoS
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    Protect Infrastructure During a DDoS

    SD-WAN can protect the overall infrastructure from collateral damage that often happens when handling a big DDoS spike. Automation helps reduce a security operation center's errors, which currently are common, given the mounting pressures during an attack.
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    Automated Route Engineering
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    Automated Route Engineering

    Automated route engineering enables service providers to spend less time on routine traffic routing services and more time on developing and supporting advanced mitigation services.
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    Accurate Mitigation and Less False Positives
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    Accurate Mitigation and Less False Positives

    SD-WAN services can automatically perform path computations—even during an attack—to determine the optimal route based on service needs, business requirements, network topology, resource status, cost and other parameters.
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    Optimize Traffic Across Many Networks
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    Optimize Traffic Across Many Networks

    SD-WANs optimize traffic across multiple networks, and bottlenecks can be avoided through load balancing over available peers. Policies can be predetermined and proactively written to ensure that the most efficient routing decisions and changes occur with near real-time efficiency.
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    Intelligent Routing Capabilities
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    Intelligent Routing Capabilities

    SD-WAN provides intelligent software-defined routing capabilities for WANs that connect geographically distributed locations. In the case of customers that share the same network, collateral damage can be minimized.
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    Save Costs
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    Save Costs

    Automated handling essentially eliminates the need to pay overcharges and to overbuy the capacity needed to absorb initial DDoS traffic spikes.
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    Risks of SD-WANs
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    Risks of SD-WANs

    SD-WANs are not without risks. The unpredictable and dynamic situation of a multi-tenancy DDoS defense cloud has many related variables that require situational handling. Not everything that the individual situation calls for can be prewritten in rules.
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    Hungry for Bandwidth
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    Hungry for Bandwidth

    SD-WANs still require copious bandwidth and a large, robust infrastructure to absorb the load of the initial DDoS spikes. Because SD-WAN can be so efficient, there can be a tendency to under-buy infrastructure resources.
 

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are escalating in frequency and scale, and the traffic they generate is sudden, massive and completely unpredictable. Almost any technology-savvy person with a computer and an Internet connection can marshal an army of bots and servers to cripple and quickly overwhelm targets, shut down sites and cause collateral damage. Most hardware-based defenses lack the agility, intelligence and compute resources to match and mitigate such attacks, but new cloud-based mitigation solutions that leverage software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) can mitigate these attacks. A SD-WAN is built on the same fundamentals as a software-defined network (SDN), a technology that makes networks programmable and thus more flexible, scalable, efficient and easily managed. It provides intelligent software-defined routing capabilities for WANs that connect geographically distributed locations. Network service providers and their customers stand to benefit from improved mitigation and traffic handling to ensure that service levels remain high during an attack, while minimizing costs, collateral damage and fallout. However, ideal as they may seem, SD-WAN services are not without risks, as Nitin Serro, founder and CEO of network solution provider Serro.com, outlines in this slideshow.

 
 
 
 
 
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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