Wide area network (WAN) edge refers to all of the networking and security infrastructure that connects distributed enterprise locations such as branch offices, retail stores, and school buildings to other sites, as well as to applications, data, and services delivered from data centers and clouds.
Traditionally, WAN edge technology consisted primarily of dedicated hardware like edge routers, WAN optimization solutions, and security appliances. Each one handled its functions for processing and securing enterprise network traffic within a router-centric model. The market of WAN Edge has evolved since the day it came onto the scene and is currently undergoing drastic change. The needs of the modern-day digitalized world have changed dramatically and require every technological field to adapt. This has also brought up changes in the WAN edge infrastructure. WAN Edge also incorporates a wide range of new and compelling features, including optimizations, WAN edge routers, and much more.
Advantages of WAN Edge
Wide area network Edge architecture is relatively new and getting popular each day. This rising technology has multiple benefits when deployed accurately and can boost production. Following are some of the advantages of WAN edge:
- Secure automated platforms provide better facilitation to cloud systems for safe and easy connections.
- WAN Edge produces application-specific optimization.
- Utilizing BGP and OSPF route learning protocol, plus DNS forwarding, within the SD-WAN solution to replace work previously performed by WAN edge routers.
WAN Edge Deployment
CISCO is producing a WAN edge that is mainly introduced in the market. CISCO is a tech tycoon in the networking world. The following are all the deployment options regarding WAN Edge.
The automated provisioning method for WAN edge deployment works based on node creations. Nodes are created systematically then work is done upon them. This dynamically changes the WAN edge fabric. For now, all the CICSO SD-WAN edge devices have this installed on them by default. The following steps are involved in the deployment using this automated provisioning method:
- Powering up the device
- Assigning IP addresses using interfaces
- Contacting the server
- Establishing a transient connection between the host and the server
- The router establishes the link to the mainframe
In the scenario where a router cannot determine the actual server IP, this WAN Edge Deployment method is used. It works in an air-gapped environment. As of now, this type of deployment is only applicable to the CISCO WAN edge fabric. It basically requires the server and IP address to be configured from the main server host. At the time of boot up, the configuration process gets launched. After the configuration process is completed, all the sets of instructions needed for the deployment are loaded onto the computer via its internal memory or by the use of some external device such as a USB.
The bootstrap onboarding process sequence is listed below:
- At the time of bootup, the host searches for the main configuration file on the device’s main memory. If the file is successfully found, all the configuration details are loaded onto the device’s memory, and the process completes its installation. If any file is not found, then the host keeps on the search until it is found. It may search all the files and attach memory devices to the main computer.
- If the config file is successfully loaded, it learns the main IP address and uses it for further communication with the hosts and its resources.
- The WAN Edge router then establishes secure connections to manage and vSmart downloads its configuration and joins the overlay fabric.
The manual wide area network edge Deployment option is quite basic and arbitrary. Many enterprises and companies that use WAN Edge are familiar with this type of deployment configuration. As the name suggests, this basically is the manual deployment of the WAN edge router. The WAN edge device is configured via the console port or using the virtual console connection if the device is a virtual one.
The following are the minimum requirements that are needed for the manual configuration and deployment of the WAN edge system:
- System IP address
- Tunnel interface, default route, and IP address/mask
There is another mode of deployment for WAN edge, which requires the deployment of the WAN edge routers behind a firewall. That type of deployment works behind a firewall and uses the concept of encapsulation. A certain level of authentication is needed to proceed, and methods are already pre-defined for that.
Prominent Leaders in The WAN Edge Market
CISCO is the leading enterprise for WAN edge deployment and most of the devices that the market uses are from CISCO. The tech tycoons are one of the fastest-growing companies in the world.
Fortinet delivers the Fortinet Secure SD-WAN; it includes all the Fortinet hardware and contains the API for the software. It is also one of the leading WAN edge vendors present in the market and provides optimal solutions for WAN edge deployment. Gartner also awards Fortinet WAN edge.
Silver Peak offers the Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN Edge Platform, which is composed of the Unity Orchestrator, EdgeConnect appliances, and Unity Boost. Silver Peak has robust optimization features, including WAN optimization.
Through its acquisition of CloudGenix, Paolo Alto has increased its capabilities and strengthened its already-high customer experience ratings. Through their dynamic design and new and compelling features installed in the software, the overall WAN edge experience has increased. Gartner also recognizes them.
WAN Edge is one of the newer technologies in the networking and telecom world. It is gaining recognition rapidly and will be of great help to network engineers worldwide. However, deploying WAN edge can be an intricate task. Appropriate WAN Edge Deployment can be a good help, but if not managed properly, it can halt the whole system; hence, deploying it is an important task. The WAN edge is a relatively recent networking and telecom technology. It is quickly gaining traction and will be extremely useful to network engineers all over the world.