Masergy improves broadband packet loss for its SD-WAN

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Masergy's SD-WAN uses technology from two vendors, along with its own special sauce. (Getty Images)

Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) provider Masergy says it has a patent-pending innovation — called Masergy Performance Edge — that minimizes packet loss over public broadband connections.

For its SD-WAN, Masergy partners with two vendors: Fortinet and Silver Peak. But it then customizes its SD-WAN with its own software. “The overall solution we end up selling is a lot of our own IP we put on top,” said Ajay Pandya, director of product management at Masergy. “We put the final stitching and half of the management stack.” Masergy also has created the user experience (UE) for its customers.

Pandya said as more enterprises use SD-WAN and consider moving away from expensive private Ethernet circuits, they need to feel more assured about the reliability of their public broadband connections.

The company’s patent-pending technology to minimize packet loss uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to auto-tune traffic based on the applications running at any given time.

Broadband vs. MPLS

When SD-WAN first emerged on the scene several years ago, there was immediately some concern among service providers that the technology would cannibalize their lucrative MPLS businesses. But, according to Pandya, many enterprises are still paying for private access circuits for their mission-critical workloads.

But at the same time, many enterprises are using SD-WAN and adding broadband to their connectivity mix.

“What used to be a single site access is now, when those contracts come up for renewal, they’re choosing SD-WAN with a second uplink and a third uplink,” said Pandya. “For broadband, we see a many-fold increase at sites that have it.”

Anecdotally, he said that in 2019, about one out of every two sites would have a broadband circuit. But in 2021, “we observed that out of all sites, over 90% had at least one broadband circuit." Some of this was due to Covid, which drove lots of people to work from home, and their companies had to deal with employees’ broadband connections.

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Pandya said home use of SD-WAN, even post-Covid, is going to be very common, especially for companies who need to make sure their calls don’t drop, like contact centers that have people working remotely.

“Masergy is working to ensure our clients’ new need for broadband doesn’t impact their business continuity. Remote work success shouldn’t hinge on network connectivity types, and we’ve created Masergy Performance Edge to make sure it doesn’t,” said Masergy CEO Chris MacFarland in a statement.