The most important of several upgrades to Infovista's Ipanema SD-WAN platform is Application Intelligence+, the company says. The goal of the new functionality is to drastically upgrade application performance and quality of experience (QoE) across end-to-end data paths.
Application Intelligence+ can guarantee application performance regardless of whether the app is housed in the data center or the cloud, said Ricardo Belmar, Infovista's senior director of Global Enterprise Marketing.
The platform runs deep packet inspection of the first packet sent by the app. Such factors as its domain name, transfer protocol, port number, destination domain name and others are compiled. They are sent to a cloud-based database that identifies the app and tells the platform precisely what resources are needed to meet QoE requirements set by the organization.
To meet those requirements, the application flow is assigned to one of four priority layers. These "buckets" are flexible. "For example, say Skype for Business is the top priority, and file-based storage is a medium priority," Belmar said. "The system can adjust to the top priority saying that all Skype for Business calls get what they need, and it slows down the others, which will get what they need soon after."
Another Ipanema upgrade is that the level of performance customers set for their applications is guaranteed even if one of the links that the SD-WAN maps out doesn’t have sufficient quality of service (QoS). Belmar said that this is dealt with by using virtual tunneling approaches to maintain the necessary QoS level.
Zeus Kerravala, the principal analyst of ZK Research, told FierceTelecom that Application Intelligence+ is a positive step for SD-WAN. “I think it's worthwhile,” he said. “The value proposition of SD-WAN has long revolved around saving money on the WAN and improving network resiliency with features such as dynamic path selection. This improves application availability, which is important but does not necessarily improve application performance. Infovista's approach is aimed at making all applications, particularly the business-critical ones, perform better than they would have on a traditional WAN.”
Kerravala said that this capability is unique to Infovista and its Ipanema platform. He also noted that the features are automated so that there "there's no requirement to constantly fiddle with the network."
Whether the new functionality can be added via download to existing Ipanema deployments depends upon the age and functionality of the existing hardware and the organization's network configuration, Belmar said.
In addition to Application Intelligence+, Infovista has added a cloud-based orchestrator that makes it possible to manage the platform without data center hardware. The platform has also added zero-touch provisioning.