What are the differences between Cisco Viptela vs VeloCloud?
If you were to ask your average IT professional about Cisco Viptela vs VeloCloud, they’d probably share a few points but generally, there’s not a great deal of awareness. In this article, we’ll compare the two market leading SD WAN solutions to help your business make a more informed procurement decision.
Cisco are of course a recognised entity in the networking and security sector, due to huge market share, which means there’s a level of trust and confidence associated with the brand. On the flip side, VeloCloud was acquired by VMWare back in December 2017 joining an existing capability with significant experience across virtualisation and cloud services technology. Cisco and VMWare are both viewed as software defined market leaders with Cisco owning the hybrid networking space due to a huge amount of experience across decades. Which software-based networking solution is best suited to your business requirements, Viptela or VeloCloud?
Dynamic Path Selection
Dynamic Path Selection - selecting which path your traffic will use allows cloud applications to leverage multiple options. The way in which SD WAN solutions select the most appropriate path helps maximise uptime and increases bandwidth to make the most of available circuits such as 4G/5G, Broadband and Ethernet.
- Viptela Dynamic Path Selection
Viptela leverages routing states to make the decision about how to route traffic to the most optimum link. It is of course possible to pre-configure traffic profiles but, left as standard, Viptela offers route prefixes, metrics, link state information and route removal.
Traffic is first identified and then a policy is mapped to the traffic application based on SLA requirements. Using Layer 3 and Layer 4 information within the packets (think DSCP, ports and protocol), the specific application traffic (to cloud providers and so on) can be identified.
Viptela BFD (Bidirectional Forwarding Protocol) packets are used to monitor the state characteristics of the tunnel allowing path selection to change if latency and packet loss occurs.
- VeloCloud Dynamic Path Selection
VeloCloud offers their Dynamic Multipath Optimisation feature which essentially appears to replicate the Viptela ability to recognise application characteristics. Their features include link monitoring (think packet loss or excess latency), detection of specific provider which allows automatic config deployment based on link properties, routing and Quality of Service.
Quality of Service
QoS (Quality of Service) - traditionally configured end to end as a primary benefit of MPLS networks. SD WAN across the Internet removes the ‘end to end’ benefit of an MPLS VPN but applies a host of link preferences and out-of-the-box configuration templates together with recognition of link characteristics to make QoS much more effective.
- Viptela Quality of Service
Viptela QoS is broadly similar to MPLS without the end to end characteristics of private network traffic flow. The Viptela QoS capability allows ingress and egress interface direction toward vEdge routers in the network. With SD WAN, Viptela is capable of determining which link to use and apply a QoS capability depending on characteristics.
- VeloCloud Quality of Service
VeloCloud offers application traffic WAN settings across 2,500 known traffic sources. The benefit is an out-of-the-box understanding of default quality of service to support any one of those specific applications. Application profile awareness essentially makes it much easier to deploy QoS and bandwidth allocations vs traditional QoS configuration prior to SD WAN.
Link Steering and Remediation
Link Steering and Remediation - often per session or per packet and based on connection type across WAN links, adjusting link preference and the opportunity to create robust failover is one of the key benefits of Software-WAN services.
- Viptela Link Steering and Remediation
The Viptela Cloud OnRamp for SaaS positions applications to select their preferred connection depending on destination or Cloud application. With the ability to steer the link if applications suffer adverse performance such as packet loss, high latency or a complete outage. The overall functions to support link performance are calculated as a value using the Viptela Quality of Experience (vQoE) which uses a value to determine the application requirements from 0 to 10.
The configuration and ongoing changes for the Viptela platform are managed via a cloud interface.
- VeloCloud Link Steering and Remediation
VeloCloud have perhaps moved one step further with their SD WAN offering in respect of their ability to dynamically monitor traffic. The capability is delivered by monitoring both the WAN edge and also cloud application performance. With SD WAN, the typical branch has more than one connection which therefore requires dynamic per packet switching to make the most of path optimisation.
Link switching can avoid traffic performance issues as packets are automatically routed based on analysis of the link.
Application Performance Monitoring
Application Reporting - one of the key deliverables of any SD WAN solution, the ability to view network statistics, issues and trends over time greatly assists both network management engineers and IT teams.
- Viptela Application Performance Monitoring
Viptela VAnalytics is a single dashboard to view network uptime, individual circuit uptime, carrier performance, tunnel performance and individual application data points. As an example, applications consuming the most bandwidth are immediately visible per application type. e.g. Apple, HTTPS, SSH, etc together with categories listing out anomalous application families. There is an ability to see the least performing apps so the network manager is immediately able to take action to remedy any issues.
- VeloCloud Application Performance Monitoring
VeloCloud calculates a WAN quality score to gain an understanding of performance across voice, video and mission critical data applications with alters and flags. The tool offers a detailed view of application behaviour on individual links allowing enhancements and changes to be made.
Security - in many instances SD WAN vendors require a further device to deliver Security. Whether or not you entrust the SD WAN service to support next generation Firewall functional ID dependant on your vendors proposition and your internal security strategy.
- Viptela Security
Viptela offers stateful firewall capability so in many respects is similar to the traditional world of standard Firewalls (i.e. not next generation).
- VeloCloud Security
VeloCloud is offering in-built context-aware (think about the application, device and the user) with next generation Firewall. With SD WAN, one benefit is in the granularity of data which, in respect of VeloCloud, allows your IT team to control micro-applications with surrounding security.
Network Function Virtualisation
Network Function Virtualisation - NFV separates network functions from hardware to create a virtualised machine that can run on cloud based instances or hardware resulting in a more flexible cost effective infrastructure.
- Viptela Network Function
Viptela VEdge Cloud takes all of the physical vEdge capability and virtualises the technology as a VM (Virtualised Machine). Available technologies include KVM hypervisor, Amazon or Google. vEdge Cloud offers Virtual Network Function (VNF) creating a Virtual CPE (vCPE) deployment within HQ or branch locations. VEdge can be configured as a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) Gateway for businesses that have work hosted within Amazon Web Services (AWS).
- VeloCloud Network Function
As you would expect from VMware, the VeloCloud capability to virtualise is supported on VMWare Edge hardware. The technology is listed as their VMware SD WAN Gateway and is available with service chaining support (VMware have partner with Zscaler and Websense to deliver seamless chained security) . In short, any x86 architecture is capable of a service via their supported hypervisors. Using either VMware, KVM or Xen, services are easily spun up wherever the service is needed within the Cloud.
Zero-Touch Deployment - fast deployment of SD WAN has become one of the major benefits due to the ability to fast start an Internet connection and essentially provision SD WAN services without having to physically interact with any hardware.
- Viptela Zero-Touch Deployment
Any Viptela device with Internet connectivity is capable of auto provisioning (or rather zero provisioning), Viptela requires a DHCP address from the Internet to get public DNS information. At point of booting, the vEdge router will attempt a connection to ztp.viptela.com.
- VeloCloud Zero-Touch Deployment
VeloCloud devices will auto connect, authenticate and receive the configuration upon connecting to the Internet. Zero-Touch offers more than deployment simplification, there is also the benefit of network migration as devices are deployed as secondary with dynamic learning to simplify the migration process.
Automation & Orchestration
Automation & Orchestration - SD WAN service providers require Software WAN orchestration to control, manage and deliver the end customer service. This typically requires an SDN controller with virtualisation software that can automate the provisioning process.
- Viptela Automation & Orchestration
Viptela offers strong, true orchestration of SD WAN services via their first point of authentication, distribution lists of their components including VSmarts and VManage to all vEdge routers. NAT traversal is also supported across deployment. Their vBond Orchestrator is responsible for bringing up the SD WAN capability by authenticating and authorising the Viptela components into the network. Cisco vBond Orchestrator ensures the data-points on how each of the components connect to all other components.
- VeloCloud Automation & Orchestration
VeloCloud configuration across all aspects is delivered via VeloCloud Orchestrator. VMware SD-WAN Edge appliances auto connect (and authenticated), with configuration instructions received once all parameters are in place (i.e. when devices are connected to the Internet, zero-touch deployment occurs). Integration with existing networks can be achieved including support for the OSPF routing protocol.
About Robert Sturt
Robert is the Managing Director of Netify, a Network Union brand. With experience working across WAN services since 1998, Robert brings a wealth of experience based on hard won knowledge. A writer for Techtarget.com and an experienced business strategist, Robert can bring a tonne of value to your project.