Teridion’s entry in the MNS market supports enterprise wide-area networking

Why own your WAN infrastructure when you can lease it as a service? Teridion for Enterprise has a vast cloud network that provides accelerated performance to go from site to site, site to SaaS, and site to cloud data center.

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A few months ago, I wrote about the managed network services (MNS) market as the evolutionary direction of the network carrier. One of the companies that plays in this space is Teridion, with a service called Teridion for Enterprise. It’s a global WAN service with some unique capabilities to support performance and reliability that enterprises can really appreciate.

Teridion for Enterprise is a cloud-centric solution all the way. The network is built in the cloud, and customers use commodity edge devices such as SD-WAN appliances or Cisco ISR boxes to connect. (Click here to read about a Cisco-Teridion alliance.) Customers request services, make changes and set policies through an easy and contemporary user interface; they pay only for the capacity they use; and all maintenance and management is completely handled by Teridion.

Teridion has built its WAN in the cloud by hosting PoPs in the data centers of more than 25 public cloud providers, including Google Cloud, AWS, Alibaba Cloud, CenturyLink, DigitalOcean and many others. While other MNS providers might deploy a few dozen PoPs around the globe, Teridion has more than 400 worldwide, enabling it to create a high-performance and highly reliable “middle mile” global network.

WAN acceleration through real-time routing decisions

Teridion deploys thousands of monitoring agents in its cloud providers’ network fabrics. These agents collect data in real time about the performance of the various routes that the providers have available to them. All that data feeds into an orchestrator called the Teridion Management System (TMS), which makes decisions about how to route traffic most efficiently across the entire Teridion network.

TMS then spins up Teridion Cloud Routers, which are essentially virtualized routing engines that get deployed across the fabric of the public cloud providers. Teridion leverages that routing infrastructure to establish the fastest path, at any given time, between a source and a destination. This approach provides accelerated access from one user site to another, or from user to SaaS applications and cloud workloads. Because Teridion has a lot of flexibility in choosing routes, this approach eliminates the reliability and performance gaps that are introduced when relying on the public Internet. What’s more, it provides reliability equivalent to MPLS and is fully backed by Teridion’s SLAs.

Machine-learning capabilities in TMS enable route adjustments in real time. If Teridion determines that a better route exists in a particular area, the company can shift that traffic, even if this action requires automatically spinning up another cloud router, maybe even in a different cloud provider to get the best throughput, the lowest latency and the tightest control over packet loss between user and provider. Teridion calls this a curated route.

For example, consider a workload in AWS West that needs to transfer a file to AWS East. One would think the most direct route would be on Amazon’s network, but that isn’t always the case. Teridion often can squeeze better performance by moving traffic around, such as hopping off AWS West onto a PoP hosted by DigitalOcean, then hit Google Cloud in Atlanta, then up to AWS East from there. The metrics for the routes are all analyzed in real time to ensure the best performance.

A speedy middle-mile service

Teridion is unique in that it treats TCP traffic differently from UDP traffic. UDP is a protocol often used by real-time applications such as voice and video, which are more sensitive to loss and latency than to throughput. TCP traffic, on the other hand, prioritizes throughput, and Teridion’s routing can take all this into account.

Teridion’s managed network service is a great complement to SD-WAN, though it’s not necessary for an enterprise to use SD-WAN to connect to Teridion for Enterprise. Any type of branch router can connect via IPsec connectivity. However, by connecting SD-WAN, an enterprise gets optimization and manageability at the edge, and with Teridion providing the middle mile, the enterprise gets an end-to-end solution that comes with a carrier-grade SLA. Teridion has partnerships with some of the leading SD-WAN vendors, including Citrix, Silver Peak and VeloCloud, Teridion recently announced deep integration with Cisco Meraki. A main selling point for these vendors is that Teridion allows customers to eliminate MPLS from their WANs in a flexible, cost-effective way.

Deployment of Teridion for Enterprise is relatively simple. A customer can define its locations in a CSV file and feed it into the Teridion UI. Teridion brings up the customer’s backbone and creates the IP addresses for the Teridion edges the enterprise will use. The customer creates its IPsec tunnels from their on-premise devices into Teridion.

The customer is provided with monitoring capabilities, which Teridion calls its “crown jewel,” through the UI. The monitoring feature helps customers identify problems that might exist through very detailed information about the network and the sites attached to it. The customer can look at metrics about a site in a real-time perspective or in a historical view to track performance and make correlations to determine a root cause of an issue.

Use cases

Teridion has identified several use cases for its enterprise-focused networking service.

  • Site-to-site performance—If a company has IPsec connectivity at its locations, it can plug into Teridion and get middle-mile acceleration that is turnkey and super scalable. A company can go from no network at all to a fully operational Teridion plan in under 24 hours.
  • Site-to-SaaS performance—Regardless of what SaaS app a company chooses to use, and where that app has a regional presence, Teridion can provide accelerated access to the app from just about anywhere in the world. It’s simple for an enterprise to get to the SaaS app without having to worry about the relative infrastructures.
  • Multicloud strategy—Many companies today that run workloads in AWS install a direct access circuit. This is fine for AWS, but it’s only for that service and it doesn’t support the use of multiple clouds. Teridion provides the equivalency of a direct cloud circuit by giving accelerated access to cloud workloads in numerous clouds.
  • MPLS replacement/alternative—Teridion offers a truly viable alternative to expensive MPLS circuits that are limited in their capability. Teridion claims its circuits are just as fast and reliable as MPLS, provide a similar guaranteed SLA, and are readily scalable. No need to wait weeks or months to add a new line. What’s more, a company doesn’t need to pay for excess capacity as with MPLS.

It’s becoming more common for enterprises to lease their WAN as a service instead of installing and maintaining its own infrastructure. Teridion for Enterprise is a viable option in the managed network services space.

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