SD-WAN 5G Partner

Speed Matters: Powering Ultra-low Latency Microsoft Azure Public MEC Traffic with VMware SD-WAN

5G is blazing fast. In fact, it’s 20x faster than 4G. But what if traffic needs to go even faster? Across industries, enterprise mobile networks require extremely low latency transmissions to support everything from streaming video to providing time-critical healthcare data and much more.

Where does mobile app traffic typically stumble? It drastically slows down when encountering hop after hop — sometimes exceeding 100 milliseconds — while en route to its app server within a public cloud. For example, how does speed affect the digital marketplace? It’s key as large retailers have reported a 1% increase in revenue for every 100ms improvement in load time.

How can other organizations harness that kind of superior speed? They rely on Azure public multi-access edge compute (MEC). MEC is a market forecasted to rake in $23 billion by 2028.

Azure public MEC makes it easier than ever to transmit tremendous volumes of data to a centralized repository for processing and storage — eliminating latency-killing hops to significantly boost application performance.  

And by performing immediate data ingestion, delivering real-time data analysis, and providing strong processing power, Azure public MEC serves as a game changer for apps that demand extreme data speeds. This unlocks infinite use cases for industries such as healthcare, ensuring doctors receive real-time analytics to enable highly efficient patient monitoring and provide treatment.

What’s the secret sauce that connects Azure public MEC to enterprise networks? IT teams use VMware SD-WAN to create reliable, efficient, secure tunnels that directly connect VMware SD-WAN Edge devices within the enterprise network to virtual VMware SD-WAN Edge appliances within nearby Azure public MEC. Prioritizing latency-sensitive apps though customizable business policies, SD-WAN delivers tremendous QoS over 5G, satellite, broadband and private lines — at warp speed.

Let’s dive into a few ways SD-WAN ensures a super glue-like connection between enterprise networks and Azure public MEC.

3 key SD-WAN tools for ensuring seamless connectivity

Functioning as an overlay network, SD-WAN monitors the current performance of underlying WAN transports in real time, making the necessary adjustments so networks never falter. The following features serve as the engine which help power this reliability:

1. Dynamic Multipath Optimization™ (DMPO): WAN circuit performance generally fluctuates, which may jeopardize network reliability. Providing IT teams with easy-to-understand dashboards that show QoS across different WAN links, VMware’s unique DMPO actively and passively measures the path performance of each tunnel. As it detects any jitter, latency, or packet loss, DMPO automatically identifies, prioritizes, and intelligently reroutes latency-sensitive app traffic to tunnels that possess the best quality and capacity — ensuring the traffic reaches the closest Azure Edge Zones with operator compute location, with no hairpinning back to a central location.

For example, if WAN links experience reduced connectivity conditions, DMPO spots this issue in just 300-500 milliseconds and determines the right remedial action to ensure a high-quality app experience for end-users.

Dynamic Multipath Optimization

2. VMware Edge Network Intelligence: As real-time app traffic surges to unprecedented levels, IT teams can ill afford to use old school tools for tracking and solving all the issues that daily impact enterprise networks. In response, teams are deploying SD-WAN with VMware Edge Network Intelligence — a highly sophisticated artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) solution that significantly helps them improve connectivity between the network and Azure public MEC and solve problems faster than ever.

Leveraging AI and machine learning, VMware Edge Network Intelligence delivers a comprehensive summary of the enterprise system’s health as users access low-latency apps from any location. This slashes hours of labor trying to find the root cause when users experience problems with apps — by analyzing performance trends, isolating faults, and offering proactive remediation.

What’s the endgame? End users remain connected to Azure public MEC and enjoy excellent QoE.

3. VMware SD-WAN Orchestrator: After enterprises are deployed and connected to Azure public MEC, IT teams can manage all SD-WAN Edge VNFs using a VMware SD-WAN Orchestrator. This delivers single-pane-of-glass visibility of apps, network connections, and Azure locations so teams can rapidly resolve issues, increase app performance, and reduce downtime.

Leveraging a centralized control dashboard, VMware SD-WAN Orchestrator helps drive the easy implementation of business-based policies for application delivery. And by integrating with VMware Edge Network Intelligence, IT teams receive deep visibility into end-user and IoT device experience.  

SD-WAN and Edge Zones: Powering low-latency apps across verticals

IoT manufacturing. Azure public MEC supports many use cases across verticals. In fact, it will be invaluable for ensuring smart factories run smoothly. For example, when plant video surveillance cameras spot a production issue, imagery will be transmitted to MEC for instant analysis, helping plant engineers address issues fast and eliminate expensive downtime or rework.

Law enforcement. Azure public MEC and MEC solutions are critical for supporting public infrastructure and law enforcement. British police are pioneering this usage. Footage from their squad car dash cams and body cams is uploaded over dual LTE links, where SD-WAN helps improve the connection quality and ensures the traffic quickly reaches a central repository for video post-processing, analysis, and storage.

Healthcare. Recently, the healthcare industry demonstrated a “connected ambulance” concept, enabling frontline EMT workers to remotely and rapidly diagnose and triage patients via MEC. 

During the demo, after paramedics scanned the patient with ultrasound, hospital clinicians interpreted the images and surveyed the patient inside the ambulance in real-time. This unlocked the ability to harness low latency and data processing capabilities at the edge, empowering paramedics to rapidly and more accurately diagnose and treat patients remotely — saving lives while eliminating expensive and time-consuming trips to the hospital.

We can’t wait to meet you at Mobile World Congress on Feb. 28 to March 3! Please visit the VMware booth 3M11 in Hall 3 for a closer look at our innovative solutions.

Learn more

  • Watch a video about how VMware SD-WAN and Azure public MEC work together.
  • For a closer look at VMware SD-WAN, check out our website.
  • Want to take SD-WAN for a spin? Try the hands-on lab.

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