LTE and 5G wireless network solutions provider Cradlepoint announced availability of a 5G-optimized SD-WAN solution designed to close the gap between enterprises and network operators to make network slicing a reality. The solution is part of NetCloud Exchange (NCX), an extension of Cradlepoint's NetCloud solution that integrates security, SD-WAN, and Zero Trust into a single Wireless WAN architecture.
5G is quickly emerging as essential WAN infrastructure, enabling agile connectivity for vehicles, IoT devices, remote workers, and more. One of the most anticipated 5G features across enterprises is network slicing, offering organizations distinctive levels of end-to-end performance across cellular networks. With mass 5G deployments on the horizon, SD-WAN plays a critical part in the successful rollout and adoption of 5G Standalone (SA) networks with network slicing, the availability of which will accelerate through 2023.
Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Exchange (NCX) allows organizations to create multiple modem WAN interfaces aligned to slice instances defined by 5G SA networks. Organizations can then apply application-based policies to steer traffic to unique network slices, whether an ultra-reliable low latency slice, an enhanced mobile broadband slice, a machine-to-machine slice, or a custom slice defined by the operator.
Cradlepoint has also made some critical adaptations to traditional SD-WAN technology so that it performs effectively across 5G WANs. Key enhancements include:
- Consideration of cellular-specific attributes when steering traffic: NCX’s SD-WAN solution considers cellular-centric attributes such as available bandwidth and data usage when steering traffic, enabling more cost-effective and reliable 5G networking.
- Preservation of bandwidth across metered links: The solution uses in-line traffic to calculate WAN performance metrics, preventing impacts on data plans and eliminating the administrative burden of manually scheduling measurements.
- Integration of Cradlepoint Cellular Intelligence to provide better insights and visibility of 5G networks: Incorporates comprehensive cellular insights that include cellular service provider visibility, ability to view cellular signal strength, and ability to plot the location of both SD-WAN routers and the serving cell towers on a map for optimal placement of devices.
NetCloud Exchange’s SD-WAN solution leverages the NetCloud Exchange Service Gateway, the Secure Connect solution, and select Cradlepoint routers for deployment. It is fully managed through NetCloud Manager, Cradlepoint’s cloud management and orchestration platform.