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Azure Virtual Wan - Scalable SD-Wan Solution

Azure Virtual Wan - Scalable SD-Wan Solution


PN solutions have been around for quite some time, providing secure connectivity between remote networks and devices. Traditional VPN gateways and other related technologies have been helpful for specific applications. Still, they often need more scalability and simplicity when connecting multiple virtual networks or branches across diverse geographical regions. While it's possible to establish these connections using conventional VPN technologies, it can introduce significant complexity and management challenges into the architecture.
In the past, I've worked on a project that involved building a similar solution using traditional VPN technologies. While the solution functioned well when operational, maintaining it was a nightmare. When issues arose, it was challenging to pinpoint the root cause and resolve the problem.

This is where Azure Virtual WAN comes in as a game changer. It addresses the limitations of traditional VPN solutions by offering a highly scalable, simplified, and centralized approach to managing and connecting VNets and branches across multiple geographical locations.
Azure Virtual WAN simplifies the process of connecting multiple geos and VNets/branches by leveraging a hub-and-spoke topology. This centralizes connectivity and routing management, making connecting various resources easier without excessive complexity. The hub-and-spoke model also provides greater visibility into the network, making it easier to troubleshoot and resolve issues when they arise.

Scribble of how it would look in a hub & spoke configuration.

Use cases.

Virtual WAN can connect geographically dispersed branch offices with a central office. Companies with multiple locations worldwide can benefit from the simplified management and improved performance that the service provides, ensuring seamless communication and collaboration between branches.

Another scenario where it can be helpful is in enabling secure access for remote workers. With the growing remote work trend, companies can provide their employees with reliable and secure access to corporate resources from anywhere without sacrificing security or performance.

In cases where an organization has a hybrid cloud infrastructure, the Virtual WAN can connect on-premises data centers with Azure cloud resources. This enables institutions to utilize Azure's scalability and flexibility while maintaining existing on-premises investments.

Using the VHub model as a central hub, mergers and acquisitions can be integrated into more direct and secure connections between disparate networks with minimal disruption.

SD-WAN capabilities

SD-WAN, or Software-Defined Wide Area Network, is a capability that can benefit organizations looking to optimize their network infrastructure. SD-WAN is a technology that simplifies the management and operation of WANs by decoupling the networking hardware from its control mechanism, allowing for more flexibility and centralized control.

Supported partner vendor solutions have out-of-the-box options that can take in a simple configuration and integrate entire branches in minutes rather than hours. This means that with a few clicks & typing in authentication data for AAD, you can have a branch set up and secured.

Azure Virtual WAN partners, regions, and available locations
This article contains a list of Azure Virtual WAN partners and available locations.

Does that mean that only supported systems can be connected to Azure WAN? No, it means that out-of-the-box configuration is not supported with all systems, but as long as they support IPSec, nothing should stop you from using it.

I, for one, connected a Ubiquity Edge Router and a Dream Machine to a Virtual WAN, and it worked without a problem. It required some configuration but nothing that cannot be done without some networking knowledge and search-FU.


I have yet to talk about the solution's pricing as it's pretty complicated; Azure Pricing is your friend in this case. It's not a cheap solution, and any implementation should require extensive planning as to how to implement it but once implemented correctly, it simplifies at lot any future expansion.

Pricing Calculator | Microsoft Azure
Configure and estimate the costs for Azure products and features for your specific scenarios.

The solution can solve highly complex networking problems regarding isolation and traffic control when integrated with the Azure Firewall. A complete network re-architecture can be done to incorporate the service, and it can be an excellent starter for current and future compliance purposes.

That being said, I hope your learned something and as always, have a good one!