SD-WAN is becoming more mainstream as businesses choose it to aid in digital transformation, but many businesses are still quite reluctant and largely unwilling to rip out their existing MPLS and wholly replace it with broadband. SD-WAN networks can be used to replace and augment legacy MPLS services for connectivity. Generally an SD-WAN virtualizes the network functions that run on the network infrastructure so they can run as software on commodity hardware whereas MPLS technology runs on proprietary hardware. SD-WAN connections can be dedicated lines or public networks while MPLS is defined by its dedicated lines.
Buying MPLS private connections is costly, they are difficult to configure and they can take a long time to implement. Additionally, underperforming networks, with not enough bandwidth, latency issues, throughput, error rate and jitter, adds significant cost to the business. These network challenges reduce productivity, interrupt sales and create future problems due to a negative customer experience.
Analysts predict a decline in new MPLS installations or price erosion on MPLS links as the number of SD-WAN implementations continue to grow as MPLS contracts come up for renewals. SD-WAN has the ability to route traffic with application priority and additional benefits of augmenting the network with secondary and tertiary best effort connections. Furthermore, a global SD-WAN can now be implemented as a network as a service (NaaS) to adapt to constantly shifting bandwidth needs and connectivity to cloud applications.
Traditional WANs were not built for cloud. Today’s enterprise has a mix of applications hosted in various environments – enterprise data centers, on-premises, public or private clouds, and other SaaS solutions. Organizations of every size need to leverage their transport services be it MPLS, LTE, or broadband or dedicated internet in order to securely connect their users (remote or not) to applications. They need to ensure mission-critical applications are easily and intelligently routed, secure, and have priority accessibility versus applications using the Internet. SD-WAN improves options for security and helps reduce threats, it simplifies branch WAN architecture and while it can sometimes increase costs, the customer gets more for their money.
- Allows for business first networking model: ensuring performance, security and routing are mandated from top down business policies and eliminating network configurations one device at a time.
- WAN optimization
- Agility and better application performance
- Improved network efficiency with intelligent routing, stabilization of cloud-connected resources, and the easy management of remote networks.
- Network traffic segmentation across the WAN to limit and contain security threats; SD-WAN edge allows for bundling cloud security services across various applications
- Some SD-WAN platforms enable streamlined and aligned multi-cloud environments: providing automation for new cloud instances and application additions
Typically, SD-WAN is deployed for the purpose of failover and redundancy with the added benefit of improved application performance. It has become the mainstay for remote employees to access cloud-based apps and connect to multi-cloud environments.
According to The New World of Networking report, 74% of more than 500 IT professionals surveyed believe SD-WAN would strongly complement their other WAN solutions and 44% having already deployed SD-WAN to some degree.
Organizations have the option to deploy SD-WAN as a virtual or physical appliance at branch locations, or in cloud environments like AWS, avoiding direct cloud connect charges, and manage from a central management console.
As your telecom and IT solutions expert, REACH takes pride in keeping you connected. We leverage our expertise and resources to help you manage carrier relationships, maintain high levels of customer service, and keep your focus on allocating your employees to revenue-generating responsibilities. Leverage our full suite of services and learn more about the benefits of SD-WAN and deployments that fit your particular business needs. Get in touch with us today by calling Valerie at 715-330-4200 or filling out our contact form.