Software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) are in high demand, and for good reason. The flexibility inherent in a cloud-delivered SD-WAN offers businesses multiple answers to their specific networking needs, including Over The Top (OTT), a hybrid of broadband IP VPN and MPLS, or a fully broadband IP VPN. While there is no one right answer for all, today many businesses choose a hybrid architecture because of their investment in an existing MPLS infrastructure or because they are looking for an additional layer of redundancy. Increasingly, though, businesses are choosing to eliminate their dependency on MPLS and move to a full SD-WAN solution.
SD-WAN lets you route your high-value traffic over your best connections and send the rest over lower-cost links layered with quality of service (QoS) controls. In other words, you can optimize bandwidth and decrease dependency on more expensive MPLS links.
Because of these cost advantages, SD-WAN adoption is on fire. IDC estimates that worldwide SD-WAN infrastructure and services revenues will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 70 percent through 2021. That’s not a typo – it’s growing at seventy percent. MPLS, on the other hand, will grow at about four percent over the same period.
The logic behind this meteoric adoption rate is a no-brainer: Since MPLS connections can cost hundreds of dollars a month per location, and SD-WAN can run over inexpensive broadband connections, why purchase a high-priced pipe for MPLS? Instead, use SD-WAN to put your critical, real-time data on the MPLS link and put the rest on low-cost broadband. The savings can go to the bottom line, or, better yet, create room in your budget for the cloud, software, security and other managed services your organization needs to compete in today’s marketplace. And since you now have two connections, you have an instant redundancy play.
For small and medium businesses (SMBs) with multiple locations, this all adds up to a game-changing marketplace equalizer. Each branch office can use whatever inexpensive connectivity transport is available in its market, while reaping the benefits of secure, cloud-based WAN connectivity capable of handling its bandwidth-intensive, critical applications.
TPx enables SMBs to leverage 4G LTE to deploy SD-WAN at locations where they have scant or unreliable wireline connectivity options. They can now quickly get those sites up and running faster without landline provisioning delays. (Remember, all SD-WAN solutions are not created equal.) SD-WAN offers SMBs utilizing virtual networks the WAN networking horsepower typically enjoyed by large enterprises, without breaking the bank or breaking a sweat.
SD-WAN’s benefits are compelling:
- SD-WAN routes traffic based on office location, time of day, service level measurements, system delays or any other desired performance threshold.
- “Intelligent routing” means that each location gets the best possible application performance, providing a fast and responsive user experience that increases employee productivity and operational efficiency.
- SD-WAN basically installs itself. You simply plug in an appliance (sometimes called an “edge device”) that’s preconfigured to connect to the company’s network. Then IT staff back at headquarters can easily configure the site’s firewall, security and other networking settings.
- By adding SD-WAN to a unified communications solution like UCx, you can improve call and video quality over your basic broadband connections.
- SD-WAN can automatically reroute Internet traffic and VoIP phone service using the Internet or network connection of another location, so there’s zero downtime.
The TPx team is helping companies of all sizes leverage SD-WAN for greater network efficiency and performance. Reach out to your TPx representative today to learn how SD-WAN can help your company.
About the Author
Matt Mair is a Senior Product Marketing Manager for Managed Services. His role includes marketing and communications for TPx’s suite of managed IT offerings including Managed SD-WAN, LAN Monitoring, Office 365, Endpoints Management, Colocation and Server Backup solutions. Matt holds an MBA from Michigan State University’s Broad School of Business and resides in Los Angeles.