12 Jun Increase Bandwidth and Decrease Cost with SD-WAN
If you’re like most companies, all your traffic is not equal. Some traffic is time sensitive, other traffic is not. Some of your applications devour tons of bandwidth, others do not. SD-WAN is a smart approach to managing your traffic flows. It can choose the appropriate path for all your network traffic types. Today many companies use MPLS to carry all their site-to-site traffic and some even backhaul Internet traffic over MPLS, this is, to say the least, not a cost-effective solution precisely because MPLS is an expensive means of transport.
Software Defined – Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) delivers on the promise of matching application SLAs to circuit performance. When multiple paths are available, SD-WAN will select the path based on the application being used, and the destination of that traffic. This promise, allows enterprises to reduce their spend on WAN connectivity, because they can reduce or eliminate their reliance/spend on MPLS and make use of all the available bandwidth at the locations, no longer in an active/backup design. Client’s dormant backup paths (in traditional networking) become active forwarding paths within SD-WAN making better use of all available bandwidth at a location.
For example, email (on premise deployment) typically isn’t a time-sensitive application, and bandwidth demand can vary. Thus, email does not need a low latency, high quality path to deliver the service; in SD-WAN this traffic would be identified and transported over the lowest cost path available at that time. On the other hand, your VoIP and HD Video Conferencing solutions demand low latency and a high-quality path to deliver on that application’s SLAs. In SD-WAN this traffic will be delivered over a path matching the application SLAs. Otherwise, you’re going to spend a lot of time playing the “can you hear me now?” game at the expense of actually doing business.
SD-WAN uses Application Aware Routing (AAR) and circuit performance. The transport type (MPLS, Direct Internet, Broadband, etc.) becomes transparent to SD-WAN. It looks at how that circuit is performing (latency, jitter, congestion, etc.) and also looks at the application being sent and chooses the correct path to take based on the requirements of that application.
Perhaps most attractive to the contemporary business is the simplicity of the solution. Everything is controlled from a single control panel, which allows for low-touch deployments, the configuration is built in the controller and it will be pushed to the on-premises device (physical or virtual) once the device is plugged in and connected to the network. This doesn’t just save time and money when you open a new office, it also makes your life a lot easier in the event of hardware failure.
SD-WAN offers solutions for businesses of all sizes operating over large geographical areas, as well as any company currently spending more than they might on a service like MPLS, or not getting the speed and security they would like out of traditional broadband. You’re not welded to your WAN provider, SD-WAN is carrier agonistic, choose any available service provider at any of your locations. You can even farm out the management of your SD-WAN and WAN connectivity to BCM One, freeing up your IT team to work on more pressing — and profitable — tasks.