Traditional WAN architectures no longer fulfill the requirements of most branch office networks. These conventional WANs are patchworks of slow, error-prone manual processes, legacy equipment and outdated tech for handling essential tasks like routing and backup. As such, they cannot deliver the scalability, sustained bandwidth and overall performance necessary for supporting numerous new virtual users and the distributed real-time apps they rely on.
Legacy WAN Architectures Cannot Keep Up
The transition to such digital transformation solutions, usually delivered as IaaS or SaaS, is only accelerating and exposing the shortcomings of legacy WANs:
- A November 2016 IDG Enterprise survey found that 70 percent of enterprises already ran at least one cloud-based application and that another 16 percent had plans to do so within a year. The average respondent spent $1.6 million yearly on cloud computing services, with the primary goal of that investment being lower total cost of ownership (TCO).
- According to the 2017 TechTarget IT Priorities Survey of network engineers, 49 percent said their firms would invest in new software and systems this year to modernize their WANs. Software defined WAN technologies, network virtualization and branch office connectivity were all among the top ten networking initiatives for 2017.
- McKinsey has documented a broad shift away from traditional on-premises and virtualized infrastructures to public IaaS as well as virtual and dedicated private clouds. By 2018, those three are expected to be the primary environments for over half of all IT workloads.
Older WAN topologies routinely become congested when confronted with modern apps for voice, video, chat and social media, which are some of the key catalysts of these changes to IT operations and business processes. The mixed traffic of such applications is problematic for manually configured static routing, often overwhelming the WAN and resulting in subpar bandwidth allocation, unpredictable latency and costly over-provisioning across the network. TCO will inevitably rise in these circumstances as resources are underutilized.
A Failsafe SD-WAN: Your Ticket to a Service-Assured Network Quality
To reliably respond to this surging demand on edge networks at branches, network admins can turn to SD-WANs. These newer architectures ensure consistent performance for real-time apps, as well as reduced TCO through process automation and the consolidation of multiple functions, legacy devices and inefficient circuits.
An SD-WAN can route each packet based on what bandwidth is best matched with the packet's protocol. This way, apps such as VoIP and video that are highly sensitive to jitter, latency and packet loss can be prioritized over ones that are less critical to the business.
"An SD-WAN intelligently routes each packet."
Manual network configuration and change management is both time-consuming and expensive, leading to downtime and poor availability that sap productivity. SD-WAN automates many of these activities, while also performing tasks such as selective packet duplication to ensure instant failover.
An SD-WAN enables simpler infrastructure throughout the WAN. For example, dedicated security hardware and fragile, endlessly layered legacy systems can be replaced in software that aggregates bandwidth and makes intelligent decisions about which path to send traffic down. Learn more about your SD-WAN options by requesting a custom demo or contacting Talari Networks directly.