Beyond Cost Savings: 4 Other Benefits SD-WAN Brings to the Table

For years, cost savings topped the list of reasons for switching to software-defined WANs (SD-WANs) in the ZK Research/Tech Target WAN Survey. In 2017, it fell to third place, well behind top finisher "increase WAN agility" and runner-up "shorten provisioning times." This sudden shift might seem surprising, but it makes sense considering the more advanced improvements are now achievable with SD-WANs.

SD-WAN Versus MPLS Savings Are Only the Beginning

Cost reduction is the low-hanging fruit of SD-WAN benefits. Compared to sticking with a current MPLS plan, SD-WAN is almost always more economical, primarily due to its support for other modes of transport like commodity Internet. Gartner estimated a 250-branch deployment would cost only one-third as much over three years as an MPLS one.

However, the SD-WAN versus MPLS debate often leaves out the facts that simply re-negotiating an MPLS service contract can considerably lower WAN expenses, too. MPLS links are also integral parts of many SD-WANs, meaning their elimination is often not the central value proposition of an upgrade.

Today's SD-WAN vendors and their solutions can deliver far more than less expensive network, with four of the most prominent benefits including:

1. Centralized Management

Configuring, monitoring and analyzing the entire WAN is straightforward with SD-WAN. By leaving behind the costly, inflexible architectures of standard WANs, it's possible to realize a truly agile WAN that is responsive to rapidly evolving requirements. For example, the Quality of Experience (aka QoE) engine from Talari Networks ensures changes in network conditions are detected quickly and remediated without disruption to end users.

2. A Better User Experience for Cloud Apps

SaaS apps are staples of productivity, yet poorly supported by legacy WANs, which enact significant performance penalties on them when backhauling their traffic through data centers. SD-WANs take a more streamlined approach, with only a single hop thanks to direct cloud connectivity. Plus, tight integrations with tools from partners such as Zscaler and Palo Alto Networks enable a network that is high-performing without compromising on any essential security protections. End users see the benefits in the improved usability of everyday applications.

3. Scalable Bandwidth

The frequent need for additional bandwidth contributes to the high price tag of traditional WANs. In contrast, SD-WANs make the full aggregated bandwidth of the networks, regardless of the underlying transport types, available to critical applications such as videoconferencing and VoIP. MPLS, broadband, cellular and satellite links can be incorporated into the SD-WAN to diversify the transport mix and optimize performance as well as cost.

4. Zero-Touch Provisioning

Remote and branch offices (RBO) often get left behind in the struggle to properly configure their network services. Awkward preconfiguration of devices and time-consuming on-site visits may be required. SD-WAN dramatically simplifies RBO setup, allowing for easier expansions and updates across the entire organization.

Talari Networks is a proven Failsafe SD-WAN vendor with a unique solution for modernizing your connectivity.. Click the banner below or set up a demo to learn more today.

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