Changing The Status Quo For Network Reliability

What happens when the corporate network goes down? Workers lose access to critical applications like email, ERP, VoIP and UC, making it difficult to coordinate with others around the building and/or in branch and remote offices. Moreover, project deadlines become difficult to meet and IT has to deal with a surge in technical support requests.

In light of the global scale of many of today’s businesses, this network downtime can turn out to be very expensive, to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars for each lost hour. A survey from 2014 conducted by research firm Gartner discovered that the average cost of network downtime was around $5,600 per minute, or more than $300,000 per hour.

Resetting expectations for WAN outages and network downtime
It is not surprising that problems with a company LAN or WAN can be so disruptive. What is at least a bit surprising, though, is how many organizations have come to regard frequent and deeply problematic outages as “normal” events and unavoidable costs of doing business today.

“87% admitted their WANs were the sources of occasional or frequent negative impact.”

Research from Ashton, Metzler & Associates, in its 2014 State of the WAN Report, revealed that 87 percent of IT professionals admitted to their WANs being the sources of occasional or frequent negative impact, such as quality degradation or downtime, on core applications. Uptime was one of their top two cited concerns about utilization of both MPLS (23.7 percent) and broadband Internet (28 percent) links. Cost and security were the others for MPLS and broadband, respectively.

Each year, the average company can expect to deal with 14 WAN-related incidents that adversely affect its critical services for video, voice and cloud. WAN failure also remains one of the leading causes of general network downtime, alongside manual configuration errors and environmental issues like power outages and temperature fluctuations.

Should these on-and-off struggles with the WAN qualify as facts of life for IT departments everywhere? Perhaps so, if a traditional WAN is still running the show. With software-defined and hybrid WAN, however, there is the opportunity to reset an organization’s expectations for the incidence and mitigation of outages and downtime. Hybrid WAN enables better aggregation and utilization of bandwidth, as well as reliable enforcement of priorities in failover situations.

Make the most of your bandwidth by improving WAN.Make the most of your bandwidth by improving WAN.

The hybrid WAN: Boosting network reliability through bandwidth aggregation
Outages remain widespread and costly, but this does not mean that companies have to treat them as inevitabilities. For starters, having a disaster recovery plan in place can lay the groundwork for effectively responding to an incident. Plus it is low-hanging fruit: Over half of organizations do not currently have one. Taking this step and rethinking the WAN makes an enormous difference in staying ahead of the causes of downtime.

In tandem with recovery planning, implementing a hybrid WAN creates a path toward higher network reliability and a reduced number of WAN-related outages. Hybrid WAN – combining MPLS and broadband Internet links (or any other link type) – addresses shortcomings in traditional WANs by finding the best possible path and bandwidth for each application across aggregated network resources. Say that an MPLS link connecting a remote office suffers from a sudden degradation, despite having theoretically “guaranteed” quality. With traditional WAN, this failure would be costly on its own.

In this context, it is easy to see why frequent, challenging outages are sometimes seen as “normal” – especially when a solution like a hybrid WAN is not in place to seamlessly handle the issue on the spot. Fortunately, hybrid WAN is emerging as the answer to session drops and suboptimal bandwidth utilization. All traffic gets access to all links (i.e., MPLS and broadband Internet), reducing the probability of failure while also obviating the need to invest in extra MPLS bandwidth simply to hedge against WAN outages.

Critical applications, hybrid WAN and the new normal for network reliability
For critical applications, the hybrid WAN is also an asset as high-priority traffic gets the best possible path over the network, without interruption from low-priority packets and with less overall congestion.

No one expects a world without any network outages. But thanks to software defined hybrid WANs, expectations for acceptable network reliability are rising. Priorities enforcement, secure data, improved application quality and precise measurement of each network path are just a few of the competencies that network teams increasingly looks for from their WANs. The spread of these features will make outages less frequent and much more manageable. With Talari, network outages go unnoticed because the WAN can think for itself and route around any issues in real time. So, businesses no longer have to accept poor reliability as the status quo with a software defined THINKING WAN from Talari.

Request a demo and change the status quo.


Categories: Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN), Business Agility, Hybrid WAN