MPLS, Broadband, Wireless: Get a Low TCO for Any Connection with SD-WAN

One of the main drivers of software-defined WAN adoption has been the shift from on-premises IT to hybrid-cloud workloads. According to a 2017 McKinsey survey, IT professionals are increasingly using private clouds as well as public IaaS platforms as their primary environments:

  • In 2015, 77 percent of CIOs stated that a traditional environment was their main one; that share is expected to drop to 43 percent by 2018.
  • Dedicated private cloud, virtual private cloud and IaaS were all under 40 percent on this metric in 2015, but projected to surpass 50 percent apiece by 2018.

Such changes have made MPLS less compelling as the sole transport option, since it was never designed with distributed cloud applications in mind. Its limitations have opened the door for SD-WANs that offer augmented cost-effective bandwidth and heterogeneous connectivity. Instead of backhauling traffic through a data center via MPLS, enterprises can also utilize broadband links that are centrally aggregated and monitored by a solution using SD-WAN and WAN optimization an SD-WAN solution.

The Path to Lower TCO for MPLS, Internet and Overall WAN Connectivity

Legacy WAN MPLS connections are costly to scale and technologically limited, which constrains efficiency of cloud applications and distributed workforces. Per-megabit pricing structures make MPLS bandwidth alone expansion prohibitively expensive. Even with more network resources, you would be limited to whatever local loops (e.g., T1 circuits) were accessible to your MPLS carrier.

SD-WAN is an augmentation strategy to the traditional MPLS WAN, having surged to more than 4,000 production implementations as of mid-2017. All Internet WANs have also gained traction as the average worldwide broadband speed has increased. An SD-WAN can aggregate current MPLS links with broadband, even siphon off excess bandwidth from MPLS and dynamically allocate it to underperforming sites, leading to lower total cost of ownership (TCO) along with superior performance for the entire WAN.

“SD-WAN is an increasingly popular augmentation strategy to the traditional MPLS WAN.”

Taking the Burden off of MPLS

The value propositions of MPLS are its speed, achieved through short path labels that obviate the need for complex routing, and its reliability, governed by service-level agreements. A Talari Networks SD-WAN can empower you to efficiently send traffic over dependable MPLS links without having to keep adding more bandwidth, but without the granular visibility that SD-WANs provide, it’s not always clear what the cost of overprovisioning represents.

A progressive SD-WAN institutes fine-tuned Quality of Service at the network edge and cloud gateway, based on packet-by-packet prioritization and routing for demanding applications, such as voice and video, that have complex traffic and must be delivered to multiple branch sites. With such networked intelligence across your WAN, you can avoid having to expand your MPLS lines, and in turn you get more value from your existing MPLS investment.

Broadening the Transport Mix

In addition to leveraging greater TCO from MPLS, conduits such as LTE, microwave and broadband are all viable transport options for a modern SD-WAN. They can be aggregated so that your apps have access to sufficient redundant bandwidth that is always on reserve, along with flexible QoS and constant path evaluation. These technical advantages translate into benefits for the entire business: For example, a diversified SD-WAN makes branch office expansion, mergers and acquisitions much easier than they would be with an MPLS WAN, thanks to reduced complexity and lead times.

Talari Networks is your partner on the journey to SD-WAN. Contact us today or request a demo to get started.

Categories: IT Challenges, Internet as WAN (MPLS Alternatives), Hybrid WAN, Enhance WAN Optimization