Three Drivers of the Growth in SD-WAN Deployments


Enterprises have long sought to redesign their wide area networks (WANs) to achieve better performance, reliability and predictability, easier management and produce substantial savings, relative to the status quo. In many cases, their traditional MPLS WAN architectures combine high costs with limited flexibility, long provisioning times, and lack of leverage with their telecom service provider, all of which limit their ability to roll out bandwidth-intensive or cloud-based applications.

SD-WAN offers a more dependable and cost-effective alternative, one that’s rapidly gained traction this decade. A 2018 IHS Markit survey of enterprises found 74 percent of them had commenced SD-WAN trials in 2017 and many were planning to put these deployments into production in 2018 and beyond. This finding squares with Gartner’s observation that total SD-WAN implementations worldwide went from virtually zero before 2014 to several thousand by 2017.

The sudden surge in the adoption of SD-WAN technology has many causes. Let’s look at three of them in more detail:

1. Increasing demands for bandwidth

UCaaS applications such as VoIP and videoconferencing, in tandem with the many new devices accessing these services, will boost the total amount of traffic passing through WANs and necessitate more bandwidth. Yet few enterprises have WAN budgets growing anywhere near 20 percent, if they are growing at all. So how can growing demand for bandwidth be met with a flat supply of network resources?
Enter SD-WAN. A failsafe solution can solve this problem by binding together different WAN connection types (including inexpensive Internet connections) into one logical network, controlling overall bandwidth costs while minimizing – and in some cases even eliminating – MPLS spend.

2. Changing requirements at branch offices

Remote sites present difficult challenges to enterprise WAN managers in the cloud era. MPLS is expensive, and so bandwidth is limited. Minimal (or no) on-site IT personnel make it critical for the WAN to be highly reliable, and easy to manage. Ideally, management and orchestration should be done centrally, not device-by-device at the branch.

Thanks to failsafe SD-WAN technology, it’s possible to fit the modern era by augmenting or replacing MPLS connectivity with inexpensive Internet connections, while ensuring MPLS-class network reliability and application performance predictability. A Talari SD-WAN enables branch rearchitecture, and even infrastructure device consolidation, without sacrificing application QoE. Network changes can be applied almost instantaneously thanks to centralized management and orchestration.

3. Cloud services and the MPLS dilemma

CIOs and enterprise computing managers are more and more interested in leveraging cloud computing services. At the same time, the traditional MPLS WAN was not designed with cloud-centric workflows in mind.

Many organizations have looked to make changes to their WAN architecture, including upgrading to SD-WAN. However, existing MPLS links represent significant investments that would be wasteful – and for many organizations, too risky – to immediately discard completely. Fortunately, they can be incorporated into SD-WANs alongside broadband Internet, cellular and occasionally even satellite links as part of one coherent network.

Talari Networks offer a failsafe SD-WAN that can address the major current challenges in economically ensuring MPLS-class high availability and application performance predictability, even when leveraging inexpensive Internet connections to augment or replace those expensive MPLS circuits. Learn more by trying a demo and checking out the free eBook below.

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