What the C-Suite Should Know About SD-WAN

A range of critical responsibilities fall on the shoulders of a company’s C-suite, including making decisions surrounding the organization’s technology. These systems are critical for supporting daily enterprise processes and can help facilitate productivity and collaboration. For these reasons, it’s essential that executives are educated and have an understanding about the benefits that advanced solutions can bring to their business.

Recently, software defined WAN technology has been making waves in the enterprise sector. There are a few critical things that C-level executives should know here, including:

1) Demand for the technology is exploding

The buzz surrounding SD-WAN solutions has reached a tipping point. According to a 2016 IDC report, the market is poised for explosive growth in the next few years as enterprises increasingly adopt the technology within their critical infrastructure. Researchers predict that the market will likely experience an astounding 90 percent compound annual growth rate, enabling it to expand from its 2015 value of $225 million to $6 billion by 2020.

This translates to one very important takeaway for the C-suite: If your company isn’t considering SD-WAN technology, you can bet that your competitors are. SD-WANs offer a range of important benefits that can bolster and enhance the way services are delivered to customers. In this way, organizations that don’t have an SD-WAN in place not only risk falling behind in the marketplace – they could also be losing customers to their more tech-savvy competitors.

2) It’s an alternative approach to the traditional WAN

It’s also important to understand that SD-WAN solutions build off of the technology that today’s enterprises already have in place, improving upon the network’s current capabilities to enhance overall performance.

“SD-WAN is an alternative approach to designing and deploying enterprise WANs,” TechTarget editor Jessica Scarpati wrote. “It aims to replace traditional branch routers with appliances that use virtualization, application-level policies and network overlays to make several consumer-grade Internet links behave like a dedicated circuit.”

In this way, SD-WAN represents an upgrade of sorts for the network, enabling it to better keep up with the other advanced systems and assets it underpins.

“Ensuring top-notch performance is one of the most attractive advantages of SD-WAN solutions.”

3) It can be customized according to the needs of the business

One of the best benefits of SD-WANs is the ability to prioritize certain types of traffic over others. In other words, an employee that is surfing the web or doing some online shopping on their lunch break isn’t going to take support away from a co-worker using video conferencing to connect with a client.

But the advantages don’t end with traffic prioritization. SD-WANs enable the business to customize this capability with specific policies that support its unique needs. This gives the company and its IT administrators complete control over the way the network treats different types of traffic.

4) It can alleviate common network issues

Ensuring top-notch performance is one of the most attractive advantages of SD-WAN solutions. This technology works proactively to prevent common problems like latency, jitter and packet loss. These are issues that are experienced by users in nearly every enterprise environment, and can considerably hamper the use of critical applications and real-time platforms, in particular.

With an SD-WAN in place, these pain points become things of the past. The solution measures each path across the network for availability, and uses this intelligence to select the best route for each data packet. In this way, paths that might be impacted by jitter or packet loss are avoided in favor of more robust, performance-supporting paths.

5) It can help lessen connectivity costs

In addition to preventing network problems and ensuring performance – which translates to happy, productive employees – SD-WAN solutions can also help a business save a considerable amount on its connectivity costs. This is thanks to the technology’s ability to utilize several different types of links to create a cohesive, supportive network.

This is especially true for companies that rely on MPLS. As TechTarget pointed out, Internet circuits like Ethernet, DSL and cable can come at one-third the cost of traditional MPLS.

“The ultimate goal is to eliminate or reduce the need for private WAN technologies like MPLS – plagued by long provisioning times and expensive contracts – while also making the WAN more responsive and less complex,” Scarpati wrote.

SD-WAN solutions can enable enterprises to ditch expensive MPLS links in favor of more cost-effective and quality-efficient options.
SD-WAN solutions can enable enterprises to ditch expensive MPLS links in favor of more cost-effective and quality-efficient options.

6) It can make branch connectivity management a breeze

SD-WAN solutions can also reduce the complexity involved in managing branch connectivity needs. The technology offers boosted visibility into all network activity, including tasks taking place at each branch office.

“The intention is to simplify setup so that the only thing branch office personnel need to do is plug in a cable for the appliance to ‘phone home’ and automatically receive its configuration from a central controller,” Scarpati pointed out.

As branch offices don’t usually have the robust IT staff seen at the company’s main headquarters, an SD-WAN is ideal for this use case.

7) There are different SD-WAN solutions

Finally, it’s critical for the C-suite to understand the range of software-defined options they have at their fingertips. In addition to SD-WAN solutions, Talari also offers hybrid WAN, Internet-as-WAN and WAN-to-Cloud solutions to ensure that today’s enterprises have everything they need to improve their network.

To find out more about how these solutions are leveraged in real-life settings, check out some of our case studies. And contact Talari for a custom demonstration of our technology and market leading SD-WAN solution today.

Categories: Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN), Application Performance/Application Quality, IT Challenges, WAN to Cloud, Network Reliability, Internet as WAN (MPLS Alternatives), Hybrid WAN