Why SD-WAN Streamlines Set Up of Multiple RBOs

Have you ever tried running a PC game or similarly demanding program on a system that just couldn't handle it? At best, you'll get some downgraded graphics and slower loading times. At worst, things might move along at a glacial place if at all, similar to the 1986 Apple Mac Plus (with a 8 MHz CPU and only 4 MB of RAM) that someone managed to connect to the Internet a few years ago so it could take literal minutes to render pages. The experience is all the more frustrating since you are right in assuming that there are superior, contemporary alternatives out there.

Likewise, remote branch offices (RBOs) too often have to settle for such second-tier access to key applications, especially ones based in the cloud. The "hair-pinning" of traffic from these remote sites back through a main data center incurs major performance penalties. End users notice the results of this double hop traffic forwarding over both WAN and Internet links in their subpar experiences of common apps like Salesforce, Microsoft Office 365 and other SaaS solutions.

Plus, there's the added expense of utilizing pricey MPLS and complex security infrastructure to sustain this legacy setup. The upshot is that RBOs are afterthoughts. They don't get the best possible connections to the cloud, nor do they receive timely updates, expansions or maintenance visits, since the WAN is administered site-by-site and heavily dependent upon expensive service plans.

Minimum System Requirements for a Better Branch Experience

How can today's remote and branch offices be better aligned with modern cloud-centric requirements? Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) leaders have answered this question with solutions combining highly centralized visibility, intelligent decision-making – based on millisecond-measurements of path quality – and support for economical WAN Internet links, like broadband.

For instance, commodity WAN Internet can be used alongside MPLS for substantial savings. Gartner once estimated a WAN with 250 branches would cost $1.3 million over three years under a traditional WAN architecture, but only $452,500 with SD-WAN. That's a two-thirds reduction in expenses that can free up room in the budget for branches and remote sites.

However, the increased speed of deployment from SD-WAN can be an even bigger difference-maker at the branch level. In the past, branch expansions were limited by:

  • Shortages of technical personnel at individual sites, necessitating on-site visits for upgrades and technical support.
  • The need to re-allocate and reconfigure bandwidth at every single office when a major WAN change was rolled out.
  • Frequent downtime stemming from aging IT infrastructure and manual maintenance activities.

With SD-WAN, the combination of centralized management and WAN Internet links dramatically simplifies the expansion process. System-wide changes can be enacted in seconds, without the protracted and costly ordeal of procuring additional MPLS and jumping from branch to branch making sure all i's are dotted and t's are crossed.

The Future of the Branch Is Here, Delivered by SD-WAN Leaders

According to IDC, revenue from SD-WAN services and infrastructures is expected to expand at a 69.6 percent compound annual growth rate from 2016 to 2021, reaching more than $8 billion. The evolving operational requirements of branch offices will be one of the key drivers of this rapid growth. MPLS might not go away anytime soon, but its prominence could be diminished as commodity Internet with QoS through SD-WAN becomes increasingly common.

SD-WAN leaders like Talari Networks offer the advanced solutions you need to jumpstart your branch office and remote site strategy. Set up a demo to learn more, or click below to see how we are already transforming the cloud connectivity experience.

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