IT is Evolving. So Should Your WAN. Here’s Why

Business has changed in the past ten years. The Cloud. Mobility. A global marketplace for even mid-size companies. Here’s what that means for your wide area network (WAN):

Applications used to communicate with servers in the data center, a reality reflected in WAN engineering. MPLS-based networks typically use a hub-and- spoke design where offices send all of their traffic to data center. Even though Internet traffic may be destined for a site near an office, all Internet traffic is backhauled to the data center for security reason, often adding latency and degrading Internet performance.

Voice, video, CRM and more – WANs accommodate many types of applications each with unique requirements. Some require significant bandwidth; others require low latency. Routing protocols do not provide for those differences, forcing IT to overprovision bandwidth.
Many factors, most notably video adoption, are driving users to consume far more bandwidth. With more bandwidth, comes an even greater sensitivity to the amount being spent on bandwidth each month.

With mounting cyber threats, securing traffic in transit is no longer an option. It is a requirement. Traditional WANs pass traffic in the clear, a luxury the New WAN cannot afford.
The pace of business has increased, pushing IT to respond in kind. Time to market is critical to capitalizing on new opportunities.

With so many applications and many different kinds of users, insight into the WAN is more critical than ever. Many WAN monitoring tools, fail to differentiate between business-critical Internet applications and general Internet browsing.

Do you want to fly an engineer out to set up a new office? Probably not. The WANs of old presumed on-site personnel to configure and adapt the network. The on-demand business of today is lean and mean with little tolerance for complex configuration and installation.
With more applications and resources available online, non- stop availability is more important for large and small offices.

The New WAN

The New WAN allows businesses to safely and securely use broadband Internet connections instead of private data services, such as MPLS. By leveraging broadband, business receives costs and agility with intelligent network design, businesses receive a more cost-effective, agile, and reliable WAN.

To protect the data in flight, the New WAN builds a secure overlay across all underlying transport services. Connecting locations to redundant networks improves uptime and reliability. Dual-homing locations was possible with MPLS, but those connections still used a single network. Sites may have achieved local loop redundancy, but a brownout or blackout within the carrier’s MPLS network would still impact both connections.

What’s more, the high cost of MPLS bandwidth and routing complexities meant that only one connection can be fully utilized at a time. The result: a wasted or underutilized resource.

The new WAN, though, can connect locations to different Internet providers using different access technologies, such as DSL and LTE. Offices gain resiliency at a price point untouched by MPLS.

The New WAN can involve only broadband connections with an SD-WAN or a combination of broadband and MPLS with a Hybrid network. Which is right for you? Find out below:

Why SD-WAN? Why Hybrid?