Time for SD-WAN: Why MPLS Costs More than Money

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Time for SD-WAN: Why MPLS Costs More than Money

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Category : SD WAN

The only truly scarce commodity in business is time. You can’t create time, so it must be spent wisely. The most successful organizations are ones that always find ways to be more efficient and productive with their time; leading to a low cost structure, high customer satisfaction and good employee morale.

Over the past 20 years, MPLS became entrenched as the gold-standard of WAN transport and many organizations have found a way to absorb the high cost and inefficiencies inherent in MPLS. Why? Because with technology, there’s a strong tendency to stay with what you already know so it’s no surprise that most organizations have not spent time looking to escape their MPLS WAN. But things are changing quickly.

The rise of cloud computing has exposed “real world” limitations of MPLS and created a new reality where it is draining knowledge worker productivity. Whether it’s a new site deployment, an employee running cloud applications, or an IT engineer configuring the network, MPLS is wasting your time. Successful organizations may be able to spend twice as much money to maintain the status quo with MPLS, but when you consider the new SD-WAN math, you save time and money. So the question is, What are you waiting for?

SD-WAN is about accelerating productivity.  SD-WAN enables your organization to collaborate and innovate at 10 times the speed of MPLS. Putting aside the 50% TCO savings from SD-WAN, the fact is cloud-driven organizations can’t afford to waste another minute waiting on MPLS.  Given the efficiency of SD-WAN it is no wonder that late 2017 marks the tipping point; according to IDC, the SD-WAN market is projected to grow to $8 billion in annual revenues by the year 2021.

3 Key Areas Where MPLS Is Wasting Your Time

1.) Site Deployments  First, MPLS circuits have notoriously long provisioning times. This delays new branch deployments hugely.  “There’s simply no fast way to deploy MPLS,” explains Futuriom Founder and Chief Analyst, Scott Raynovich, during a recent webinar presentation of his SD-WAN Growth Outlook. “It often takes months, not weeks or days.”

2.) Worker Productivity — With cloud applications on the rise, MPLS is unnecessarily slowing down day-to-day worker productivity. Cloud applications running over MPLS can be sluggish, disrupting the flow of productivity by causing workers to waste time waiting on their network instead of focusing on their tasks.  The two primary causes of slow cloud performance are relatively low MPLS bandwidth speeds, which is exacerbated by indirect routes connecting users to their cloud applications. “MPLS is designed to support point-to-point data centers, not cloud,” describes Raynovich. “Now you have people going out to the cloud with applications like Salesforce CRM, Box and Office365 and the performance of these applications is really the productivity of your business.”3.) Network Engineering Time — These MPLS deficiencies didn’t just spring up overnight, they are part of MPLS’s DNA. IT teams have been spending precious time combating these issues for years. Branch router complexity has been increasing and WAN optimization appliances are often inserted to overcome MPLS limitations. Maintaining the old WAN model requires specialized knowledge and hands-on configuration. Bottom line, your IT team is spending too much time supporting your MPLS network. An engineer’s time and expertise is highly valuable, so according to Raynovich the question is, “as a corporation, do you want this person spending their time on manual router configurations, or do you want to free them up to service customers or for projects that create even more value?”

SD-WAN Accelerates Innovation

Technology is now driving the business ecosystem, from internal teams, to supply chains, to customer interactions. At some level, every major business initiative relies on skilled IT personnel to connect, integrate and operate the software and systems that help you compete and win in the market.  To accelerate key initiatives, organizations must shift their best and brightest technology minds away from basic network operations functionality so they can focus on strategic, revenue-impacting technology initiatives.

SD-WAN simplifies branch networking through network function virtualization.  Centralized orchestration brings network automation and efficiency to a new level. SD-WAN performance and resiliency radically reduces the amount of IT time spent reacting to network outages and trouble tickets.  Network-as-a-Service offerings maximize IT time savings, providing a fully managed SD-WAN solution including solution design, network integration, ongoing branch orchestration and even the SDN overlay transport network to connect all your sites, users and applications.

SD-WAN Accelerates Productivity

When application performance is sluggish, it can interrupt the user’s stream-of-consciousness which brings productivity and innovation to a screeching halt. SD-WAN eliminates last-mile MPLS bottlenecks that leave users starving for bandwidth, enhancing throughput and productivity for everyone including remote offices, mobile workers and even IoT devices.

SD-WAN is an overlay technology that works with your existing technology ecosystem, powering the software, systems and connections you already use to run way, way faster. From the employee perspective, SD-WAN is a seamless and transparent productivity boost.  Existing employee workflows are accelerated because SD-WAN provides faster access to business-critical cloud services, with 10X the bandwidth speed and more direct, low-latency routes to power cloud applications.

SD-WAN Accelerates Growth

When multi-site organizations look to expand, they need to enter new markets and that leads to opening new sites in new territories. SD-WAN eliminates the long wait times for MPLS circuit deployments, so you won’t need to wait months to turn-up a new site.

SD-WAN provides customers the freedom to connect using any locally available circuits and/or carriers in the last-mile.  Versatility to use any Cable, DSL or even 4G/LTE connections allows new sites to be online in days. Once the last mile loops are installed, SD-WAN CPE are shipped overnight and remotely provisioned through a centralized orchestration portal in the time it that takes to grab a cup of coffee!


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