Is It Time For a New WAN Architecture Like SD-WAN?

Posted by Michael Edwards on Oct 16, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Have you reached the point where you need to start re-architecting tried and true WAN services like MPLS or point-to-point Metro Ethernet? My guess is yes. In many cases, the branch and WAN can no longer keep up. As a result, many organizations are suffering from:

  • Poor User Experience: With today’s solutions, you may get inconsistent application performance because you’re not able to steer traffic correctly to SaaS and cloud applications. There may also be long delays in enabling new connectivity.

  • Operational Complexity: As demands increase, you’re no longer able to use bandwidth in a reliable manner because you’re left at the mercy of your service providers. It’s also difficult to manage the networks, and you don’t generally get the full services out of them because you don’t have the ability to failover between links or load balance in a very effective manner.

  • Security Difficulties: MPLS and Metro Ethernet are not innately encrypted through the service provider network, opening your data to vulnerability. Cloud services compound security concerns further by adding more areas in your network to secure and protect.

In order to meet your customers’ needs, the WAN must evolve. However, re-architecting the WAN is much easier said than done. You must analyze a complex array of drivers that are changing the way you do business, including:

  • Cloud Services: Public, private, and hybrid cloud services are driving requirements around the adaptability of WAN. They must be able to service applications that are now living in private and public cloud data centers.

  • Mobility: The adoption of mobile devices — iPhones, Androids, and tablets — as well as high-end customer experience applications are driving the need to service customers in different ways. You need to deliver more in the way of Internet-facing services and secure services for mobility.

  • SaaS Applications: Many organizations are adopting solutions like Office 365 or, which use the network in much different ways than solutions of the past.

What does this mean?

You need to move away from the single-carrier, single-global WAN, single-link solutions that you’re accustomed to today and look at ways to have your WAN architecture adapt to business and application requirements wherever and whenever needed. This is where SD-WAN comes into play.


Access our on-demand webinar for an overview on the benefits of SD-WAN, including the ways it can reduce operating expenses and improve user experience.


Topics: Enterprise Networking, SD-WAN