Why are so many organizations opting for SD-WAN?
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Evidence of the need for change is all around us. The emergence of mobility, cloud and Internet of Things is placing a significant burden on corporate networks. New devices and applications are consuming unprecedented amounts of bandwidth, driving up costs and creating new kinds of complexity.
Organizations need more flexibility and responsiveness, and they need new ways of controlling and securing networks. Achieving this isn’t just important for IT; it’s increasingly important for the wider business, too.
Traditionally, MPLS has always had two main drawbacks. It’s inflexible and hard to manage. It’s also expensive. In the face of these challenges, many enterprises have attempted to use Internet as a Direct to Net solution. But this approach creates predictable problems of its own, including a lack of visibility and reliability (two areas in which MPLS typically performs well).
SD-WAN allows organizations to square the circle. By bonding multiple networks – which can include both MPLS and/or low-cost broadband — into a single hybrid network, SD-WAN allows you to leverage the positive economics of Internet connectivity.
However, by abstracting functionality into software, SD-WAN also offers network admins the kind of visibility and reliability more commonly associated with MPLS-based WANs.
The result is a solution that combines the economics of broadband with the control of MPLS. As Chalan Aras, general manager and vice-president of Citrix NetScaler SD-WAN, puts it: “Overall, SD-WAN reduces costs by up to 75% while requiring minimal change on the existing network.”
This explains the rapid adoption of SD-WAN. Gartner, for example, believes that expenditure on the technology is doubling year-on-year. Approximately 1% of enterprises have deployed SD-WAN today. By 2019, however, Gartner expects 30% of organizations to have deployed it.
WAN performance at Internet prices
We believe that SD-WAN offers organizations four key benefits:
- More bandwidth for your buck: SD-WAN binds MPLS and multiple low-cost broadband paths into a hybrid network, which allows you to maximize the capacity and performance offered by existing bandwidth. The result? WAN services at Internet prices.
- Improved reliability: SD-WAN provides reliability for business-critical applications such as VDI, application virtualization, VoIP, videconferencing, ERP and CRM.
- Simplified management: the abstraction of higher-level functionality into software allows network administrators to more easily manage network services. SD-WAN allows the rapid rollout – and subsequent adjustment – of WAN services in remote offices without on-site IT support.
- Evolutionary migration: you can deploy SD-WAN without changing existing MPLS networks. Over time, however, you can migrate from MPLS to more cost effective Internet-based connections.
Big benefits, rapid adoption
SD-WAN represents the arrival of fully-fledged virtualization in the corporate WAN. As we know, wherever virtualization emerges as a mature technology, it typically creates two key benefits. It makes easier to manage complex hardware ecosystems. And it drives up utilization, creating the potential for cost savings and/or more efficient exploitation of existing resources.
Citrix can help you with the challenge of adopting a new approach to WAN technology. Download our ebook and discover why analysts and experts are getting excited about a technology that recreates Wide Area Networking for an era in which cloud computing, mobility and the user experience have become dominant concerns.