Scaling business application needs are placing high demand on networks, leaving IT and business unit leaders trying to keep pace. There is a lot to like about software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WANs) and their potential to improve efficiency and lower costs.

The financial improvement from SD-WAN should not be underestimated: By giving your network flexibility to jump from expensive Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) to broadband Internet connections with VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) seamlessly. IT administrators can disperse traffic between high and low cost WAN links depending on the business importance of the specific traffic. This strategy provides access for additional bandwidth and lowers network costs. The cost savings are greatest when attempting to reduce dependence of networks on MPLS, which can get expensive quickly. An MPLS megabyte can cost up to 200x more than a broadband megabyte. It is also less agile than SD-WAN.

If the ROI improvement isn’t sufficient, consider the pros and cons of MPLS vs. SD-WAN, and how each approach to WAN could improve your business.

MPLS Basics

Simplified model of MPLS architecture

MPLS is a protocol-independent transport mechanism where data packets are transported from node to node in networks based on labels rather than network addresses. Determinations on packet forwarding rely entirely on the label contents, without looking at the packet data itself. MPLS allows a carrier to pass packets for multiple clients across its backbone leveraging shared expensive core routers and switches. Packets get labeled at entry into the service provider’s network, the label determines the client (VRF) that the packets belong to and the destination. This allows data to move from mode to mode more reliably and efficiently, minimizing downtime and lowering costs.

SD-WAN Basics

SD-WAN is a software-defined network, which was created to optimize cloud-based applications. This technology is relevant to WAN hardware or software nodes, and also the cloud. The nodes form encrypted virtual private networks (VPNs) across broadband transport services; QOS, traffic routing happens as defined by user-created policies. SD-WANs are now employed on many commercially available internet networks, allowing businesses to connect to cloud applications to replace more costly WAN connections options like MPLS.

The Benefits Of SD-WAN

SD-WAN increases both performance and reliability by leveraging numerous network pathways. The most efficient pathway is chosen based on real-time network analysis, taking into account metrics such as jitter, packet loss, and throughput. Enhanced programmability and automation increases network speed and efficiency, simplifying IT management with heightened security and visibility.

SD-WAN Security

Despite rumors to the contrary, SD-WAN actually strengthens your security posture through use of embedded firewalls, encrypted VPN tunnels, network segmentation, and user-based identity access.

The Static1 Advantage

Static1 is a leading provider of managed SD-WAN solutions. We are a full service SD-WAN service provider, offering expertise in analyzing, implementing, optimizing, and managing your SD-WAN solution. Using our engineering expertise, along with our concierge support with state of the art hardware and software, we will design, build and manage a private network that specifically meets the requirements of your organization.

If you are new to SD-WAN technology, let us explain its technological advances over outdated MPLS technology, and explain the cost benefits of SD-WAN as a service. We will partner with you to convert your current MPLS system to SD-WAN and offer fully managed support of both systems along the way, as well as the cost benefits of SD-WAN as a service.

We work with leading SD-WAN hardware providers like Cisco and Fortinet. We are a preferred Fortinet partner and have extensive experience with the Fortigate firewall solutions, including the 50 series (50a 50b, 50c), 60 series (60a 60b, 60c), as well as 70, 80, and 90 series.

We have orchestrated and implemented solutions for businesses in numerous industries, including media, post-production, financial, retail, and health care. Call us now and speak to an expert about a custom SD-WAN solution for your organization’s needs.