Every smart IT decision maker is seriously considering SD-WAN for their corporate network. MPLS, once the favored networking technology for business, is now losing its luster. You may have been told you can to rip out your expensive MPLS and replace it with SD-WAN over broadband to save big bucks. You may also have heard that SD-WAN boosts your cloud app performance—even on mobile devices. But you take all of it with a grain of salt and are looking for the objective truth about what SD-WAN can do for your company.
When you look at the recent industry surveys and analysis around SD-WAN, the results are clear:
In the next 24 months
The selection of the right SD-WAN solution for your company can be a time-consuming and complex task. There are many criteria to consider, including:
- What apps are critical for your business?
- What are your security needs (and are you subject to GDPR)?
- Do you prefer self or turnkey management solutions?
The SD-WAN Rankings Vendor Guide 2020 will help you to evaluate this wide variety of options and considerations that should factor into your technology planning processes.
How does SD-WAN work?
As with any other network, SD-WAN is a way for devices to reach each other on the Internet. So, when a device connects to an SD-WAN router, the device is connecting to the network in the same way that your computer would, by going through the router’s IP address. This is referred to as a “broadcast” IP address.
Many devices can send their broadcast IP address through the SD-WAN interface. But to provide security, SD-WAN routers must restrict broadcast traffic to only trusted networks. This means that if your computer wants to communicate with the Internet, it needs to connect to one of the network’s trusted networks or to a secure access point that is authorized to communicate with the Internet.
Is it time to rip & replace my MPLS network?
The apex of all SD-WAN hype is that companies can rip out their current (and really expensive) MPLS networks and replace them with broadband links and SD-WAN for a 50X cost savings. Those are unrealistic expectations for the majority of all businesses. The reason?
- MPLS is designed to provide the same connectivity over multiple carriers
- SD-WAN is designed to provide connectivity over multiple networks with a lower latency
This means SD-WAN is basically a network communications protocol, not wizardry. Networks and the apps running across them are all subject to the laws of physics. If the SD-WAN savings on your network sounds too good to be true, then it likely is.