Beyond SD WAN cost savings

An SD-WAN offers a much more agile and affordable platform compared with traditional branch office network connectivity, as it avoids organisations having to make relatively costly capital expenditure (capex)-intensive purchases. All costs are now transformed to operational expenditure (opex).

With the addition of aggregation technologies, centralised management and application-aware routing, SD-WAN delivers flexible and scalable connectivity that can be significantly cheaper than a traditional WAN architecture. But there is much more to SD-WAN than just cheaper branch office connectivity, so IT buyers have a lot more to consider.

For instance, Brad Casemore, vice-president of research, datacentre networks at IDC, says: “As the digital transformation initiatives and cloud strategies of large enterprises mature and become increasingly sophisticated, SD-WAN offerings must be capable not only of scaling to accommodate large numbers of sites, but also of providing multi-tenant and segmentation capabilities that the world’s largest enterprise customers demand for control, manageability and consistent security across multi-cloud environments.”

In December 2019, a study from Cato Networks found that failing to fully consider digital transformation requirements can undermine firms’ long-term SD-WAN satisfaction. The fourth annual state of the WAN report, Networking in 2020: Understanding digital transformation’s impact on IT confidence in enterprise networks, said nearly three-quarters of respondents expressed significantly less confidence in their networks after digital transformation.

IT buyers need to think beyond treating SD-WAN as a replacement for an existing MPLS network, says Shlomo Kramer, CEO and co-founder of Cato Networks. “Enterprises need to anticipate their future requirements if they are to remain confident in their WAN transformation,” he says. “Thinking only about MPLS replacement leads to incremental, point solution acquisitions when confronted by digital initiatives, making their networks more complex and costly to run.”

Know mroe about the MPLS cost.


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