IT Support Blog for Small Business Owners

What is SD-WAN & Why are Small Businesses Finally Adopting It?

Posted by David S. Mulvey on 12/17/20 2:29 PM

SD WAN

SD-WAN (short for Software-Defined Wide-Area-Networking) is a technology that has been around for a few years and primarily adopted by large corporations up to recently.  New advancements in SD-WAN has made it realistic and affordable option for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) today 

Simply put SD-WAN is a new way to manage your Wide Area Network (WAN)a new way to connect and secure all your local area network (LANs) and is built for modern businesses with hybrid or cloud-based environments.  SD-WAN replaces your expensive MPLS data circuits with inexpensive internet circuits.  

There are many benefits of SD-WAN technology that small businesses and growing businesses cannot afford to overlook.  

SD-WAN technology makes it easier for an organization to manage its wide area network, by lowering monthly costsand improving WAN connectivityThere are many telephone carriers that deliver SD-WAN servicesbut with the right managed services provider (MSP) like ANP you can design, implement, and manage your own SD-WAN for much less than relying upon a carrier to do it for you.  

Consider the following SD-WAN adoption benefits: 

SD-WAN lowers your monthly costs

SD-WANs make it possible to connect multiple Internet broadband connections to provide everything that an organization needs for its connectivity, including data, voice, and video. This is opposed to investing in more expensive wide area network architecture like MPLS data circuits. SD-WANs have a lower cost of ownership because the Internet circuits they require are typically 20-30% the monthly cost of the MPLS circuit they are replacing 

Reducing cost of ownership makes a growing business more competitiveDeploying an SD-WAN network is also faster because of the ubiquity of Internet circuits, making your business WAN more agile and responsive to growth. Your business can invest in other areas of their technology for long-term improvement rather than throw away money on an expensive outdated MPLS network 

Improve application performance with SD-WAN

Many business-critical applications today are operating on hybrid or multi-clouds. In addition, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications adoption is increasing, and collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams are becoming very popular. SD-WAN provides the network resources that your applications need to operate more effectively, in turn improving the productivity of everyone within the organization. If businesses are finding that their application performance is faltering, they may want to consider installing an SD-WAN to deliver resources more consistently and more reliably. 

SD-WANs designed by ANP will have policies deployed that ensure the egress of your voice and video packets are routed directly out of your branch and sent to Microsoft or your other SaaS vendors without sending the data packets all the way back to your datacenter.  ANP can prioritize traffic within the network so that the most critical applications within the most critical departments are routed directly where they need to go. This is especially important when organizations are experiencing unusual amounts of traffic or activity. 

Enhance elasticity for growth / downsizing

One of the major advantages of an SD-WAN is that it is easily scalable and likewise just as easy to downsizeWhen your company needs to add a branch or close a branch, you simply need to order or cancel a broadband Internet circuit. Typically, an Internet circuit can be provisioned much faster by an ISP than a carrier provisioned MPLS data circuit. 

Redundancy and reduced downtime

SD-WAN equipment can leverage high-availability data center and branch devices.  SD-WAN can also support two data circuits; ANP typically provisions a high-speed business class Internet circuit with either a low-cost fiber/broadband Internet circuit or, in remote locations, an LTE cellular modem. As organizations grow, and place more than their data traffic across the network, such as voice and video communications, the WAN becomes much more business critical. By migrating away from single path MPLS networks to multiple-carrier, redundant data paths and high-availability equipment in place, ANP can decrease WAN downtime, and increase WAN availability and reliability.  

Increase WAN speeds

SD-WANs offer much higher circuit speeds and superior network performance, which also makes it easier to create a reliable, productive, and efficient network. Today our clients are increasingly relying upon their Internet circuits for all their corporate data traffic. A 1.5MBps MPLS circuit delivered over a 4-wire copper access will typically cost $800-$1000 a month. Compare that price to ANP’s ability to secure a Direct Internet Access (DIA) fiber delivered business class circuit clocked at 100MBps (66 times faster than the MPLS circuit) for the same $800-$1000 per month, and typically with no termination contract commitments which encumber the MPLS circuit. Its also interesting to note the DIA Internet circuits also have lower latency, less jitter and lower packet loss than their MPLS circuits they are replacing. 

Superior security 

Our clients are very concerned about security. While security has always been a concern in the past, there are more risks and vulnerabilities today. Small to midsized businesses are most frequently being targeted, and companies can be particularly vulnerable when they are making a transition away from a private MPLS network to a public Internet based SD-WAN. 

Companies need to protect their security to remain in compliance with many laws, and there are additional standards (such as PCI CSS) that must be met. An SD-WAN network designed and deployed by ANP will have all data packets encrypted end-to-end. 

ANP is here to help

Do you operate an old and expensive MPLS WAN? Would you be interested in speaking to ANP on how to save money on your WAN by implementing a new SD-WAN? Do you feel you need to improve network speed and performanceANP can provide a free network assessment to help you determine if switching from your old MPLS network to a modern SD-WAN network can be cost-effective and beneficial. For more information about whether an SD-WAN is right for your organization, contact the WAN experts at ANP.  

Topics: Managed Services, network security, IT Strategy, network assessment, IT Network Assessment, modern IT, SD-WAN, network management

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