When we ask clients to rank the top features they value from SD-WAN there are 3 main trends:
Better performance and visibility at the application layer. Mission critical applications like VOIP, Video, O365 & Citrix can be prioritized and route optimized. Similar to class of service on MPLS this creates the best possible user experience and smooths out performance issues on the public internet.
Network up-time of 99.99% over technologies traditionally thought of as unfit for mission critical applications. Link aggregation and real time fail over from WAN1 to WAN2 (more if needed) and back again smooth out the connection layer, making lower cost technologies perform close to, often times better than, legacy MPLS circuits.
Pick a carrier, any carrier and get the best value for money on a location by location basis. The ability to use any carrier at the connection layer solves the cost per MB problem and allows you to “throw bandwidth” at issues. Want a 150M/20M cable internet circuit at a lower cost that a T1 MPLS connection – no problem! Future proof the network to leverage 5G wireless speeds – sure thing!
If you haven’t looked at SD-WAN as a potential MPLS replacement now is the time. At a minimum, consider it an overlay to augment the primary MPLS network with a secondary internet based connection.
What do you think? Is MPLS still viable or is it destined for extinction just like Frame Relay?
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