Software-defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) has been making headlines in the enterprise communications and networking markets. It has been dubbed as the “next big thing,” and promises to address businesses’ evolving needs. In fact, the market demand for SD-WAN is soaring, with the worldwide SD-WAN market for infrastructure and services expected to surpass $6 billion in 2020 according to analysts and industry leaders MetTel and VeloCloud.
But what is SD-WAN, really? Is it just another addition to today’s list of tech buzzwords and acronyms? Or does it have the potential to effectively change how today’s businesses operate and serve their customers? Ed Fox, Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Network Services at MetTel, helps us answer these questions and offers insight on how MetTel is supporting companies looking to benefit from a more dynamic digital communications infrastructure via SD-WAN.
First, What is SD-WAN?
The exponential growth of cloud technologies, real-time communication applications, and mobile, distributed workforces has no doubt put tremendous pressure on a business’ network infrastructure. As Fox mentioned: "Cloud applications have helped businesses start communicating in contextual ways, i.e. working on a project in Slack and communicating within that application where it is appropriate and relevant and auditable and searchable in relation to the content being discussed." As such, increasing amounts of data are being transmitted daily across data centers, branch offices, and other remote locations, and traditional WANs simply cannot reliably and effectively support these new levels and types of traffic.
SD-WAN is a new approach to simplifying branch office networking and assuring optimal application and business communication performance. It uses software and virtual network overlays to simplify the management and operation of WAN services to multiple sites or branch offices. According to MetTel and VeloCloud, SD-WAN is emerging as the leading network technology set to replace Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) as the standard for enterprise communications services “as mobile, social and big data analytics applications proliferate and strain existing networks to crawl. SD-WAN promises increased bandwidth and higher performance while reducing costs versus using traditional private network resources.”
Advantages of SD-WAN
SD-WAN may be a relatively new technology, but it has quickly taken off, with MetTel reporting a 70 percent growth in SD-WAN demand in the first two months of 2017 when compared to the same time period this past year. So what’s spurring the widespread adoption of the technology?
According to Mike Sapien, Principal analyst – Enterprise services at Ovum, a market-leading data, research and consulting firm, “The increasing demand for bandwidth and the flexibility to increase and decrease bandwidth in more real time has created the need for network services that allow increasing use of both business internet services, driving new hybrid WAN configurations and new software that enables this flexibility.”
More than just another technology, SD-WAN offers a range of compelling advantages that businesses simply cannot afford to ignore. These include:
- More bandwidth
- Cost savings
- Lower troubleshooting and network management costs
- Superior communications experience for unified communication, video conferencing, and other bandwidth-intensive applications
- Simplifies network management for multi-site companies
- Improve quality of voice and video
- Detailed application visibility
- Disaster recovery
- Intelligent traffic control
Taking Business Communications to the Next Level
Leading enterprise communications solutions provider MetTel understands that today’s businesses rely on secure, advanced, and high-quality communications systems to run their daily operations. But with the limitations and capabilities of traditional network infrastructure, businesses may not be able to make the most of their cloud communications solutions. Hence, MetTel, in partnership with the leading cloud networking services company VeloCloud, offers SD-WAN technology to help boost business communications and “make the internet work better”.
MetTel’s cloud-delivered SD-WAN solution is ideal for enterprises looking to benefit from a more dynamic digital communications infrastructure. With MetTel’s SD-WAN, businesses can:
- Combine bandwidth such as DSL, cable, and 4G-LTE for increased speeds
- Reduce hardware costs and maintenance by consolidating branch equipment into a single, cloud-controlled branch device
- Simplify branch deployments with cloud-based gateway provisioning based on pre-defined policies
- Guarantee quality voice/video quality and
- Optimize application performance
- Assure UC performance through real-time QoS with 99% of VoIP calls delivered for an improved MOS score
- Eliminate downtime with traffic prioritization and application steering
- Plug and play onsite equipment
- Gain insights into usage capacity and behavior of end-users
- Route traffic quickly via private gateways into cloud services
“SD-WAN is suddenly the silver bullet of communications transformation for the tap-the-app environment and the quickest way for IT, operations, finance, and procurement leaders to meet their financial and performance metrics," said Fox.
Clearly, SD-WAN not only helps organizations modernize outdated communications structure, it also helps companies become more agile and enjoy more efficient collaboration across various offices by maximizing bandwidth resources, prioritizing business-critical traffic, and ensuring businesses have reliable access to cloud applications.
Beyond their SD-WAN offerings, MetTel also offers messaging, contact center, mobility support, and UC. In fact, MetTel will own, operate and maintain their solutions from the customer handset all the way to the PSTN, including all the circuits and IP routes in between. In turn, it helps MetTel create a positive end user experience. This is why MetTel believes that it is absolutely crucial for a provider to own and take responsibility for their entire environment, and advises that customers seek this in whatever service provider they choose.
To learn more about MetTel and their range of telecom and technology solutions for businesses, please visit their website.
Established in 1996, MetTel is a solution provider that virtualizes any number of communications and IT networks to act as one seamless system managed by one provider, simplifying clients’ infrastructure management. Beyond basic telephone service, MetTel provides the widest range of solutions and services such as cloud computing, SD-WAN, network integration/aggregation, enterprise mobility, Internet of Things and other advanced offerings while assisting in the digital transformation of many leading brands including Nike, Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola, Gap, Inc, 24 Hour Fitness, Republic Services, among others including the Federal government.