Why are customers moving to SD-WAN? With more than 70 percent of applications having already moved to the cloud, forward-thinking enterprises are re-thinking their WAN strategy to attain the best return from their cloud investments. Many have discovered that traditional router-centric architectures that backhaul all application traffic to headquarters is impairing the performance of SaaS applications and IaaS services. By shifting to a business-first networking model where the network enables the business, rather than the business conforming to the constraints of the network, enterprises can realize the full transformation promise of the cloud. A business-driven SD-WAN edge platform can deliver compelling cost savings, too.
Similar to any new technology like SDN or the cloud, cost savings are a key – but not the primary – driver for deploying an SD-WAN. The high cost and complexity of maintaining current router-centric WAN architectures has been driven by the rigidity and endless hours of device-by-device, site-by-site, manual configuration that serves as a drag on operational efficiency. Typically, conventional WAN architectures are resource intensive, often requiring specialized IT staff onsite at each branch location. This makes them brittle and error-prone due to manual configuration processes required in most cases.
With a Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect™ SD-WAN edge platform, the amount of time required to manage and maintain the branch WAN edge architecture is dramatically reduced through centralized orchestration and management. With Unity Orchestrator™ IT can centrally define business intent overlay policies that dictate how applications are delivered across the wide area network.
In order to calculate the savings, Silver Peak with ACG Research developed an intuitive ROI tool to compare current WAN costs (Figure 3) to a business-first networking model based on the EdgeConnect unified SD-WAN edge platform. The analysis calculates cost savings across several parameters:
- Current MPLS WAN transport cost
- Operational expenses in managing routers, firewalls and WAN optimization to that of the SD-WAN implementation
How does it work?
- The Silver Peak ROI tool examines the savings in each of the areas mentioned above and makes several assumptions in the resulting calculations:
- 20 percent YoY traffic growth
- Cloud application traffic as a percentage of total traffic is assumed to be over 35 percent in the first year with a 27 percent CAGR, reaching 95 percent in 2022
- No MPLS savings are calculated in the first year, assuming existing contractual agreements
- As more applications migrate to the cloud, EdgeConnect provides adaptive internet breakout to intelligently identify and classify applications and automatically steer cloud traffic based on defined security policies without backhauling traffic to headquarters, resulting in significant WAN transport cost savings. Once policies have been defined, they are automatically programmed to 100s or 1000s of sites, eliminating the need to manually program individual devices or send IT experts out into the field. With orchestrator a new application or a policy change can be configured, provisioned and deployed in a matter of hours instead of days, weeks or months.
- With an integrated stateful firewall and end-to-end zone-based segmentation with centralized visualization and orchestration, EdgeConnect enables enterprises to avoid incremental spend on dedicated firewalls for inspecting cloud-destined applications locally.
- Finally, with the optional Unity Boost™ WAN optimization performance pack, enterprises can eliminate dedicated appliances, centrally manage and pay only for the exact amount of optimization required on an app-by-app basis reducing costs by as much as 50 percent.