The delivery challenges every SD-WAN project must consider


It’s no secret that enterprises are looking at SD-WAN as the means for evolving their networks. The technology improves on MPLS with better agility, more capacity increased resiliency and, of course, cost savings. Those advantages are in much need; just ask anyone who’s runs an MPLS network. They’ll tell you about its high costs, long provisioning times, and susceptibility to last-mile failures.

But keep listening and MPLS customers are also bound to talk about the technology’s rock-solid reliability. They’ll hate the price and delays, but they’ll love their SLA-backed performance and how the MPLS provider takes care of everything — the last mile connectivity, managing the backbone, consolidated billing and more.

The properties of MPLS services may be disliked but the packaging is still widely admired. And since networking professionals are conservative by their nature, there’s a big draw to stick by MPLS. Yet, religiously clinging to the “proven” and “known” is a good way to kill any real WAN transformation effort — and leave your company in the dark ages of networking.

Thinking through the “packaging” then is essential for any WAN transformation. This means considering a range of issues, such as last-mile procurement and post-deployment management, which were inherent to MPLS.

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