Reducing TCO with Modular SD-WAN
Introducing the benefits of flexiWAN
For many companies, SD-WAN has the potential to solve critical technical and business challenges. Now that modern enterprises require more agility and flexibility from their network architecture, SD-WAN can start breaking down the barriers of traditional infrastructure. With SD-WAN, there’s no need to wait weeks or months to make changes to the enterprise network.
SD-WAN solutions are transport, vendor, and service-provider agnostic, giving today’s companies more freedom to evolve. According to flexiWAN, a provider of modular-focused WAN solutions, the right strategy can reduce Total Cost of Ownership for companies and help them to access a more flexible and agile business methodology.
The Next Generation of SD-WAN
According to flexiWAN, networking and routing vendors that offer SD-WAN as part of a monolithic software stack don’t have the right view of the future. Using this practice to deliver SD-WAN opportunities leads to higher licensing costs and problems in optimising hardware configurations for the individual needs of each service provider.
To evolve to the “second wave” of SD-WAN opportunities, vendors need to start putting openness and flexibility first. Already, companies have begun shifting from product to service offerings, in an attempt to make their solutions more versatile. However, in one-on-one interviews with enterprises, flexiWAN discovered that there are key pain points that companies need to address to make SD-WAN as intuitive as possible. Crucially, some of the critical requirements that businesses have today include:
- Simplicity: Easier deployment and management of SD-WAN
- Resizing software: Different scale and cost based on the bandwidth of each site
- Vendor agnostic: The ability to select vendors and applications according to individual needs
- Differentiation and special requirements: Better support, stronger bundling options, a single billing interface, and other unique features
The Rise of Modular SD-WAN
In flexiWAN’s opinion, companies that want to support the demands of today’s businesses need to embrace a modular strategy. This means cutting software into vertical and horizontal layers.
At the foundation of the modular SD-WAN stack is the infrastructure that comprises central management, edge device management, and deployment. These solutions need to allow for network topology and control, with access to custom API that allows for a more dynamic system. The second layer in modern SD-WAN environments needs to be responsible for managing network applications that improve the abilities of the SD-WAN offering.
Finally, according to flexiWAN, the third layer of the modular SD-WAN offering needs to provide applications that can run both in the management stack and the edge devices to ensure holistic life-cycle management.
Modular SD-WAN approaches are nothing like the strategies that large vendors have used to deliver SD-WAN products so far. However, this updated strategy could help companies to avoid the vendor lock-in that they want to stay away from while accessing the benefits of the SD-WAN solution. Today’s companies want access to a software stack that gives them only what they need – and nothing more. They also want the option to add features as and when they need them, without having to start from scratch. A modular approach to SD-WAN can deliver those benefits, along with a lower TCO thanks to more cost-effective licensing and hardware.