Masergy BlogTransforming Enterprise IT

Application-Based Routing is a Key Benefit of SD-WAN

April 18, 2017
Paul Ruelas

There’s been a lot of excitement over SD-WAN and its potential to leverage the cost/performance benefits of Internet access. That excitement is justified in the era of the cloud and the proliferation of remote and mobile users. These trends are driving tremendous change in WAN traffic patterns and complexity.

Understandably, enterprise IT leaders are more determined than ever to use the latest network technologies to meet evolving business needs and support digital transformation efforts.

Offering centralized control of WAN traffic flows over multiple network paths–from MPLS to Internet provides effective access to secure and cost effective connectivity and redundancy. SD-WAN and Internet, for example, make senses for cloud workloads and branch office connectivity, according to IDC Research.

Added Value

But there’s a less-celebrated and even more valuable aspect to the SD-WAN story: application-based routing.This provides the advantage of building intelligence into the network to understand applications and their particular bandwidth requirements.

That’s pretty powerful for the new class of cloud applications that companies are implementing for all areas of their business from human relations and marketing to financial management.

In the Next-Generation Wide-Area Networking report, Enterprise Management Associates disclosed that SD-WAN and all its potential is still an emerging concept for many businesses. Slightly less than one-third of 200 enterprises surveyed have completed a production deployment of software-defined WAN technology.

But a large number of these SD-WAN adopters are converting between 40% and 60% of their remote sites to the technology and the top driver for these projects is a need for improved application performance,” the report states.

Automation is Key

Dynamic application-level routing makes it possible for businesses to set policies to switch transports on the fly based on their own defined parameters, as opposed to destination-based routing, which does not support this capability.

Multiple WAN links, including broadband, are used to enable dynamic application-based routing.

The pain of “managing application traffic based on competing needs is a continual thorn in the side of IT and the ability to automate the quality of the experience is compelling,” notes a Current Analysis report by GlobalData in its discussion of near-term drivers for SD-WAN adoption. With application-level routing, SD-WAN solutions clearly add value to the enterprise as a performance-enhancing technology.

But SD-WAN set-up, design and maintenance complexities could create some obstacles to fully realizing these advantages. To avoid execution risks and expenses, many businesses are looking to SD-WAN solution providers who design, deploy, maintain and provide ongoing 24x7 monitoring of the service.

"SD-WAN products already reduce operational management for the entire device and location lifecycle, but managed service providers can further add value by taking the deployment and infrastructure management off the customer’s hands and presenting a portal for customer management," states the GlobalData report.

A turnkey offering like Masergy’s SD-WAN is cost effective in reducing OPEX and CAPEX. It’s simple to deploy and manage by automating administrative tasks. And it’s flexible, enabling you to connect any location over any transport method. Most importantly, it enables seamless interoperability with other network solutions.

With Dynamic Path Control for real-time traffic steering to diverse WAN links and customizable business intent overlays for applying application routing policies, your business will be able to intelligently use all available bandwidth while increasing application performance and driving price-performance optimization.

Sign up for our webinar, When is SD-WAN Right for You?, to learn how to put SD-WAN to work for your enterprise.

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