April 17, 2024

Agile SDWAN Deployment vs Traditional WAN Deployment

8 min read
Discover the benefits of Agile SDWAN deployment over traditional WAN deployment in our latest article.
Two networks

Two networks

As businesses continue to grow and expand across the globe, their networks need to keep up with their growth and demands. This includes the deployment of Wide Area Networks (WANs), which have been traditionally used to connect remote locations and branch offices to a centralized data center. However, with the ever-evolving technological landscape, there is now an alternative to traditional WAN deployment known as Software-Defined WAN (SDWAN). In this article, we will compare and contrast the two deployment options – Agile SDWAN Deployment vs Traditional WAN Deployment.

Understanding the Basics of SDWAN and Traditional WAN

A WAN is a network that covers a large geographic area and connects multiple Local Area Networks (LANs). Traditional WAN deployment is a type of network architecture in which network administrators use dedicated connections (such as T1/E1 lines or MPLS) to provide connectivity between branch offices and a central data center. In contrast, SDWAN offers a virtualized network overlay using a combination of public and private networks to create the WAN. This virtualization provides network administrators with increased flexibility and control over network traffic, while also reducing costs.

One of the key benefits of SDWAN is its ability to prioritize network traffic based on application requirements. This means that critical applications, such as video conferencing or VoIP, can be given priority over less important traffic, such as email or web browsing. This ensures that the network is optimized for the most important applications, providing a better user experience for employees and customers alike.

Another advantage of SDWAN is its ability to provide better security for network traffic. With traditional WANs, all traffic is routed through a central data center, which can create a single point of failure and a potential security risk. SDWAN, on the other hand, allows for distributed security measures, such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems, to be deployed at each branch office. This provides a more secure network architecture, as well as better protection against cyber threats.

Key Differences Between SDWAN and Traditional WAN Deployment

One of the biggest differences between SDWAN and Traditional WAN Deployment is the agility that SDWAN offers. With SDWAN, network administrators can quickly and easily change bandwidth allocations and traffic flows. This agility allows businesses to be more responsive to network demands and changes in network traffic patterns. Traditional WAN deployment, on the other hand, is more rigid and time-consuming to make changes, which can leave businesses vulnerable to network issues and downtime. Additionally, SDWAN offers increased network visibility through real-time analytics, which can help businesses to optimize network performance and improve overall network security.

Another advantage of SDWAN is its ability to support multiple types of connections, including broadband, LTE, and MPLS. This flexibility allows businesses to choose the most cost-effective and reliable connection for each location, rather than being limited to a single type of connection. This can result in significant cost savings for businesses with multiple locations.

Furthermore, SDWAN can improve application performance by using intelligent routing to direct traffic over the most efficient path. This can reduce latency and improve the user experience for applications such as video conferencing and cloud-based services. Traditional WAN deployment typically uses a hub-and-spoke architecture, which can result in inefficient routing and slower application performance.

Pros and Cons of Deploying SDWAN vs Traditional WAN

When it comes to pros and cons, both SDWAN and Traditional WAN Deployment have their fair share. With SDWAN, one of the biggest advantages is increased network agility. With the ability to quickly and easily change network traffic flows and bandwidth allocations, businesses can be more responsive and adaptable to network demands. Additionally, SDWAN offers increased network security and visibility through real-time analytics. However, one of the drawbacks of SDWAN is that it relies on a combination of public and private networks, which can be unpredictable and volatile. Traditional WAN deployment, on the other hand, offers dedicated circuits and is generally reliable, but can be expensive and inflexible.

Another advantage of SDWAN is that it can reduce network costs by utilizing multiple network connections, including broadband internet, to create a hybrid network. This can result in significant cost savings for businesses, especially those with multiple locations. Additionally, SDWAN can improve application performance by using intelligent routing to direct traffic over the most efficient path, reducing latency and improving user experience.

However, one of the cons of traditional WAN deployment is that it can be difficult to manage and maintain, especially for businesses with multiple locations. This can result in longer downtime and slower response times to network issues. Additionally, traditional WAN deployment can be limited in terms of scalability, making it difficult for businesses to expand their network as needed. SDWAN, on the other hand, offers centralized management and control, making it easier to manage and maintain a large network. It also offers greater scalability, allowing businesses to easily add new locations and users to the network.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing Between SDWAN and Traditional WAN

Before deciding between SDWAN and traditional WAN deployment, there are several factors to consider. First, businesses need to evaluate their network demands and traffic patterns. If the network traffic is unpredictable and changes frequently, then SDWAN may provide a better solution. However, if the network traffic remains steady and stable, traditional WAN deployment may be sufficient. Additionally, businesses need to consider their budget and resources, as SDWAN can require additional hardware and software. Lastly, businesses need to consider their security needs and how the deployment option will impact their overall network security posture.

Another factor to consider is the level of control and visibility required over the network. SDWAN provides greater control and visibility over the network, allowing businesses to prioritize traffic and optimize performance. Traditional WAN deployment may not provide the same level of control and visibility, which can lead to network congestion and poor performance.

Furthermore, businesses need to consider their geographic reach and the number of branch offices they have. SDWAN can provide better connectivity and performance for remote locations, as it can leverage multiple types of connections, such as broadband and LTE. Traditional WAN deployment may struggle to provide the same level of connectivity and performance for remote locations.

The Role of Agility in SDWAN Deployment

Agility is a key advantage of SDWAN deployment, as it enables businesses to quickly and easily change network traffic flows and bandwidth allocations in response to network demands. This agility is made possible through the use of virtualized network overlays and SDWAN controllers, which provide network administrators with centralized control over their networks. This centralization, in turn, provides increased visibility and analytics that can aid in optimizing network performance and overall security.

Furthermore, agility in SDWAN deployment also allows for greater flexibility in network design and deployment. With the ability to easily add or remove network nodes, businesses can quickly adapt to changing business needs and scale their networks as necessary. This can be particularly beneficial for businesses with multiple locations or those that experience seasonal fluctuations in network demand.

Why Traditional WAN Deployment May Not Keep Up with Business Demands

Traditional WAN deployment is based on the use of dedicated circuits and connections, which can be inflexible and time-consuming to change. This rigidity can become a significant barrier to businesses that need to adapt to changing network traffic patterns and demands. Additionally, traditional WAN deployment can be expensive, as businesses need to pay for dedicated circuits and connections, which can become a significant cost as they expand. SDWAN deployment, on the other hand, offers increased flexibility and agility, which can help businesses keep up with the ever-changing demands of their networks.

Another disadvantage of traditional WAN deployment is that it can be difficult to manage and maintain. With dedicated circuits and connections, businesses need to rely on multiple vendors and service providers to ensure that their network is functioning properly. This can lead to increased complexity and potential points of failure. SDWAN deployment, on the other hand, offers a centralized management platform that allows businesses to easily monitor and control their network from a single location.

Furthermore, traditional WAN deployment may not be able to keep up with the increasing demand for cloud-based applications and services. As more businesses move their operations to the cloud, traditional WAN deployment may struggle to provide the necessary bandwidth and performance. SDWAN deployment, with its ability to dynamically route traffic and prioritize applications, can help businesses optimize their network for cloud-based services and ensure that they are getting the best possible performance.

The Impact of Cloud Computing on SDWAN vs Traditional WAN Deployment

Cloud computing has had a significant impact on the way that businesses deploy their networks. With more businesses moving their applications and data to the cloud, the need for an agile and flexible network architecture has become increasingly important. SDWAN deployment is well-suited to this need, as it offers increased network agility and the ability to adjust traffic flows and bandwidth allocation in real-time. Traditional WAN deployment, on the other hand, may struggle to keep up with the demands of cloud computing due to its rigidity and inflexibility.

Furthermore, SDWAN deployment can also provide better security for cloud-based applications and data. With the ability to segment traffic and apply security policies at the application level, SDWAN can help protect against cyber threats and data breaches. Traditional WAN deployment, on the other hand, may rely on a centralized security approach that can be less effective in a cloud-based environment.

How to Evaluate Your Network Needs Before Deploying SDWAN or Traditional WAN

Before deploying either SDWAN or traditional WAN, businesses need to evaluate their network needs carefully. This evaluation should include an analysis of current and expected network traffic patterns, security needs, and resources. Additionally, businesses should consider their budget and how the deployment option will impact both their short and long-term financial goals. Lastly, businesses need to consider the impact that their network deployment option will have on their ability to adapt and change to meet future challenges.

Case Studies: Successful Implementations of Agile SDWAN Deployment

Several case studies illustrate the success of agile SDWAN deployment in various industries. For instance, a global fashion retailer deployed an SDWAN solution that reduced WAN costs by 48% and increased network performance by 100%. Similarly, a healthcare provider used SDWAN to centralize control over their network, resulting in reduced network downtime and improved network performance. These cases demonstrate the potential benefits of agile SDWAN deployment and how it can provide businesses with the flexibility and control they need to succeed.

Cost Analysis: Comparing the Cost of Deploying Agile SDWAN vs Traditional WAN

When it comes to cost, there are several factors to consider when comparing the deployment of agile SDWAN vs traditional WAN. For instance, SDWAN generally requires less hardware and less expensive bandwidth options, resulting in cost savings. Additionally, centralizing control through the use of SDWAN controllers and virtualized network overlays can result in reduced administrative overhead. However, businesses need to consider the cost of implementing and managing the SDWAN solution, as well as the potential increased costs of using public networks for their WAN.

Future Trends: The Growth Prospects of Agile SDWAN Deployment in the Market

Looking ahead, the future of WAN deployment appears to be heading towards agile SDWAN. Gartner predicts that by 2023, 60% of enterprises will have deployed SDWAN, up from 20% in 2019. This growth is due in large part to the flexibility and agility that SDWAN provides, as well as the cost savings that can be achieved through the use of virtualized network overlays and public networks. As businesses continue to adapt and change to meet the demands of the constantly evolving technological landscape, agile SDWAN deployment will become an increasingly important tool for success.

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