How SD-WAN Helps You Save Internet Cost

A Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is a virtual WAN architecture that allows enterprises to dynamically route traffic across a hybrid-WAN based on the current network status by utilising multiple connections networks – including MPLS, LTE and broadband internet services. In short, the software determines the best way to route your traffic to your remote locations, which makes it much more efficient than traditional WAN routing.

As a result, SD-WAN can help your business save on internet costs. Typically, WAN connections were built on multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), a more expensive technology with limited bandwidth but excellent quality of service (QoS). Knowing that most WAN traffic is of low value such as web content, file sharing and email – instead of wasting expensive bandwidth on high volume traffic, SD-WAN can aggregate more than one internet connection such as the low-cost public internet with the more expensive IP VPN, users can get higher speed internet for lower cost. Think RM200 – RM300 for 100mbps compared to dedicated fixed-line broadband at RM2,000 – RM 4,000 for 2mbps of bandwidth.

If that’s the case, why do we even need fixed-line broadband connections anyway? Fixed-line is still required because they are more reliable and secure compared to low-cost public internet, and you’re less likely to be strangled by slow speeds and data usage caps. With an SD-WAN, you have a centralised control function to securely and intelligently direct traffic across the WAN and directly to trusted SaaS and IaaS providers based on priority – just like how we can pick and choose routes with or without tolls. Aside from reducing internet cost, this process also increases application performance and delivers a high-quality user experience, which increases business productivity and agility and reduces IT costs.

The second way SD-WAN helps you to save internet costs is by allowing your business to connect to your branches or outlets directly via the cloud without having to route the traffic back to headquarters first, which could cause a network congestion, resulting in your business having to pay for higher bandwidth. Additionally, all branch office data is usually backhauled in each direction over the WAN, increasing cost and latency – something that you can avoid with SD-WAN thanks to its flexibility, thus lowering your cost.

However, not all SD-WAN are created superior. Many SD-WAN solutions are basic or “just good enough” solutions that lack the overall capabilities to keep up with a fast-moving digital enterprise – you would need a business-driven SD-WAN. So, what is a business-driven SD-WAN?

A business-driven SD-WAN should be capable of:

  • Lifecycle orchestration and automation: A business-driven SD-WAN can support centralised configuration so that when enterprises deploy new applications or when a QoS or security policy change is required, the required changes can be deployed in a few minutes instead of weeks or months.
  • Continuous self-learning: A business-driven SD-WAN can continuously adapt to changes in the network and changes in real time that could impact application performance such as network congestion, to ensure uninterrupted connections to applications for users.
  • Consistent Quality of Experience (QoEx). A business-driven SD-WAN can overcome the challenges of packet loss, latency, and jitter to deliver the highest levels of application performance and QoEx to users.
  • End-to-end micro-segmentation: A business-driven SD-WAN can provide more comprehensive, end-to-end security capabilities such as programming policy changes centrally and pushed to 10s, 100s, or 1000s of nodes across the network. This provides a significant increase in operational efficiency while reducing chances of attack and security breaches.

Overall, there are many ways SD-WAN can help you save internet cost. It is equally important for you to find the right SD-WAN model for your business, like whether a basic SD-WAN solution is good enough or you require a superior network experience that only a business-driven SD-WAN can provide. Ready to get started on your digital transformation journey? Contact us at EKTECH today!