In Model-3, CAPEX is zero, and the entire WAN service has only OPEX model. This was made possible by having the same requirement with the only Internet as the WAN technology whose performance was at par with the MPLS technology. This created total disruption in the WAN market, which impacted many of the service providers. Enterprise narrowed down their choices to:
- Basic MPLS
- Hybrid (MPLS + Internet)
Enterprises are now not required to make decisions on CPEs, tools or even to hire skilled resources.
Model-3, which is Software-Defined WAN, helped the enterprise network managers to address all the challenges mentioned above in Model 1 & 2, by leveraging the hybrid WAN solutions bringing positive impact to the overall TCO. The key concept in SD-WAN was on making WAN aware of application, which gave rise to following additional benefits:
- Agnostic to the underlying WAN technology
- Dynamically routes traffic across hybrid WAN in real-time based on SLA profile of the various applications
- Centralized configuration management
- 40% reduction in WAN transport spend with hybrid WANs layers & multi-service provider platform
Conclusion: WAN TCO disruption
As the Internet is getting more robust, more resilient and cheaper, in the coming years, we will see that WAN-as-a-Service is being looked upon as the most preferred among small, medium and large enterprises because of the attractive TCO and ROI it brings in.
Also, the rising adoption of the Cloud-1st strategy by several enterprises is one of the critical reasons why WAN-as-a-Service model is gaining such traction. The Cloud-1st adoption also raises the crucial need for secure interconnectivity with the various clouds to branch offices. Using the Internet for interconnectivity suffices for the low bandwidth requirements, but not for high bandwidth and business-critical applications, due to security concerns and the low reliability of the performance of the public Internet. These gaps are now being fulfilled by the cloud service brokers, acting as a hub to connect to all the public clouds.
Following agents are playing a catalytic role in bringing out the disruption in the overall WAN TCO:
- Centralized management and operations
- Availability of cheaper bandwidth