If maintaining the information stability, availability, and security that travels across your corporate network is becoming increasingly complicated, why not look for new technologies like SD-Wan and change the management of this infrastructure?

Managing wide area networks – the WAN network, which connects headquarters and branch offices, for example – is quite challenging for IT professionals. Problems often faced include pressure for stability, availability and security, as well as telecommunications costs.

In order to manage these networks, large companies choose to hire Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS), which is a private network that completely isolates data traffic between different sites (or sites). Often, however, this service makes corporate IT tied up and inflexible.

While on the one hand the MPLS advantage is the traffic data security, the dedicated bandwidth availability and the traffic prioritization, on the other hand there are considerable disadvantages. High prices (compared to commercial broadband links), slow speeds, and over-reliance on telephone operators are all factors that undermine IT budgets and stymie performance.

New applications to solve old challenges

According to Alexsandro Reimann, Senior Network Engineer at Nap IT’s Global Advanced Services unit, to meet managers’ challenges in ensuring higher speed at a lower cost is that new applications are starting to be developed in the market.

MPLS links can be configured by the operator, at the customer’s request, to prioritize critical applications, giving different treatment to applications such as video or voice, for example, trying to achieve a higher service quality (or QoS) level. So it’s not just bandwidth, but accelerated traffic for critical applications.

“Companies are in the operators hands to make adjustments to their networks. Usually they hire a dedicated link and a backup link that goes out of use just for the principal downfall”, explains Rodrigo Alabarce, Nap IT CEO. “The rules defined between carrier and network administrator are stalled and lagged.”

In MPLS link problems case, or need for new traffic settings, slow communication between network administrators and operator can be fatal.

Dynamic traffic prioritization

Still according to Alabarce, there is another important problem: the certain applications traffic prioritization within MPLS links is not dynamic. “The bandwidth available for each application may be insufficient or inaccurate and result in packet loss, causing serious problems not only for the network manager, but for the business itself”, he emphasizes.

The MPLS operators themselves also impose limitations. For remote units in an organization to communicate using this standard, the same operator must be present in all locations – which is rarely the case in cities far from the largest Brazilian centers.

SD-Wan – the defined network software

In an ideal world, companies that hire MPLS links should be less operator-dependent and have centralized contracted links and services management – without compromising on reliability, stability and security, of course. In addition to having prices compatible with those obtained in traditional broadband connections and secure connections.

The good news is that these possibilities exist in the real world thanks to software-defined wide-area networks, or simply Software-Defined in a Wide Area Network (SD-WAN). This technology used to manage networks is able to reduce costs by allowing data transport autonomy between MPLS, traditional broadband or even 3G and 4G networks. It all improves the enterprise applications performance by up to 1,900%.

You didn’t read it wrong: a thousand and nine hundred percent. But this subject is for our next post.