Lucernys supports its customers in the installation of SD-WAN solutions for networks of up to several thousand sites throughout France. At the head of several large-scale projects – among the most important European deployments – Tuyen Vu, project director, sheds light on this ongoing upheaval.
Today, branches or agencies of large organizations (banking, insurance, real estate, retail…) encounter recurring network connection difficulties for multiple reasons, regardless of the operator, as well as network congestion and performance problems.
When these network problems come up, the IT department does not always know how to respond effectively.
The frequency of telecom operator quality of service problems experienced by the sites can be high. These difficulties can be a major hindrance to business activity, especially if they have only one link.
SD WAN, the uberization of network services.
The SD-WAN (Software Defined Wide Area Network), which appeared a few years ago in the logic of cloud computing, is revolutionizing enterprise WANs (wide area networks). This solution represents a major evolution in the enterprise networking industry.
The SD WAN makes it possible to aggregate several data links set up with traditional contracts such as ADSL, fiber or 4G subscribed with operators in the consumer market, and to identify the best available connection in real time.
A hybrid connection can also be implemented with Hybrid SD-WAN, coexisting an MPLS link with a consumer link or even a backup 4G link.
30% of enterprises in SD-WAN by 2020
The SD WAN offers a centralized management of the park which gives a visibility of the whole park instantly on a map of France.
There has been strong growth in SD-WAN implementation in France in recent months. Gartner predicts that by the end of 2019, 30 percent of enterprises will have deployed SD-WAN.
SD-WAN brings availability and quality of service (QoS) to telecom assets for organizations.
Who is SD-WAN for?
SD-WAN is designed for a wide range of companies, from small and medium-sized businesses with 4 or 5 branches or offices, to organizations with several thousand entities.
For organizations with multiple branch offices, SD-WAN ensures a consistent quality of service for each entity, and the same level of telecommunications services. Until now, the high cost of this quality of service made it accessible only to large structures and data centers.
The SD-WAN solution provides a high level of flexibility for all sizes of businesses.
What are the benefits of SD-WAN?
Installing SD-WAN in a branch network brings multiple benefits:
1- Access to the best possible network in real time.
The SD-WAN identifies and selects in real time the active connection that provides the best level of service among the available network subscriptions. Its role is to avoid service disruption. When a link to the data center goes down, another one takes over.
SD-WAN ensures a stable and secure network service level.
2- Bandwidth aggregation.
SD-WAN adds up the available bandwidth, thereby increasing the quality and capacity of the network for the user.
3- User comfort.
SD-WAN solves line problems, including technical disruptions that sometimes slow or disrupt applications or services, for indefinite periods of time. Operators do not know how to respond in real time to these technical difficulties that regularly interrupt the activity of companies and disorganize its functioning. An SD-WAN solution compensates in real time for these incidents of varying importance. The end-user no longer feels the problems that occur on the networks.
4- Lower costs.
The level of cost reduction is around 30% for the service subscription only.
When an agency used to spend €150 to €200 per site for an MPLS connection, the subscription budget is now €120 – €160 for 2 network links.
The reduction in the IT department’s service required to respond to network malfunctions also generates significant savings. Resources can be allocated to development topics.
5- Controlling your network
SD-WAN allows you to take control of your network yourself. It is no longer the operator who takes care of it alone.
From all the available links, we can identify the one that has fallen, the one that is falling or anticipate the one that will fall. This means that troubleshooting can be scheduled and possible service interruptions can be controlled.
With the monitoring and supervision of its own network, the company no longer suffers from slowdowns that could occur randomly.
The user is not affected by network failures or malfunctions.
The IT department can now alert a branch office that identified infrastructure issues are going to be addressed by its services. She is therefore contacted only in case of problems.
With the anticipation of failures, SD-WAN restores the image of the IT department in the organization.
Security is respected and stabilized through SD-WAN encryption. Security is inherently unchanged from a traditional MPLS solution.
Supporting change is a crucial step to successful SD-WAN migration.
The key to a successful SD-WAN deployment is to first prepare for installation and define the prerequisites.
The disconnection of the old network infrastructure and the implementation of SD WAN implies an outage of only about 15 minutes for the end user.
In the case of an SD-WAN switchover for a large number of entities, education is crucial. The IT department must demonstrate upstream the benefits of the SD WAN to each branch and the concrete implications of its implementation.
To implement SD-WAN in an industrial way, the communication phase with the network must be perfectly executed. Indeed, only a good understanding of the benefits of the solution by the end-users guarantees the industrial success of the installation phase.
Users must be convinced of the strong reliability of the SD WAN, a solution that should enhance the performance of their business.
It is recommended to communicate what users understand. In particular, response times are a tangible criterion that they know well.
A decrease in response times generated, in the order of 5 to 10 times.
Before installation, users must understand that SD-WAN will result in a significant decrease in response times.
The network will run continuously, even if one line is experiencing difficulties. Users must integrate this major evolution of the network quality level.
The SD-WAN solution provides complete control of the network solution, and generates lower costs. It allows you to avoid operator problems and to take better advantage of cloud applications.
Finally, the SD-WAN mechanically enhances the image of the IT department in the company.
A “side effect” that would be a shame to do without!