Remember the story of Goldilocks? Every chair she tried was either too big or too small. Some furniture was enormous and the rest were tiny. Nothing was a perfect fit. The Goldilocks dilemma doesn’t just happen in the land of nursery rhymes though. It’s also common in the world of IT, especially for midsize businesses.
Government, Vendors and Telco providers traditionally lump Midsize companies in small businesses into the SME category.
The problem is that small business solutions rarely meet the unique requirements of medium-sized organisations. And large enterprise solutions are too expensive and cumbersome to drive acceptable ROIs. Let’s take a closer look at a typical example of this Goldilocks problem: the wide area network (WAN).
Why is it so difficult to find a WAN that is ‘just right’?
Wide area networks (WANs) are an integral part of business technology. They connect offices to each other and to data centres. They allow secure access to business applications like finance, video conferencing, telephony and cloud-based applications. WANs for small business are designed to meet their particular needs. Fewer than one in ten small businesses have more than one business location. Because of their lower staffing numbers, applications are usually PC or cloud-based. Security is of limited concern.
Small business networks are often made up of a single broadband connection coupled with a Wi-Fi router. Voice services are usually provided by mobile handsets. It’s a great solution for single office businesses, but it’s too small for midsize companies.Conversely, large enterprise organisations have multiple offices and data centres. It’s not unusual for them to have hundreds of smaller branches, much like your typical bank. Their networks cover all core business and web applications, secure internet access, voice and video conferencing, and provide the gateway to the enterprises’ suite of applications in Amazon or Azure. They also allow full access to cloud-based applications like Microsoft 365 & Salesforce, all from the data centre.
Distribution of these services is high quality, high resilience and high security. The big-name telcos are often preferred service providers. However, agreements for these managed WANs can run to the high hundreds of thousands to low millions of dollars yearly.
Like Goldilocks, the midsize company is stuck somewhere in the middle of these two scenarios. They end up building their WAN on large enterprise-focused services, which inevitably leads to compromise. Quality, redundancy and management are often sacrificed to bring the cost down to acceptable levels. Fortunately, the story of Goldilocks had a happy ending. She eventually found items that were the right size and fit her needs exactly. Similarly, the Goldilocks WAN solution is the answer for midsize companies.
How SD-WAN helps midsize companies
Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solutions provide the security and quality of service provided by expensive MPLS or managed ethernet solutions. Available at a fraction of the cost, SD-WAN solutions also reduce ongoing network management expenses and facilitate fast networks.
These are big claims, but how are they delivered?
SD-WAN ensures both security and quality of service over any type of data circuit including broadband, 3G/4G, wireless, MPLS and Ethernet. The WAN can be set-up over corporate grade broadband rather that dedicated services. With SD-WAN, we’ve seen clients experience cost reductions of between 60 to 80 percent!
SD-WAN manages security by automatically setting up encrypted VPN tunnels between all locations on the WAN. This guarantees that traffic is hidden from prying eyes.
Improved service quality
A raft of solutions safeguard service quality. Network managers can prioritise traffic, switch circuits in microseconds and optimise for real-time applications. SD-WANs work smartly at packet level. They can recreate lost packets and re-sequence out-of-order packets. The best solutions also provide WAN acceleration. This minimises the amount of chatter and reduces the effects of latency and limited bandwidth.
SD-WAN’s simple, centralised orchestration and management portal slashes network management costs. You won’t need to visit sites to change a configuration, or wait weeks to implement a change request from your telco.
If you are a mid-sized company searching for the right solution to your Goldilocks problem, an SD-WAN can deliver the perfect fit. Looking to significantly reduce your networking costs and maximise your competitive advantage? Get in touch to find out how.
1 CSO: http://www.csoonline.com/article/3044036/security/how-to-respond-to-ransomware-threats.html#slide4