With these three examples, option #1 provides the additional 4.5 Mb/sec capacity the company wanted, but it is far more expensive, and it does not address the active/passive, traffic backhauling, and cloud support issues.
Option #2 includes the hybrid WAN managed by SD-WAN. This increases the private WAN capacity by more than 30 times, while saving $162,000 per year over option #1. This is accomplished by not adding the additional MPLS circuits. Because the WAN is managed by SD-WAN, it addresses all the company's needs and provides many other benefits. This solution almost doubles the bandwidth capacity at each of the ten locations, with no additional cost. The company gains an additional 50 Mb/sec of always-active bandwidth. Considering the cost of $164,400 to add three additional MPLS circuits in option #1 to achieve the 4.5 Mb/sec at each location, the ROI for option #2 can be achieved immediately.
Option #3 includes the internet-only WAN managed by SD-WAN. This solution increases private WAN bandwidth capacity by more than 60 times, and saves $204,000 over option #1. Because the WAN is managed by SD-WAN, it addresses all company needs and provides many other benefits.
Considering the cost of $162,000 to add three more MPLS circuits in option #1 to achieve the 4.5 Mb/sec at each location, the ROI for option #3 is immediate. In fact, option #3 immediately saves the company money over their current bandwidth costs of $66,000.
These examples are representative of ten remote locations. If the company has 100 remote locations, the cost savings become even more significant. For example, the bandwidth cost savings of option #3, compared to option #1, would be $2,040,000 per year. If you extend this over five years, the cost savings, or ROI, would be $10.2 million.
SD-WAN COST REDUCTION AND SAVINGS
When choosing an SD-WAN solution, you will find each will have its own unique architecture, technology, business model, and cost structure. Generally speaking, network edge SD-WANs have appliances (virtual or physical) installed at each remote location and a central controller. Depending on the solution, the controller provides orchestration, monitoring, analysis, and appliance management.
With zero-touch provisioning, deploying an SD-WAN in a branch office can be fast and easy. By completing a few simple steps, IT personnel can quickly have the edge appliances online and in production. Not only does this provide simple setup, it can save money by not requiring expensive engineering staff to install and manage the appliances. Some SD-WAN providers will also configure physical appliances prior to shipping, and virtual appliance images can be burned prior to posting. This further eliminates the need to hire, train, and pay additional technical personnel to physically manage remote locations.
REDUCE COSTS AND COMPLEXITY THROUGH DEVICE CONSOLIDATION
Many SD-WAN edge appliances support multiple functions, such as firewall, network address translation (NAT), routing, virtual routing and forwarding (VRF), WAN optimization, IPsec termination, and more.
Instead of integrating physical or virtual appliances from multiple vendors, a single SD-WAN can service chain these functions to do the work of many. This reduces complexity and equipment sprawl, simplifies deployment, eases on-going support, and lowers costs.
CONSIDER ROI FOR HARD COSTS, SOFT COSTS, AND NEGATIVE IMPACT
The bandwidth cost figures above represent hard-cost savings. In addition to bandwidth cost savings, SD-WAN provides OpEx soft-cost savings. While these can be more difficult to quantify, they can be just as important, especially for organizations with limited IT resources.
Soft-cost savings can include protection against lost revenue and a decrease in user productivity due to network downtime or slow connectivity. SD-WAN helps reduce the time spent responding to compliance requirements and frees IT personnel to work on strategic projects. In fact, IT teams can significantly reduce the time spent diagnosing and fixing WAN outage and performance issues.
There are other consequences that can negatively impact ROI. These can be substantiated by many intangible variables that occur when a WAN link becomes slow or fails. Examples of indirect consequences include the loss of a company's reputation, erosion of brand equity impacts to customer loyalty. It is the se variables — or the inability to control them , — and negative that can ultimat do the most longely term damage. Therefore, they must be considered when evaluating an ROI strategy.
SD-WAN VALUE PROPOSITION
Enterprises are demanding flexible WAN solutions that can support their growth and shifting business requirements. Opening new offices, changing service providers, turning up services in the cloud, supporting a mobile workforce, and adding new applications are examples of the rapid pace of change.
SDWAN makes it easy for organizations to increase and leverage bandwidth to gain a ffordable and reliable WAN connectivity, anywhere and whenever it's needed. Through aggregating multiple broadband links, and wrapping a layer of intelligence with management policies, organizations can mitigate the effects of downtime, latency, loss and j itter. By taking advantage of low flexible deployment, SD-- cost links and WAN can go above and beyond the reliability, security and performance equal to that of dedicated private circuits.