Welcome to the second in the series of discussions on Wide Area Networks. John Donlon’s previous post he discussed that “by removing the dependency on expensive MPLS and point to point circuits and replacing them with lower cost Internet circuits, the cost of a WAN can be significantly reduced”
Let’s take a look at this in some more detail
First of all why you want to move from MPLS and point to point circuits?
MPLS WANs come with guaranteed SLAs around latency, jitter and packet delivery but they are expensive. The Internet has no such guarantees but bandwidth is cheap. Adding more bandwidth is probably the most effective and easy QoS solution available. With GWAN utilising direct access internet circuits instead of MPLS we have achieved cost savings for customers of up to 60%.
Point to point circuits can be low cost over short distances and with a few sites. However as sites get further apart they become increasingly expensive and they don’t scale well as the number of sites increase. To create resilient full mesh of circuits for 10 sites would take 45 circuits and for a resilient hub and spoke network with two hub sites 21 circuits would be required. With GWAN circuit cost is independent of the distance between the sites and a resilient full mesh connectivity for 10 sites can be achieved with 10 Circuits
As broadband circuits have become cheaper, faster and more reliable they have become a realistic option for providing WAN connectivity. The challenge is how to create a secure scalable WAN out of multiple Internet connections.
GWAN allows companies the move away from MPLS by providing a secure logical overlay that can seamlessly connect sites together using direct access Internet Connections. The logical overlay creates a full mesh of connectivity between all the sites. Previously customers would have either used and MPLS network to create this type of mesh or they would need to have configured site to site VPNs or circuits between every site which would not scale beyond a few locations.
Provider and Circuit Choice
With GWAN we can use the most appropriate and cost effective circuit and provider for each of your locations. If a location uses applications that requires MPLS then we can use that. If direct internet access DSL will suffice then we can use that. It’s about finding the right network link at the right price for each site. Also each can location can also use the provider that has the most cost effective access and these can be seamlessly stitched together into a single logical WAN using the GWAN overlay.
This approach has seen us save customers up to 60% on their WAN costs when compared with a traditional MPLS network. Circuit sizes can often be increased for each site and costs can still be reduced due to not having to pay a premium for having an MPLS backhaul.
Ready for Cloud
As organisations adopt cloud services such as Office 365 the WAN is simply transiting traffic to a datacentre for it to be forwarded to the Internet for access to these cloud services. This is adding latency to these services and increasing the bandwidth demands on the WAN. Another key feature of GWAN is the ability to securely break out internet traffic locally at each site. Using this feature we can avoid having to backhaul internet traffic to the datacentre which means that the circuit sizes of the hub sites and datacentres can be reduced. Traffic can still be effectively secured and monitored by combining the local internet breakout with a cloud based web proxy such as Cisco Cloud Web security.