When we talk to IT managers and directors, most tell us they are less than fond of the process of selecting a WAN provider. They are put in the position of selecting a WAN that will support all of the company’s application needs for both today as well as tomorrow, and must make assurances that the network will always be available. So they set off to face a myriad of carrier sales representatives ready to sell them the WAN of their dreams. When you are facing this process, here are some things you might encounter.
The incumbent carrier, who is looking to retain your business while maintaining at least the same revenue amount and is hopeful you need to add bandwidth or locations to increase the billing. The incumbent may have some new access types available to help achieve this, such as moving from T-1 to Ethernet, Ethernet to Fiber, and so on.
Other carrier sales people, who have patiently waited for your current contract to end. It feels like every carrier on the planet is looking to meet with you. You will commonly hear that they will “Save you $X amount over your current provider,” with assurances of a similar service level agreement and network performance. Costs can vary by WAN provider and are generally based on the carrier’s cost to provide network delivery to the areas where you need the service. Some carriers will use wholesale networks for the entire solution, some will use a blend of on network and wholesale, and others will do this all on their own network.
The trusted agent or consultant, who has experience with multiple carriers, can help you cut through the jungle of options. Some carriers have a better history of success for service deployment and support than others. An experienced, trusted agent or consultant narrows the field to only those companies that historically have been most successful. An agent or consultant may also offer alternative access types to match the needs of your specific offices, keeping in mind the type of applications, bandwidth and the importance of uptime. They often provide technology tools over and above what the carriers offer.
Enter WAN Virtualization
WAN Virtualization (WV) is the latest tool that consultants are leveraging to provide a highly available WAN with seamless uptime. Here are some examples of how WAN Virtualization is being used today.
Augment a current or new MPLS network with broadband.
Many MPLS locations only have T-1 as an access type, which can be cost prohibitive for adding the bandwidth you need for both WAN traffic and access to Cloud applications. WAN Virtualization supports the addition of broadband links to your WAN and will provide both the needed performance as well as keep critical applications running in seamless uptime, even with the loss of one provider.
Dual broadband connections.
Some sites, due to size or the applications they are running, will be able to run very efficiently using two or more available broadband connections. Companies can realize a great cost savings, high access to WAN and cloud applications and superior uptime using broadband versus a single MPLS connection. This strategy can be successfully used for an entire network or for specific remote locations.
Leverage unused or failover only circuits.
You or someone you know has one, the paid-for-but-unused standby link collecting dust, waiting for a failover event. This story isn’t pretty. Best case with this circuit, during an MPLS failure it will allow for some backup to the internet or a VPN to the WAN. The bad news is, the applications that were running on the failed MPLS network will be disrupted and stop working, and you will be disrupted; after a period of time and/or steps taken by the IT team to switch traffic to the standby link…the applications may come back. WAN Virtualization offers a better story, putting the broadband link to use all the time, automatically taking on rerouted traffic, resulting in seamless uptime and no applications disruption in the event of an MPLS link failure. With WAN Virtualization you just saved your much needed vacation or a night with your family. Everybody wins.
For more information about WAN Virtualization or to schedule a demonstration of Ecessa’s WANworX WAN Virtualization technology, visit www.ecessa.com/wanworxwv, call Ecessa at 800.669-6242 or fill out the form below to schedule a consultation.