Most IT leaders are looking for the next angle or the do-more-with-less approach to spending money. Telecom services are one of the larger operational expenses on a company’s balance sheet. Customers have been looking for ways to creatively add bandwidth and cut costs. The market has responded, albeit slowly.

Back around the year 2000, some T1s to the Internet cost $1,000; we’re now seeing similar pricing for 1GB at the major data centers. Enterprises and small businesses alike have benefited from the higher speeds and greater options for connecting to the Internet and to/from remote locations. Internet pricing has eroded faster than private connectivity as cable and wireless companies have invested in higher speeds over both coax and wireless. There are still gaps in certain rural areas and some hard-to-reach countries, but for the most part Internet access is widely available.

Companies are adapting their services to allow customers to use those low-cost Internet circuits with additional technologies to provide higher availability, redundancy and performance over traditional wide area networks (WAN). Cisco is disrupting the conventional wisdom with their IWAN product. IWAN, or “intelligent wide area network,” uses a combination of Intelligent Path Control (performance routing), Optimization and Security. By using two connections — coupled with the above technologies — the promise of higher performance, lower cost and efficiencies is realized. CDW offers assessments, onboarding/implementation, circuit procurement and management of a customer IWAN deployment. CDW is seeing growing interest and adoption of IWAN and a “software-defined network.”

As is the case with most of our technology buyers today, the question remains: “Can this be purchased as a cloud technology?”

While Cisco has its own proprietary technology and CDW can provide some creative financing and deployment (offering and Operational Expense through our managed services and hardware as a service), options within the “software-defined network” space are available directly from a provider.

Aryaka is software-defined, layers-on acceleration and content distribution; adds guaranteed latency, availability and throughput; and provides a back-end QOS-enabled layer 2 network, while maintaining a global footprint of POPs or cloud nodes. They are the “cloud option” for many customers looking at these networks. Honestly, any client looking at a refresh, upgrade and/or renewal ought to be talking with Aryaka. Benefits of Aryaka and its SD-WAN product include:

  • Immediate deployment and scaling — minutes, not weeks or months
    • Aryaka uses your Internet connection to run an IPSEC tunnel to their nearest cloud node
  • Improved WAN performance
    • Ability to use TCP to “trick” an application into thinking it’s around the corner vs. around the world (multi-segment TCP Optimization)
    • Byte-level compression
    • Data deduplication
  • Real-time visibility — no need for third-party monitoring tools
    • Networkwide, end-to-end performance statistics for:
      • Application
      • Locations
      • Links
      • Protocols
      • Port-Level
      • Flows
    • Available from any browser, including on smart devices
  • Zero CapEx
    • Monthly subscription model
      • Platform fees — # of sites
      • Bandwidth fees
    • Performance guarantees
      • Latency
      • Availability
      • Throughput
    • Content distribution and caching
      • Improved web performance, moving access to the edge of a globally distributed presence
      • Improved performance for application accessed globally by quickly onboarding the mobile client to their network and bypassing the inconsistent Internet
    • Increased performance for cloud services
      • Direct connections to Azure and AWS
      • Acceleration of most cloud services, including Salesforce, Office 365 and MANY others
        • Most cloud nodes are within 5ms of all major cloud service providers

Ultimately, the promise of using lower-cost circuits, lower-latency connections, acceleration and caching brings the SD-WAN to life. Add faster access to content providers, immediate scalability and IPSEC security, and you have a winning combination. The global WAN space is continuing to evolve and CDW can help make heads or tails of the various options available in the market.

To learn more about building toward a better network tomorrow, read CDW’s Tech Insights Guide Gigabit Networking: Connect with the Future.