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Are YOU ready for SD-WAN?

Let the Experts Help with SD-WAN Adoption

SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) is quickly gaining momentum and buzz in the marketplace. According to the Gartner Group, 30% of enterprises will have an SD-WAN by 2020. Drivers of SD-WAN interest include growth in cloud computing combined with the need for businesses to run more efficiently and effectively.

SD-WAN offers a solution to these drivers of change. By making WAN functionality available through a centrally managed, uniform appliance that connects through virtually any cable or broadband provider, SD-WAN can be more flexible and economical than existing WAN options. As SD-WAN adoption grows and more organizations get on board, the question becomes: How do you really make SD-WAN work for your business?

Selecting the right SD-WAN solution
Anything worth doing is worth doing well, so choosing the right SD-WAN solution is paramount. To help sort out the top features you should look for, Gartneroutlines the following four characteristics that an effective SD-WAN solution should support:

  1. Must support multiple access types – You should be able to choose the right kind of access for your business, whether that’s MPLS for certain high priority applications, Internet where you need to get closer to Internet based applications such as Microsoft Office 365 or even wireless for kiosk-type based services and sites.
  2. Can perform dynamic path selection – How can you leverage different access types? One approach is to create policies to send the right kind of traffic type over the most optimal transport type. Traffic shaping policies and dynamic routing protocol-type methodologies allow for an application itself to take the appropriate route. For example, if YouTube traffic gets too high on one route to your network, you can re-route it so more mission critical traffic gets through.
  3. Provides a simple management interface – A centralized control portal enables you to manage policies across your wide area network. It should let you see how your applications are performing and enable you to deploy new sites easily with zero-touch provisioning.
  4. Must support VPNs and NFV – Your goal is to have a single overlay network that supports virtualization functions like WAN optimization, site-based security on firewalls and network address translation.
Getting Optimal ROI
These features will help you increase visibility, reduce network complexity and increase the overall agility of your network.  With SD-WAN, you can get your users closer to the cloud applications they need without causing a network bottleneck in your data center.  Selecting the best SD-WAN strategy for your business in imperative in order to get the results that you want.
Bandwave knows how to implement and manage a successful SD-WAN solution!  Contact us today to learn more.

How does a managed software-defined WAN service work?

Networking analyst John Burke explains managed software-defined WAN, and discusses why providers are starting to offer the service to their customers.

Managed wide area network (WAN) services are nothing new — a customer pays a service provider a flat monthly subscription fee to install, monitor and maintain networking equipment (such as routers) at branch offices. Managed service contracts typically include service level agreements, guaranteeing that customers can expect a certain degree of performance and connectivity even in remote locations.

Managed software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) services, however, are just beginning to emerge. On their own, SD-WAN technologies seek to bring the world of software-defined networking (SDN) to the edge of the WAN, with the same goals as SDN generally: decrease capital expense, decrease operating expense and increase agility and flexibility. SD-WAN also aims to make the WAN more service-centric, with traffic monitoring and management and a focus on application delivery. SD-WAN architecture can also support a control plane/data plane separation, seamless integration of WAN and branch networks into an end-to-end, policy-driven management framework, and the use of generic data-plane devices in the branch from the edge router inwards. SD-WAN seeks mainly to solve three key problems: secure integration of Internet links into well-managed WAN bandwidth pools; better align WAN architecture to network service needs; and simplify WAN management.

Cost reduction is the main driver in most organizations deploying software-defined WAN. WAN costs can be reduced by up to 90% by supplementing or replacing dedicated private WAN networks (usually MPLS) with commodity broadband connectivity.

Some carriers, like Verizon and Singtel, offer managed software-defined WAN services, freely incorporating Internet links for connectivity among internal sites. These services allow the enterprise all the flexibility and most of the cost savings of an SD-WAN environment, while minimizing the headache of managing the infrastructure and connectivity. Managed SD-WAN gives carriers a new approach to the WAN services space, recapturing business from enterprises otherwise capping, cutting back on, or simply fleeing their MPLS services.

Software-defined WAN

Growing telecomm company makes commitment to Burlington City


Managing Partners Tom Azelby and George Allgair stand in their new Tech Center

Managing Partners Tom Azelby and George Allgair stand in their new Tech Center

BURLINGTON CITY — Broadband provider Bandwave Systems Inc. moved to High Street more than a decade ago, lured by low real estate prices and the potential its owners saw in the city’s downtown.

On Thursday, the company will solidify its commitment to the city when it formally celebrates the opening of new, expanded office space that will accommodate its continued growth.

“It’s a great place for us to be,” said Bandwave managing partner Thomas Azelby. “We’ve become part of the community.”

Founded in 2000 in the Old City section of Philadelphia, Bandwave Systems works with different telecommunications companies — such as Comcast and Time Warner — to bundle broadband services for customers, giving them one contract, one bill and one place to call for service. They also provide related products, such as guest Wi-Fi access.

“We’re able to put a lot of different companies together and provide the best value service that companies could never get before,” said George Allgair III, a partner in the firm and a Burlington City resident. “It’s the best combination of services across the country.”

In 2003, as business continued to grow, Allgair and Azelby moved the company from Philadelphia into a historic, three-story building in Burlington City that once served as the home of well-known attorney and Judge Alexander Denbo. They chose Burlington City after looking throughout the region, including Pennsylvania, for space.

“Burlington City (is) a nice, historical city,” said Azelby, who now lives in nearby Riverton. “It was a good location to be, and the price was right. It was a city that was coming back at the time. People were talking about it. It had potential. That helped us make the decision.”

About two years ago, however, the pair began to contemplate Bandwave’s future in Burlington City.

Business was continuing to grow. Last year, the company made Inc. magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies, and in January, it received one of SmartCEO’s Future 50 awards. Its customer base also was changing, from mom-and-pop businesses to larger enterprises with multiple locations. They wondered if more conventional office space would make a better impression on clients.

In the end, however, they said they were excited by the rebirth they saw happening around them. While Burlington City was hard hit by the recession, there’s now a renewed energy in town, they said, with new restaurants opening and plans underway for development along the waterfront. The city’s growth has even become a selling point when recruiting potential employees, they said.

“The city is at a stage right now where there’s investors coming in, restaurants coming in, development’s going on,” Azelby said. “Our timing to be part of that was perfect. We’re keeping our business here, and at the same time, we’re contributing to a renaissance that’s happening in a town that’s a few hundred years old. We’re happy to be a part of that.”

Burlington City Mayor Barry Conaway said Bandwave’s commitment could serve as a message to other businesses looking to grow in the city — or move in.

“We’re very happy that Bandwave is staying the city of Burlington,” he said. “Whether it’s a small company that creates one job or a larger company that creates multiple jobs, anytime you get a business owner to put out a large capital outlay to say, ‘We’re going to stay within your city,’ we’re very appreciative.”

To accommodate Bandwave’s growth, the company renovated storage space and a garage, adding an employee kitchen and high-tech office space, where employees can provide round-the-clock monitoring of clients’ systems. Bandwave has a dozen employees, but has room for up to 20 in the new space. Azelby said they’ll hire two or three more employees this year.

Azelby and Allgair also said they realized that the unconventional office space suits their business.

“Our clients don’t come to us because we’re some big organization,” Azelby said. “They come to us because we’re specialized. This (building) reflects who we are.”