Organizations today find themselves relying on legacy Wide Area Network (WAN) infrastructure, such as MPLS, to provide connectivity for constantly changing application requirements and demands. Many enterprises are moving toward cloud-based SaaS, such as Office 365, Box, Salesforce, among many others. They are also moving their workloads to private clouds, such as Azure and AWS. Backhauling of this new traffic through legacy WAN providers, which only offer basic connectivity, is creating challenges for organizations trying to keep up. The legacy model for WAN is expensive, inflexible, and slow.

CyKor recently worked with a private real estate investment firm who was experiencing many of these challenges. This company has 40+ remote sites, located all over the US, that were backhauling traffic from their data center to reach the Internet, SaaS applications, and cloud providers. The firm used two MPLS carriers at each site to provide redundancy in case of failure. Only one MPLS circuit was active at a given time at each site, and only switched to the other circuit in the event of a complete failure. There was no monitoring of the health of the circuit or the applications traversing it. Not to mention, they were both very expensive. Also, the firm’s legacy routers had to be managed, configured, and upgraded individually, which consumed too much manpower.

CyKor proposed a Software-Defined-WAN (SD-WAN) solution to assist in solving the technological & operational challenges and provide the firm with a major return on investment (ROI) of the solution.

CyKor assisted in building the business case for the solution, and based on the ROI analysis, the firm expects to save $1.6 million over the next 5 years by implementing the CyKor designed SD-WAN solution.

SD-WAN is a hot-term in the industry today, referring to a more flexible, intelligent solution to meet these rising demands. CyKor has engineering and sales professionals that understand the ins-and-outs of SD-WAN business benefits, design considerations, deployment strategies, and low-level configurations.

CyKor had discussions of the benefits that an SD-WAN solution had over this firm’s current WAN solution. Below are the major use cases that were established during the discovery and design phases of the project:

  • Replace one of the MPLS carriers with commodity Internet for immediate cost savings.
  • Monitor the health of the circuits and use policies to optimize traffic flow, depending on set Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
  • Use Application-Aware Routing to protect business-critical applications, such as Voice over IP, Video Conferencing, and Cloud Applications.
  • Provide load-sharing of traffic over both the MPLS and Business Internet circuits to utilize both carriers at all times.
  • Provide extremely fast failover in the event of a carrier going down or experiencing major loss/jitter.
  • Use Direct Internet Access to improve performance to SaaS applications.
  • Extend the SD-WAN fabric to cloud providers to improve performance accessing these resources
  • Maintain enterprise-level security using built-in Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) features.
  • Ensure increased operational efficiency by managing the entire SD-WAN infrastructure, policies, alerts, and events through a single pane of glass management interface.

In summary, CyKor worked with the customer to establish the benefits of the SD-WAN solution, the upfront investment in hardware/software costs, ROI, and project plan for implementation. This project took about 5 months to roll out over 40 sites, providing a very smooth transition and quick delivery of service. The outcome included major cost savings, increased application experience for the users, greater flexibility, and more efficient operations.