Top Ten Reasons to Think Outside the Router – No. 6: Bringing New Sites Online Takes Too Long

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In our homage to the iconic David Letterman Top Ten List from his former Late Show, Silver Peak continues to count down the Top Ten Reasons to Think Outside the Router. Click for the #7, #8, #9 and #10 reasons to replace traditional branch routers with a business-driven SD-WAN platform.

The #6 reason it’s time to retire conventional routers at the branch: It takes too long to bring new sites online!

For most enterprises, growth is a key, albeit obvious objective. Growth can be achieved organically as the business expands its offerings, enters new markets or moves into new regions. It can also be realized through mergers and acquisitions of other companies.

Deploying a business-driven SD-WAN can accelerate enterprise growth in both scenarios. The key is to bring new sites and employees online as quickly as possible to generate incremental revenue. In both cases, this means connecting users to the rest of the organization across the WAN as well as to cloud applications.

Why it takes too long to bring up new sites

The incumbent WAN model based on private MPLS connections and conventional branch routers presents several barriers to accelerating time-to-market for new sites.

Two of them are:

  1. The ordering and provisioning of a new MPLS circuit
  2. Installing and configuring a conventional router at the new branch

While the time to provision an MPLS circuit varies by service provider and by geography, it can typically take 60 to 120 days from the time the order is placed. In contrast, broadband internet connections can be procured in just a few days in most places in the world, and a 4G/LTE service can often be activated even more quickly, assuming coverage in the region. A business-driven SD-WAN can securely and reliably use any form of WAN connectivity including broadband and 4G/LTE, enabling enterprises to bring new sites online in a matter of days instead of weeks or months.

How a business-driven SD-WAN platform can accelerate deployments

Now let’s look at the WAN edge infrastructure. The conventional model based on routers typically required an IT expert to travel to each site, install each router and configure each one manually, often via a complex and cumbersome CLI. This is inefficient, expensive and time-consuming. An SD-WAN platform that leverages centralized orchestration and zero-touch provisioning eliminates the requirement to send specialized IT resources onsite and streamlines connecting a new site to the corporate WAN.

The devil is in the details, however. It’s critical to ensure that even the most advanced network functions can be configured and administered centrally; some SD-WAN solutions in the market still rely on a CLI to configure anything but the most basic capabilities.

Service King is a US nationwide chain of auto body collision repair shops. They are continuing to expand their business by acquiring individually owned local or regional auto body shops. Key to their business model is centralization of claims processing, parts ordering and other corporate functions. Therefore, it is imperative to connect newly acquired shops to the corporate WAN as soon as possible. To meet this challenge, Service King selected the Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect™ SD-WAN edge platform. Since most individually owned auto body shops don’t have MPLS connections, but usually DO have internet connections, Service King is now able to connect a new location in days instead of months.

Service King is a clear example that demonstrates how a business-first networking model that conforms to the needs of the business, in contrast to the old device-centric model where the business has to fit within the constraints of the network, can be a business accelerant.

The EdgeConnect SD-WAN platform reliably and securely connects users to applications over any form of transport including broadband and 4G/LTE services. With EdgeConnect, companies are finally liberated from the compromises of today’s router-centric and basic SD-WAN approaches and can now transform the network into a business accelerant, rather than a constraint.

If it takes too long to bring a new branch office online, it’s time to move beyond conventional routers and deploy a Silver Peak SD-WAN solution.

Learn why the time is now to think outside the router.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.