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Why Midmarket CIOs Are Demanding SD-WAN

SD-WAN is winning over midmarket CIOs through cost savings, simplified management and boosting bandwidth capabilities.

Solution providers need to start pushing software-defined WAN to their midmarket customers or fear losing their clients to the competition, according to Nick Dell, IT Manager at a Tier-1 automotive manufacturer.

SD-WAN is really the next thing. It’s just like hyper-converged and what VMware has done in virtualization,” said Dell in front of dozens of solutions providers during a session at XChange 2019. “Your clients are going to be demanding it and if you guys don’t do it now, someone else may sell it to them.”

Dell said his company had major problems with their previous MPLS network system including peak bandwidth usage issues and failover failure.

[Related: Dell EMC’s Tom Burns On SD-WAN Strategy With VMware VeloCloud]

“[Our provider’s] failover failed. They were looking at links and so many hops, but if it couldn’t go out to the internet, it wouldn’t failover,” said Dell. “It wasn’t designed to handle the modern-day internet. That’s where SD-WAN comes in. SD-WAN was built from the ground up to handle cloud.”

After successfully installing a Cato Networks SD-WAN solution, Dell’s company had five to 20 times more bandwidth, better redundancy to the Internet, less downtime, Quality of Service (QoS) that worked and a networking solution that was easy to manage. His company saved thousands of dollars per month after switching from MPLS to SD-WAN.

SD-WAN provides a replacement for traditional WAN routers and MPLS, and are agnostic to WAN transport technologies. SD-WAN offers dynamic, policy-based, application path selection across multiple WAN connections and supports service chaining for additional services such as WAN optimization and firewalls.

Roger Michelson, vice president and chief operating at BNMC, a Woburn, Mass.-based solution provider, said Dell made some great points on why channel partners need to start selling SD-WAN immediately.

“We’ve been thinking about selling SD-WAN for awhile now, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. It really seems like now is the time we should invest and find a provider,” said Michelson. “The use cases [Dell] showed us today were really easy to understand pertaining to why this is selling in the midmarket.”

SD-WAN is poised to reach $4.5 billion by 2022, according to market research firm IDC, with a slew of vendors from Cisco and VMware to Aryaka and CloudGenix having jumped into the market over the past couple of years, many with a heritage in WAN optimization.

Dell said there’s many different flavors of SD-WAN including carrier managed SD-WAN, SD-WAN appliances and cloud SD-WAN.

“Look at the management model you want to have. How do you want to manage it? Because if you choose that, the vendor’s not going to necessarily change – that’s the way they do it,” said Dell. “Get a proof of concept. You couldn’t get POC’s with MPLS. You can get a POC, built it, test it, like it – or if you don’t like it, call another vendor they’ll send you one. See what works best. Then start replacing MPLS solutions.”

 

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