Hybrid WAN is a way of connecting branch offices with the traffic being sent over two different types of connections. One connection is the traditional MPLS that connects to the data center. The other is made through a broadband connection to the Internet using SD WAN to create an encrypted tunnel.
How does it benefit my business?
The hybrid WAN solves problems that occur when some of your branch sites are in remote areas where MPLS is cost prohibitive and it can offload SaaS traffic that doesn’t need to cross the WAN. By funneling traffic directly to the Internet, it eliminates extra hops and latency that can sometimes occur when traffic goes through your data center.
Digital transformation continues to have a big impact on organizations and especially on IT. As companies move at an accelerating pace to deliver value and business outcomes, IT plays a pivotal role in the transition. To gain more agility and faster response times to business needs, organizations are rapidly moving many of their applications to the cloud. Some industry experts predicted as many as 2/3 of workloads will be cloud-based by 2020.
To support this transition, companies are looking to leverage a hybrid WAN approach where lower cost, higher bandwidth broadband services are used in addition to MPLS links. This helps increase bandwidth capacity and network availability, improving application performance with direct access to cloud services, leveraging existing investments and reducing total WAN cost.
When to go Hybrid
Hybrid WAN configurations allow for easy increase in bandwidth by inserting Internet connections alongside an existing MPLS network. Offloading traffic from MPLS allows for reductions in monthly bandwidth costs and to turn up new installations faster by leveraging indigenous Internet access link.
A Hybrid WAN takes advantage of the reliability, security, and SLA-backed performance of MPLS connections, yet limits the expense of these connections by augmenting connectivity with Internet connections that are cheaper and more versatile. In some cases, these Internet links can help improve performance for traffic that is not destined for the datacenter as it can reduce the number of hops that can occur when backhauling through the datacenter.
The easiest way to determine whether hybrid WAN makes sense for your organization is to engage a partner like Agility Communications who can provide a network analysis and determine which sites would benefit from SDWAN. Determine If you have remote sites where fiber is expensive or just not readily available. Decide how much of your network traffic is destined to the Internet anyway working in cloud based applications. It wont take long to see if Hybrid WAN is a good fit once these questions are answered.