Companies will be able to hand over connectivity matters either to experts or through an infrastructure lease scheme.
Several countries in Latin America have recently started promoting new projects. Their objective is to create a more innovative and competitive environment through the massive and efficient use of technology. In business environments, one of these trends is called “intelligent business networks”, known worldwide as Software-Defined Wide Area Networks: SD-WAN.
The current business world, characterized by global, real time competition, has forced companies to take action. According to Jorge Luque, Regional Manager of Planning and Product of IFX Networks (provider of managed telecommunications and IT services throughout Latin America), businesses have faced several challenges like developing multiple applications, providing customer service from different branches, hiring remote employees, working from the cloud, and optimizing management times.
“With these new conditions, and those to come, it is impossible to think that companies can continue to manage their connectivity, communications and IT administration the same way they always have,” says Jorge Luque.
From MPLS to SDWAN. The need to integrate voice, video and data in a single platform with service guarantees made companies turn to MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) networks around 10 years ago. These were supplied by telecommunications companies or Internet providers.
Today, the need to reduce connectivity and network administration costs, and the rapid expansion of apps on the cloud have led to more stable, reliable, scalable and, most importantly, highly autonomous schemes. This is precisely what the new SD-WAN network offers.
“What SD-WAN offers is to decrease the use of MPLS and increase the use of the Internet (mainly broadband channels). Today, a 10Mb MPLS channel is several times more expensive than a 100Mb broadband internet channel. This is where we can reinforce the concept of a SD-WAN company having more available bandwidth without paying more”, explains the IFX Networks Regional Product and Planning Manager.
Another important difference is that SD-WAN has mechanisms that allow you to optimize current networks and prioritize applications based on traffic analysis. This is enormously helpful in terms of bandwidth use and optimizing existing consumption.
“Technology has allowed companies to adopt new business models as part of their digital transformation processes. It helps companies increase their connectivity and intelligently manage their network. With greater connectivity and more efficient management of the cloud, companies have the potential to transform their business model and successfully tackle disruptive issues such as the Internet of Things”, says Jorge Luque.
With this type of technology, businesses have noticed cost optimizations at an operational level. This is especially evident in activities such as service configuration, implementation and administration of complex solutions, network problem diagnoses, employee displacement, among others.
Currently, even SMEs can obtain significant advantages from this type of network. Small and medium-sized businesses can reduce traditional network congestion, have stable connections even when they are located in geographically difficult areas, prevent businesses from being affected by low-performance connections, solve issues related to latency-sensitive service instability (such as videoconferencing) and significantly reduce their network management and administration costs.
“A few years ago, talking about SD-WAN in Latin America was somewhat pretentious. However, this technology is already being treated as a necessity. It is not enough to prioritize traffic with the conventional quality of service that only works on levels three and four; you have to be meticulous in order for SD-WAN dependent apps to achieve maximum performance. This is where SD-WAN does its ‘magic’, with all its benefits regarding intelligent routing based on applications and network performance”, says Jorge Luque.
The way this technology reaches companies varies according to the needs they have. In IFX Networks’ case, two service variants have been enabled: IFX SD-WAN MSP and IFX SDWAN as a service.