Software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technology is just beginning to gain traction as a viable way of creating more powerful networks through the strategic use of cost-effective, high-bandwidth WAN connections that promote superior network performance. At its core is a collection of algorithms which calculate the most effective way of routing traffic to locations remote from the hub. It is characterized by the following four principles:

  • It must have the mobility to support multiple connection types, e.g. multi-protocol label switching (MPLS), 3G/4G Long-term evolution(LTE), and Internet
  • It must be able to support Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), in addition to other 3rd-party services like gateways, firewalls, and WAN optimization controllers
  • It must be capable of managing dynamic traffic path selection, so that load-sharing can be implemented across all connections of a WAN
  • It must provide an interface which is extremely simple to setup, yet capable of managing complex WAN requirements, both of which contribute greatly to IT efficiency.

Other SD-WAN benefits

Several different connections can be aggregated so that they actually function as a single virtual overlay network, with no pre-defined transport path. This allows any branch or organization, regardless of location, to anticipate the benefits of uninterrupted continuity and connectivity. In this model, outages become a thing of the past, because there is a seamless failover algorithm which avoids all possible disruptions, and prevents costly downtime for mission-critical systems.

How costs are lowered by SD-WANs

Increasing bandwidth at any branch office or location is always a hassle, and always expensive – at least, in the traditional model of a wide area network. Since an SD-WAN can be composed of any combination of 3G/4G LTE, MPLS, serial service, Ethernet, or Internet, it becomes possible to quickly implement and to make use of any variety of bandwidth options.

With all these options available, including inexpensive Internet service, the software can dynamically select the most efficient and cost-effective path for routing traffic. The need for upgrading WANs constantly is thus effectively eliminated in favor of a more economical and efficient model. One of the real benefits of SD-WAN implementation is that almost any organization has the potential to vastly expand its network capability without sacrificing any connections in the process.

Often, it may not be necessary to purchase additional expensive bandwidth, or add layers of complexity to an existing infrastructure. Ideal for multi-site organizations, SD-WAN technology is set to become the wave of the future in connectivity, in large part due to its superior telecom expense management and flexible connection types. Although it currently sports a mere 1% of the total market share, it is estimated by respected industry analysts that within three years, that figure will soar to more than 30%.

How can you easily achieve the benefits of SD-WAN technology? Contact us today to learn how full life cycle SD-WAN services allow clients faster realization of SD-WAN benefits.

With 20+ years of Telecommunications Industry experience, Jason Madison is part of the Renodis Enterprise Account Management Team.  Jason earned his MBA in 2007 while working at Sprint and has used his education and experience to consult with Fortune 500 corporations throughout his career.  He is a seasoned professional with experience in telecommunication strategy development. Jason has extensive experience in senior sales, management, and strategy roles with AT&T, Eschelon, and Sprint.


It’s not enough for today’s CIOs to oversee IT and IT alone – they need to network throughout the company, looking for ways to make IT a business function, not an afterthought. In fact, America’s most admired and successful companies are crushing their competitors by leveraging technology as a competitive differentiator rather than merely as […]

Communications (historically referred to as telecommunications) is a term that has taken a new spin as it now refers to converged voice and data networks as well as mobility. For IT leaders, it is a layer of IT that is critical to the business, much like keeping the lights on, but very difficult and time consuming to manage. Not to mention, expensive.

Many IT leaders are using a managed services approach for different areas of IT. Strategic IT leaders use third party providers for various commodity-based work including help desk support, collocation/hosting, data center, and network support. Communications is another area of IT that is considered commodity-based. Why should you use a managed services approach to communications? Here are three strategic reasons why.

Strategic Reason #1: Don’t be an empire builder!

Yes, you need internal resources to manage certain aspects of IT. But building an IT team to focus on commodity based, tactical areas of the business is a waste of talent and money. Many leaders redeploy highly skilled network staff on critical competencies (engaging with business leaders, learning about solving business challenges, business architecture, security, and customers).

Managed services for communications eliminates the need to use highly skilled and expensive staff to manage a tactical layer of IT. And the best managed service firms leverage built-for-purpose systems to manage their cost of services, systems that a normal IT shop can’t hope to fund. That means those firms can run your environment with a solid ROI back to you.

Strategic Reason #2: Managing communications is not strategic

Communications is a necessary aspect of your business, critical to daily function. However, the daily management of voice networks, data networks, and mobility is not a core part of your business. Do you really want highly skilled network engineers and administrators negotiating with carriers, handling repair issues and network outages, managing vendor relationships, handling basic Move / Add / Change / Disconnect work, procuring voice and data network services, taking mobility repair calls, and looking at invoices every month? The answer should be NO.

Strategic Reason #3: So many other great things to focus on…cloud, security, app dev

The truth is — IT organizations are ridiculously busy and have far too many important initiatives to focus on. Today’s top CIOs focus on identifying how enterprise technology can enhance the business from a strategic perspective. Technology brings exciting changes to the IT world. The emergence of cloud, IoT, mobility, applications, and security challenges far outweigh managing tactical and commodity based work like communications.

By working with business leaders and customers to identify their challenges and provide technology solutions, CIOs are now taking an active part in moving their business forward – often in ways they have never have been able to do before!

Ryan Carter specializes in working with thought-leading, strategically-targeted IT executives to help them achieve an increased focus on business-impacting technology, business transformation, reduced operating costs, and IT productivity. Ryan provides thought leadership and various areas of expertise for Communications Managed Services including telecommunications expense management, mobility managed services, technology road-mapping, network design, business continuity, vendor management, and user support.

For more information on driving IT performance and improving business outcomes, or if you have any comments or questions related to this post, please contact him at