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Nemertes Research: Building the SD-WAN Business Case

nemertes_logoJohn Burke, CIO and Principal Research Analyst at Nemertes, has worked with leading global enterprises to uncover an in-depth WAN cost model and three leading SD-WAN use cases.

Excerpts: The transformational potential of SD-WAN is not enough. IT has to build a compelling business case for making the transition. The base of the case must be cost. Nemertes has developed and validated an SD-WAN cost model that enables enterprise users to build that business case. The short version? SD-WAN deployments can cut millions from large WAN service bills. But connectivity is not the only avenue by which SD- WAN can drive savings; by providing cheaper and more transparent and automatic failover when WAN links fail, SD-WAN can reduce branch WAN outages and troubleshooting costs by 90%.

On the same level as server virtualization, which transformed data centers over the last 10 years, SD-WAN is a potential game-changer for wide are networking. SD- WAN combines the use of multiple active branch links, intelligent direction of traffic across those links, and centralized, policy-driven management of the WAN as a whole. The ability to leverage multiple lower-cost services (including Internet and 4G wireless) as well as traditional services like MPLS holds the promise of transforming IT’s relationship to the WAN and the WAN’s relationship to the business.

Key Topics

  • Cost Components for the model (Connectivity, Capital Equipment, Troubleshooting & Problem Solving)
  • Three SD-WAN Use Cases
  • Better Backup: The presence of unused backup links is one of the chief avenues by which SD-WAN solutions can provide value quickly
  • Savings from operations and the cost benefits of resiliency during link problems, troubleshooting etc.
  • Branch lead time, the length of time it takes to light up a new network site.
  • How to customize the model
  • Comparison of the cost of SD-WAN vs Traditional deployments
  • Recommendations


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John Burke, Nemertes Research CIO and Principal Research Analyst

Nemertes is a research advisory and strategic consulting firm that specializes in analyzing and quantifying the business value of emerging technologies.

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