Unified communications (UC) solutions combine a major leap forward in call, video and messaging functionality with an equally big jump up in network performance requirements. As a suite of real-time applications, the modern UC platform stretches the typical WAN to its limits by straining its existing MPLS connections.
Routing traffic from hosted VoIP and team collaboration applications over MPLS, especially to branches, is both expensive and inefficient, due to the required bandwidth for functionality beyond simple VoIP, and low margin for error. Then there's the related issue of monitoring path quality for acceptable levels of latency, jitter and packet loss so that calls/conferences don't devolve into echo-fests.
On the bright side, some of the most common problems for UC platforms are solvable with failsafe SD-WAN solutions, which alleviate the cost and performance headaches of trying to support real-time services with a traditional WAN.
MPLS is the core of many WANs because of its reliability. At the same time, because MPLS bandwidth is so expensive, branch WAN links are usually too thin to handle the bandwidth demands of UC applications.
An SD-WAN can aggregate bandwidth across different modes of transport. It can be layered over a combination of MPLS and internet connections including broadband and wireless, or even a WAN comprised entirely of Internet connections. A failsafe SD-WAN, in particular, delivers sufficient bandwidth by leveraging inexpensive Internet connections and yet still delivering MPLS-class reliability when doing so.
"Can you hear me now?" was once the somewhat humorous tagline of a famous Verizon commercial, but it's a frequent refrain for anyone enduring subpar UC platform performance. Issues such as latency, jitter and packet loss may barely impact most TCP apps, yet they're game-breakers for VoIP and video.
With a failsafe SD-WAN, traffic for real-time applications can be routed over the best paths available at any given moment. Traffic is moved sub-second in the face of WAN congestion issues. Session traffic can even be replicated on two different paths, ensuring a seamless experience for end users, who won't see any interruptions in their sessions even in the face of problems on more than one WAN connection.
Branch offices have traditionally lacked the resources, including bandwidth and technical personnel, to support UC deployments. The associated change management can also take considerable time and be quite complex.
SD-WAN platforms can greatly simplify branch office deployments, through automated provisioning and simplified security infrastructure. An SD-WAN gives you the added reliability and flexibility to scale your network in a cost-effective fashion as requirements evolve.
To learn more about the Talari Network SD-WAN difference, try a demo today or download our free eBook below.