This article was sponsored by Multapplied Networks, a leading SD-WAN enabler.
Internet connectivity has emerged as the foundation of the modern enterprise. Today, just about every operation requires connectivity in some form or another—and without a reliable, robust solution in place, a company is at serious risk. In fact, most businesses can only last a few minutes without connectivity.
For this reason, “business continuity” has emerged as a top need for companies.
In this post, we’ll define business continuity, and show how Multapplied enables it.
First things first: What’s business continuity?
Business continuity refers to a company’s ability to keep its operations up and running all the time, even during disturbances from weather, human error and operational failure. A reliable business continuity strategy will include a strategy to protect a company from crippling network outages—ensuring maximum uptime.
Business continuity, it should be noted, is often paired with the term “disaster recovery,” although they are slightly different things. Disaster recovery refers to the process of using backup and hosted services to protect against data loss in the event of a network outage.
With a sound business continuity plan in place, a company can reduce the likelihood of having to initiate disaster recovery protocol.
How Multapplied enables business continuity
Multapplied Networks provides business continuity through a powerful, white label software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) solution that’s specifically designed for service providers.
With the Multapplied SD-WAN solution in place, service providers can deliver network and Internet business continuity for their clients.
Here’s how it works:
Multapplied provides a software platform that lives in a service provider’s data centers. A management server—which works in conjunction with multiple aggregation servers— serves as a single pane of glass, which the partner can use to manage all of their customers’ SD-WAN deployments.
So a customer—say a global enterprise with 50 to 100 branch locations—might approach a service provider in need of business continuity. The service provider supplies the customer with edge or customer premise devices (CPE in the form of a generic x86 boxes) and installs one at each of the customer’s branch locations. One port on the CPE connect connects with the customer’s local access network (LAN) and devices, while the other ports connect to multiple internet circuits from multiple carriers.
Multapplied can work with just about any kind of circuit including DSL, cable, LTE, fiber, T1, P2P wireless, and so on. The more circuits that run into the customer’s site, the more resilient or fail-proof the customer connectivity will be and the less likely their network will go down completely. Through this type of setup, it’s possible to establish seamless failover and true business continuity.
Typically, a customer will have two different kinds of circuits in place plus a wireless connection. For instance, there might be cable and DSL or cable, DSL plus LTE. With these types of connectivity, it’s realistic to attain reliability and uptime approaching 99.999%.
The IP addresses that are on each circuit are not be visible to the customer. The service provider using Multapplied’s software provides all the IP addressing and controls the routing. In the case of a private WAN where a customer has multiple sites, then all of those sites receive private IP blocks and the public IP resides in either the data center or customer’s head office. Multapplied can create a private WAN between all of those branches, enable QoS and encryption between all of the sites.
As you can see, this setup works very much like MPLS. However, it offers more capabilities, providing the same service that you would expect in a traditional MPLS internet deployment.
What about customers who want to keep their MPLS configurations?
Customers will undoubtedly want to know how SD-WAN aligns with their current MPLS deployments. There is a common misconception that it has to be one or the other.
As it turns out, it’s possible to run SD-WAN in conjunction with MPLS. Multapplied, for instance, can run the two systems side by side and cross connect them through a VLAN. One Multapplied partner, for instance, had a 30-site customer running on an MPLS system that could only service about 20 of their locations. This setup was very expensive, and the customer wasn’t receiving the level of performance that they desired. The partner, however, was able to install SD-WAN in customer’s remaining 10 sites that didn’t have MPLS. They found that the SD-WAN sites cost much less money, while providing enhanced capabilities. As contracts expired on their MPLS circuits, the provider turned them into internet circuits and migrated them over until all of their MPLS sites became SD-WAN sites. So it was a slow migration, but ultimately an easy one.
Ready to get started?
By working with Multapplied, it’s possible to offer simple and effective business continuity for customers, on your terms. As a service provider partner, you retain full control over network operations, branding and markup.
To learn more about how Multapplied enables you to deliver business continuity, contact us today.
Alex Caw is a Sales & Marketing Associate at Multapplied Networks.