Bandwidth Demands for Large Enterprise Networks
Bandwidth Growth Trends
That MPLS link was overprovisioned when it first went in—then later it was merely sufficient. Of late it’s either congested or really congested.
Branch office apps that lived happily on local servers continually move up into the cloud. In fact, most applications are offered now as cloud solutions. Desktops used to be local too, now VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) means they also live on some VM in the cloud somewhere. Training, employee tutorials, customer guides, news articles—text used to be sufficient, then audio, now video has become the mainstay.
Employees increasingly use BYOD access—almost exclusively mobile devices—so that even more apps live in the the cloud. Co-locating data centers and virtualization streamline workflows and reduce IT costs, but also increase bandwidth demand and require that data be transferred predictably between all business locations.
The Top 5 WAN Challenges Include “Adding Bandwidth”
Large enterprises require reliable and scalable network connectivity. MPLS is reliable, but often not very scalable due to a combination of cost, multiyear price-negotiated contracts, strict SLAs, geographic availability and lengthy install lead times.
Internet bandwidth—broadband of any flavor, or LTE—is near ubiquitously available, quick to deploy, flexible in bandwidth, and significantly less costly. But these links have a reputation of uneven, non-guaranteed quality (delay, packet loss, jitter). Adding a broadband link to an existing MPLS link also brings the complexity—often prohibitive in a large network with thousands of sites—of managing “critical” traffic to flow over the MPLS link (which traffic? how to identify or select this traffic? how many rules? how many sites?), while allowing the “non-critical” traffic over the Internet link. Oh, and the Internet link traffic also has to be secured, but the VPNs run only on the MPLS infrastructure.