Wireless powers business apps- SD-WAN, VoIP, VPN and more!

Today we’re asking more and more of our enterprise networks – support reliable access to a large number of cloud apps and connect all our IoT devices and branch offices. Oh, and we also want fast speeds for remote workers while keeping our data secure at all times. Whew!

That’s quite a list of demands. Luckily, software-defined and LTE-pervasive wide-area networks (WANs) have stepped up to the plate. But some business leaders remain skeptical. So, beyond the hype, is wireless WAN really ready for the big leagues? Can cellular-based connections support mission-critical business applications? What about running Unified Communication (UC) platforms or VoIP? Or can they support Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to secure corporate data and applications? The answer is simple – yes, and yes. Check out these results from Cradelepoint’s recent State of the WAN report for evidence playing out in the enterprise. (Source: Cradlepoint).

  • 52% of the organizations surveyed are leveraging cellular connections, including 4G LTE today are using it as a primary connection. Moreover, 29% plan to shortly.
  • 45% of organizations rely on LTE for mobile offices in vehicles.
  • 33% of organizations are actively working toward using 5G for enterprise networking.

At Broad Sky Networks, we want to set the record straight about 4G LTE and cellular-based SD-WAN. If your customers are curious about the changing role of wireless WANs, consider these key points.

  • Wireless WANs, VPNs, and VoIP – Because an SD-WAN is a virtualized WAN, the technology ‘bonds’ transport links between sites using the best path available to route traffic – T1, DSL, or a wireless 4G LTE connection. The appliance finds the ideal route suited for the application, including for VPN and VoIP, based on QoS requirements and other user-defined protocols. These capabilities mean companies can take advantage of uninterrupted real-time data transmission in 4G LTE wireless networks to run business-critical applications with confidence.
  • Wireless networks for failover or primary connections – It used to be that wireless service was a ‘second tier’ connection with users experiencing frequent dropped calls, or down service. Today, however, wireless networks consistently deliver excellent speed and reliability. Cellular connections are also immune to instances where wired lines get cut, or ripped out accidentally. Another benefit is that wireless connections are resilient and generally available during inclement weather, unlike wired connections. Today, in many cases, customers are often reporting better speeds and performance of 4G LTE, compared to wired connections like T1, DSL or cable internet, making wireless ideal for both primary or secondary links.
  • Launching IoT and M2M deployments –  Whether it’s digital signage, security cameras, ATMs, or remote monitoring sensors, today’s IoT and M2M deployments are anywhere and everywhere. The good news is that these deployments help organizations seize new business opportunities, streamline operations, and reduce costs. The challenging part is keeping these devices connected to the internet cost-effectively and reliably. 4G LTE wireless links are the ideal counterpart for connected devices because they provide the visibility, security, and control that IoT requires, minus high costs and complexity.
  • Don’t forget about branch networking – In a distributed branch office environment, nearly all tools and applications now require an internet connection. Mobile workers and branch offices also need internet access quickly, and they don’t have time to wait weeks or months for connections to get installed. 4G LTE-enabled branch routers meet all of these goals, plus many are plug-and-play, with cloud-based configuration capabilities. Cellular-based connections also minimize the need for branch networks to rely on several regional ISPs for connectivity, making vendor management less of a hassle.

What’s coming with 4G LTE and 5G?

At a time when businesses are requiring more and more bandwidth for mobile connectivity and cloud-based apps, wireless WANs are a welcome shift from traditional networking. SD-WAN and wireless networks are now advanced enough to meet companies’ growing demands –  connecting people, places, and things so businesses can continue to innovate.

Looking ahead, Gigabit-class LTE is bringing even higher-speeds and lower-latency connections. These characteristics make Gigabit-class LTE an essential building block to 5G. If you’d like help talking to your customers about the benefits of 4G LTE – and soon to be 5G – talk to Broad Sky Networks! We’ll break down a plan for augmenting traditional MPLS-only WANs with wireless connections – either as a failover or primary link – without reinventing the wheel. We know the ins and outs of 4G LTE and wireless SD-WAN, so we can help customers make the decision that’s best for them. Don’t wait! Your customers will high-five you!

Top 4 Reasons Why SD-WAN and Wireless are a Perfect Match

As our adoption of cloud computing grows, SD-WAN is fast becoming the future of the enterprise WAN. Storage and backup in the cloud, Unified Communication-as-a-Service (UCaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) are just a few examples of the great migration to the cloud. SD-WAN offers significant advantages over a traditional WAN infrastructure because it moves away from the conventional hub and spoke network design. In the hub and spoke designed WAN, traffic is backhauled through the enterprise data center, and it relies on private circuit MPLS links. On the other hand, SD-WAN allows for a network overlay with multiple links to form a unified pool of bandwidth. SD-WAN supports MPLS plus other reliable and cost-effective connectivity sources like cable, DSL, and wireless 4G LTE. A software-defined network is ideal for supporting the delivery of cloud-based services because it efficiently routes data traffic across a WAN by choosing the access connection for optimal performance.

Let’s take a look at how and why 4G wireless connectivity complements SD-WAN and how you can help customers leverage it to reduce costs and increase flexibility – making money for you at the same time!

  1. Ideal for traditional ‘branch’ deployments and more – SD-WAN is ideal for branch deployments because it includes centralized management across branches with the ability to select the optimal connection for each application. These capabilities are important because the term ‘branch deployment’ can cover a myriad of deployments. Besides traditional branch offices, businesses may need fast, reliable connectivity for fleet vehicles, pop-up stores, mobile facilities, surveillance cameras, or digital signage and kiosks, for example. Because SD-WANs combine MPLS quality and lower cost internet, including wireless, regardless of the deployment organizations can keep their applications connected and running smoothly. SD-WAN also provides the ability to select network technologies on a site-by-site basis, helping achieve the optimal balance of performance, security, and cost.
  2. Zero-touch deployments – SD-WAN coupled with 4G LTE wireless also simplifies deployment. IT organizations don’t have to dispatch IT staff to a remote location to deploy an SD-WAN router at a new branch, or to provide connectivity for an Internet of Things (IoT) device, like a remote sensor at a plant, for instance. Instead, using an SD-WAN router and wireless connectivity, an office manager can plug in the new router, and they have connectivity!
  3. Cloud-based management – Because SD-WAN technologies are software-defined, management is also done remotely through the cloud. These cloud-based platforms give teams the ability to provision, troubleshoot, and manage connectivity and applications on the network from a web-based interface. Network managers and have peace-of-mind knowing they have a single pane of glass for device management and SD-WAN control.
  4. Smart traffic routing – SD-WAN can optimize the best path for network traffic, leveraging smart-traffic routing, policy-based traffic prioritization, filtering, and traffic shaping. A software-based based platform enables teams to keep an eye on all connected endpoints across the network.

SD-WAN is one of the fastest growing network solutions because of its benefits around reducing costs, increasing flexibility, and centralizing control across the WAN. It aggregates multiple connections, including 4G LTE wireless, to steer application traffic leveraging diverse wireless bandwidth when needed. Talk to Broad Sky Networks about how you can help your customers leverage the power of wireless within their network for diversity, flexibility and peak performance!