Different use cases require different WAN solutions, says WAN Summit Frankfurt panel

27 June 2018 | Natalie Bannerman

“There is no one size fits all,” when it comes to WAN - that’s according to Hussein Khazaal, head of marketing & technology partnerships at Nuage Networks.

During the first panel discussion at WAN Frankfurt, Khazaal sat alongside fellow panelists Marcel Koenig, principal ICT technology & sourcing at Ancoma Consulting, Michael Huber, vice president sales Germany, Open Systems, Thomas Lentz, solution manager of innovative services at Singtel, and moderated by Rob Schult, research director at Telegeography.

"One of the main challenges we see is that when you talk about SD-WAN we always talk to network people, said Lentz. "But if you only change SD-WAN from the networking side then their will definitely be more costs because you are adding more features so there is no cost reduction. We need to look beyond the network infrastructure and get the IT people involved. We need to look at the security, we need to look at the cloud, and then you can start reducing your costs because then your network becomes more agile, much more dynamic."

Weaving their way through a myriad of hybrid Wan related topics conversation quickly turned to the cost element of such deployments, referring to Koenig and his recent webinar on the financial impact of hybrid WAN.

"There are instances where you can reduce costs of by 50% if you’re coming from a native MPLS network to a hybrid environment and moving from active-passive to active-active." The other cost driver is how do you tie those different networks together? How do you integrate internet and MPLS?," said Koenig.

"SD-WAN is not free, new functionalities can eat up almost 50% of the savings. If you go beyond the network to the end user environment, there are additional costs and resources being used up there"

With this in mind, Khazaal said that the sell for businesses to even begin implementing this new technology is clear.

"On the service provider side the immediate benefit they see is the speed at which they can offer the service to their customer and because of the flexibility you can actually upsell them a value add service. There’s the added growth opportunity of expanding beyond their network."

On the enterprise said you get the AWS life experience, but what we still is that more enterprises what to consume this as a managed service. You get that visibility into your SLA’s, you can upgrade service and you can order value add services online etc.," adds Khazaal.

One question that kept coming up throughout the discussion was which type of WAN solution is the best way to go?

Huber says that SD-WAN as a managed service is the way to go because "this means we can provide the best of both worlds", a thought echoed by Lentz at Singtel.

Koenig had a more diplomatic approach and said that the right solution is unique to your business.

"Everyone is right from his perspective. But I think really think it depends on the application, what they require and what roles and responsibility model you have and who enforces SLA".

Topics: WAN, SD-WAN, Hussein Khazaal, Nuage Networks, Marcel Koenig, Ancoma, Michael Huber, Open systems, Thomas Lentz