As government agencies begin embracing cloud solutions, the volume of network traffic often has them scrambling to look for alternatives to multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) connections. While the desire to reduce MPLS costs can increase as local governments launch Internet of Things (IoT) devices or prioritize mobile technology, they often find that a software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) solution lowers costs, but does much more.
MPLS is a reliable pathway for network traffic, but it can become cost-prohibitive, because while an agency might value MPLS for an important data transmission, it’s preferable to have a lower-cost alternative when it comes to an employee accessing Facebook during a lunch break. There are additional reasons why government agencies initially intending to reduce MPLS costs find SD-WAN a solution to many more challenges and take a broader view of its role as a strategic technology move:
It’s easy to roll out new apps and features. SD-WAN makes it easier for government entities to access cloud technology, and then use agile DevOps technology to roll out new apps to state workers as well as citizens. When they don’t have SD-WAN, this rollout is manual, but SD-WAN allows the agency to push apps out to edge locations.
Government can offer a consistent experience. In a county with both highly-populated and more rural areas, SD-WAN allows governments to extend its enterprise network to branch locations. This means users out in rural areas have the same experience as those in more urban settings.
Governments gain end-to-end visibility. As agencies roll out IoT devices and access cloud technology, there is an increased need for visibility into the network. SD-WAN provides a virtual overlay for the physical network that allows for centralized visibility, as well as configuring and troubleshooting. Whether there’s an issue with latency, jitter, or a cybersecurity threat, network administrators can identify the problem and isolate it to limit the potential damage.
With IoT, SD-WAN acts as an aggregate for a fleet of sensors. Managing all of the data traffic that comes from IoT is impossible without SD-WAN, and because the devices can be segmented out based on device type, application or user, it’s easier to identify any potential problems related to connectivity or a breach.
As governments continue to prioritize mobile technology and cloud solutions, they’ll increasingly embrace SD-WAN as a way to reduce MPLS costs. They’ll appreciate the full range of benefits that come with the technology.
To continue the discussion surrounding SD-WAN for government agencies, contact us at Wanify.