Now, most of AutoNation’s cloud traffic goes through SD-WAN, from general Internet browsing to voice communications.
“Printing, Domain Name System, VoIP — it all works reliably,” says Castellanos. “Since moving from MPLS, we’ve saved nearly $3 million a year.”
For other companies considering moving to SD-WAN, Castellanos says the improved technology and cost savings are worth it.
“Over the past five years, the product has matured,” he says. “I would 100% recommend going to SD-WAN. Take advantage of not having to pay for MPLS. The deployment is fast and you will make your network team happy.
EXPLORE: Learn more about AutoNations’ digital transformation journey.
Networking Choices to Help You Stay Ahead
When Marc Ashworth, CISO of Missouri-based First Bank, and Andrew Miller, associate vice president and senior network analyst, began evaluating SD-WAN solutions for the family bank with approximately 100 sites in six states, they were concerned about the cost. However, the bank’s branches needed more bandwidth, and the price of getting bandwidth through the existing MPLS network was even more expensive than converting to SD-WAN.
They tested several SD-WAN solutions in a lab environment and in real-world branch office environments, and ultimately chose Aruba’s Silver Peak.
“We let it run for a week or two in the branch, and it was fine,” says Ashworth. “The only thing the branch reported was that the network was running much faster.”
With a team of three, First Bank was able to deploy its SD-WAN in just over six months, fast enough to outpace its telecom providers in some locations.
“After buying everything, it took our carriers a few months to get broadband,” says Miller. “We still installed Silver Peak by installing a temporary T1 to remove the MPLS branches. Then we switched them to broadband when it was available. »
READ MORE: Learn about the features offered by Aruba’s Silver Peak platform.
Miller and Ashworth say the benefits are easy to see. After paying back their $2.5 million investment in 18 months, the savings continue to mount.
“We were probably spending $350,000 a month on MPLS,” Ashworth says. “Now we spend $40,000 a month on broadband. At the same time, broadband has improved, with more flexibility and competition.
Other benefits include increased security, better disaster recovery, firewall capabilities, and additional controls for segmentation to monitor network traffic.
From an administrative perspective, Miller appreciates being able to make a change to a template to change the rules across the entire system. In addition, monitoring has become much easier.
“I use it every day for troubleshooting,” he says. “I can see all the computers on my network and all the streams.”
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