March 30, 2011

The Compelling ROI of WAN Virtualization

  • Jim Metzler, Ashton Metzler & Associates
  • Webtorials Distinguished Research Fellow and Co-Founder
  • Talari Networks

WAN Virtualization is an emerging way to create virtual WANs, and Adaptive Private Networking (APN) is one such implementation of WAN Virtualization. When compared to traditional WAN services such as Frame Relay and MPLS, WAN Virtualization provides both higher levels of reliability, dramatic cost savings, and significantly more bandwidth. APN WAN Virtualization is based on packet-by-packet, real-time traffic engineering that leverages the reliability and bandwidth of multiple active paths through the Internet. The reliability improvement delivered by leveraging multiple active paths allows WAN Virtualization to exploit the superior price/performance of consumer-oriented ISP services.


To demonstrate the benefits that WAN Virtualization offers, the white paper analyzes how medium to large-sized companies can save in excess of three million dollars in WAN costs over a three-year period while increasing available bandwidth to their branch offices by up to an order of magnitude.

The analysis showed that, for these companies, WAN Virtualization offers the following benefits:
  • 45% - 86% monthly WAN expense reduction
  • Payback in 3 - 5 months when migrating completely from Frame Relay or MPLS services
  • Payback in 4½ - 7 months for partial migrations
  • Bandwidth to each site increased between two and twelve times versus their current network
  • End-to-End QoS functionality
  • Greater availability and reliability than typical Frame Relay or MPLS services

Download Paper
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1 Comment

As noted by Jim in this document, in WAN Virtualization "one of the key concepts is adding hardware and software intelligence to a multitude of consumer grade network connections and hence creating a low cost, highly reliable enterprise class product or service."

Of course, since this involves the addition of hardware and/or software - each has an associated cost.

This paper does an excellent job of examining the ROI for WAN Virtualization, demonstrating that the "payback period" (in which one recovers the cost by realized savings) is significantly less than a year in virtually all cases.

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