SD-WAN Optimization: The Time Is Now

Tap into an unparalleled global ecosystem of network providers and best-in-class digital services to level up your SD-WAN

Tobias Schaub
SD-WAN Optimization: The Time Is Now

In a time of unprecedented economic, social and geopolitical change, IT agility has become essential to survival for digital businesses. Many companies are prioritizing network modernization to create more efficient flows of traffic where they need it most. Implementing or optimizing a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is one of the most common network optimization projects companies undertake. SD-WAN may have hit some bumps in the road due to the pandemic, but adoption continues to rise. In a 2022 survey of WAN managers, 47% of respondents indicated they’d already installed SD-WAN, while another 39% were in either a pilot or roll-out phase.[1]

Network architects and infrastructure teams are under pressure to deliver new network services to keep up with the pace of change and enable faster innovation, but in the current economic climate, budgets are often under a lot of scrutiny. When done well, SD-WAN can help you control costs and future-proof your business, while delivering better network agility, performance, scalability and security.

How you build your SD-WAN, and the platform you choose to build it on, are critically important decisions with lasting impacts. Digital infrastructure services can offer measurable advantages—as does working with a large global ecosystem of network service providers.

Build your SD-WAN for speed, flexibility and choice

An SD-WAN combines the strengths of multiple underlay network services, such as MPLS, Ethernet, mobile networks, the internet and on-demand connections, to solve your business’ requirements in an efficient manner. For an SD-WAN to really deliver on the promise it holds, it must be built for speed, flexibility and choice:

  • Speed—so the network can react and adapt quickly in our increasingly changeable world
  • Flexibility—enabling you to adopt new and different services and expand as business requirements change
  • Choice—to give you confidence that you’ll have easy access to all the building blocks you’ll need as your SD-WAN strategy progresses

Centering these three characteristics in your SD-WAN optimization journey will help you create a solution that meets the needs of the modern global enterprise for fast, agile multicloud and edge connectivity with robust security.

Digital services are a game changer

Given the needs and priorities of today’s SD-WAN implementations, digital infrastructure services can be a life saver. More and more companies are moving toward Everything as a Service (XaaS) models, and, in turn, IT budgets are shifting to OPEX-based pricing models. Organizations also want to reduce risk, and on-demand offerings that require no long-term commitment play an important role here. They allow you to scale up and down as your circumstances change, paying for only what you need. Digital infrastructure services are a great enabler for meeting SD-WAN needs using an on-demand, OPEX-based approach.

Because of the current economic climate, some companies have delayed their network modernization projects, risking their competitiveness, expansion plans and speed of innovation. However, shifting to digital infrastructure for your SD-WAN strategy can empower you to complete your network modernization projects in line with your commercial requirements and a level of flexibility otherwise only known in the cloud.

It’s about scalability and it’s about the ability to grow quickly. I can turn up a server with Equinix in 20 minutes, and it adds value to my business because it gives me cloud flexibility without being on the cloud.” — VP of IT operations, IT services and consulting[2]

According to the commissioned Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) of Equinix Digital Services study by Forrester Consulting, a composite organization comprised of interviewees with experience using Equinix Digital Services saw numerous advantages, including:

  • 10x improved speed to market by shifting to virtual infrastructure
  • 142% ROI and a shift toward operational expenditures as opposed to capital expenditures
  • 60% lower internally managed infrastructure costs and 30% lower connectivity costs

Shifting to virtual infrastructure makes your SD-WAN nimble and fast to adapt. It gives you the widest range of options for evolving your networking to support ever-changing business requirements.

Tap into an unparalleled ecosystem and digital services

For your SD-WAN strategy to fulfill its promise, you need to build on a platform that delivers the three critical traits I mentioned above: speed, flexibility and choice. While many of the services needed to build your SD-WAN are available broadly, there are compelling reasons to build on Platform Equinix®. Equinix has a vibrant ecosystem of 2,100+ network service providers, broad access to cloud services ranging from major hyperscalers to niche and local providers, and a strong partner program to help in planning, implementing and managing your SD-WAN. Platform Equinix also spans the globe, in more than 71 markets across 6 continents, now also including India, West Africa and new markets in South America.

In addition to our large ecosystem and global reach, Equinix is uniquely positioned to be the platform you build your SD-WAN upon based on the strength of our digital infrastructure and digital services offerings—from Equinix Fabric® software-defined interconnection to Network Edge VNF automation to Equinix Metal® Bare Metal as a Service (BMaaS). Digital services deliver SD-WAN components on demand, in an OPEX-based cost model. As a vendor-neutral platform, Equinix helps you keep your options open. You can deploy SD-WAN within our colocation environment, on-demand as a VNF with Network Edge or on a single-tenant bare metal deployment. Equinix Fabric provides the global, on-demand virtual interconnection that supports your SD-WAN underlay.

Whether you’re just getting started with SD-WAN or ready to optimize your SD-WAN to meet new business needs, Platform Equinix provides the speed, flexibility and choice to support your network modernization journey.

Visit the website to learn more about the opportunities to optimize your SD-WAN on Platform Equinix.

And you can learn more about the benefits of Equinix Digital Services in the Forrester TEI study.


[1] Mei Harrison, SD-WAN Trends: 2020 vs. 2022, TeleGeography Blog, March 22, 2023.

[i] Forrester Total Economic Impact™ of Equinix Digital Services, 2022.

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Tobias Schaub Principal Solution Marketing Manager
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