With the promise of lower costs, service elasticity, and rapid deployment, enterprises around the world are moving many of their workloads to the cloud. Unified communications (UC) and telephony services are no exception to this trend. The rapid acceleration in the adoption of cloud UC services (UCaaS) such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom Phone over recent months are strong evidence of this. However, in order for the transition to be successful, enterprises need cost-effective, secure and resilient cloud access while ensuring high levels of quality of service are maintained for their Voice over IP (VoIP) and UC services. This becomes an even greater challenge when employees are distributed across a large number of remote sites.
Faced with this dynamic and ever-changing scenario, enterprises need an alternative to the static and costly connectivity solutions they have been using until now such as MPLS. And this is exactly where software-defined WAN - SD-WAN – technology comes to the fore, offering application-aware routing, with dynamic packet steering based on continuous link monitoring.
SD-WAN technology abstracts the enterprise wide-area network (WAN) into a secure overlay across multiple underlying data services (such as xDSL, cable and 4G+/LTE Advanced) or private connections, such as MPLS circuits. It employs application-aware routing algorithms to evaluate end-to-end path performance across available underlying services and selects optimal paths based on application constraints, business priority, and other metrics. The performance improvements, agility and security offered by SD-WAN make it an ideal technology for cloud access and analysts predict that the market for SD-WAN is set to exceed $4 billion by 2023.
Despite the huge wave of migration to cloud-based UCaaS and the resulting reduction in hardware platforms, many enterprises still need physical, on-premises connectivity for their voice services. Legacy PBXs often need to stay in place for some time to enable companies to carry out a controlled migration that suits the needs of their users. And even after the migration is complete some PBXs may need to remain in place if they offer specialized functionality (e.g. contact center capabilities). On-premises connectivity may also be required with local SIP trunks and PSTN operators.
With all this in mind, companies need to be able to simplify the deployment of SD-WAN along with reliable UCaaS access and local voice connectivity. They require a versatile hardware platform that can host the SD-WAN routing software as well as providing seamless voice connectivity with SIP trunks, local PSTN operators and legacy telephony systems. This is where the AudioCodes Mediant 800 universal CPE platform (uCPE) comes in to play.
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The Mediant 800 uCPE platform is a perfect solution for companies looking to leverage SD-WAN technology to ensure reliable UCaaS connectivity. With integrated Mediant session border controller and PSTN media gateway functionality, the Mediant 800 uCPE is a robust edge device that ensures seamless connectivity with UC and legacy voice platforms whether they are located on-premises or in the cloud. It also offers a wide variety of WAN access technologies (including Ethernet, xDSL, 4G/LTE and T1WAN), making it suitable for deployment in virtually any location.
The Mediant 800 uCPE includes an integrated Intel server module that can run multiple third-party virtual network functions (VNFs) to deliver a fully integrated SD-WAN solution from a single device. AudioCodes has partnered with a number of leading SD-WAN vendors to integrate their SD-WAN software with the Mediant 800 uCPE device, enabling our customers to select the most suitable solution for their needs.