Businesses with remote workforces, multiple locations, or a cloud infrastructure need more flexibility in their network connectivity. They also require better security.
SD-WAN offers a new way to connect to the cloud and improve performance for mobile users and remote workers. It combines edge connectivity abstraction, WAN virtualization, and central management functions to deliver a software-centric WAN system.
The ability to scale your network infrastructure is essential to a successful business. With it, your organization may experience performance issues or downtime that will help productivity, revenue, and customer relationships. Embracing scalability allows your IT team to focus on projects that drive the business forward rather than dealing with problems that arise from a lack of flexibility or adaptability in the infrastructure.
Often, scalability involves using strategies such as load balancing and centralized management to help ensure high-performance levels while reducing IT costs. It is significant for growing businesses that might see workloads, data volumes, or users spike.
With an advanced SD-WAN solution, organizations can connect multiple sites to a central hub using the internet. That way, if one of the connections goes down, another can take its place and maintain connectivity to critical services. For example, if your restaurant has to process credit cards on your Point of Sale (POS) terminals, an SD-WAN could enable you to grant remote workers access over their existing internet connections and set up cellular connectivity as a backup option.
Modern businesses’ multi-cloud strategies and work-from-anywhere user models necessitate a flexible network that offers more bandwidth at a lower cost. It is where using SD-WAN explained by an expert, might be helpful. It entails lowering packet loss and latency while delivering more dependable connectivity. SD-WAN prioritizes mission-critical traffic to ensure real-time services like VoIP are delivered on the highest quality path. Then, it uses path control to move lower-priority traffic over the internet and reduce overall transport costs.
Traditional WAN technologies require a secure line installed at each site, which is very expensive. SD-WAN can use public internet connections and provide better reliability, performance, and security.
An important consideration is finding an SD-WAN solution with integrated networking and security functions on a single piece of hardware, avoiding the need for multiple-point products at each branch location. It’s also crucial that the solution provides no-touch provisioning, analytics, and deep integration with cloud on-ramps to accelerate application access. And it should be designed to automatically bridge gaps in internet reliability to maintain exceptional application performance.
SD-WAN can enhance network security by adding a layer of protection without requiring manual configurations, reducing operational costs.
The traditional WAN model involves traffic from branch offices backhauled to a central internet security point at the data center to inspect and enforce advanced security policies. Application performance can be significantly delayed, negatively impacting employee productivity and customer confidence.
With SD-WAN, network administrators can use a more flexible network connection to directly connect to SaaS and cloud platforms like Salesforce, Office 365, and Dropbox. It can help eliminate the need for backhauling and improve application performance.
Newer tunnel-free SD-WAN approaches reduce packet overheads and support rapid scaling while maintaining optimal throughput. It provides better situational awareness that can lead to more intelligent steering of flows and the application of security policies sooner. It helps reduce the network outage or degradation risk that can impact productivity and customer experience. A more automated network can help reduce human error, a common cause of security failures.
It’s no secret that networking and security are complex, and with the increasing number of devices connecting to networks, it can be a challenge to keep up. That is why automation has become so important to IT teams.
With SD-WAN, network administrators can automate WAN management and routing policies from a central controller that replaces traditional routers at each branch location. The centralized control plane takes management, while the data plane is handled by specialized SD-WAN edge routers that work over the internet or existing MPLS connections.
A centralized system can push policy-based automation to thousands of SD-WAN appliances simultaneously, cutting back on manual configuration and providing better visibility into application performance (e.g., latency, jitter). Additionally, zero-touch provisioning makes it possible to ship an appliance directly to remote locations and have it automatically call home for initial configuration. It helps reduce time to service for end users and can be conducive for remote offices that need on-site technical staff. The technology also helps improve existing circuits’ efficiency by leveraging a more scalable approach to routing traffic.
The business world is increasingly mobile, with remote workers and many applications based in the cloud. These technologies significantly threaten traditional Wide Area Network (WAN) configurations that require backhauling traffic from branches to the data center or relying on expensive MPLS connections for data to move across geographically disparate locations.
SD-WAN technology can simplify how companies turn up new links to branch offices and manage their use. It helps save money while enabling better performance, as a single hour of downtime costs most organizations over $300,000 in lost revenue and productivity.
Embracing the benefits of SD-WAN means better data speeds that improve employee productivity and customer satisfaction. It ensures a seamless on-ramp to the cloud for critical applications while maintaining security and quality of service. Finally, centralized management provides visibility and insights into the entire networking infrastructure. It is a crucial reason why many respondents in our survey chose a managed services approach to deploy and scale SD-WAN technology. It frees up internal IT resources to focus on other strategic initiatives.