What SD-WAN means for your Business
As technology evolves and business needs change, future-proofing becomes a bigger part of life. And, as companies engage further in cloud computing, remote working and SaaS, WAN networks are improving to meet growing business demands.
A dependable, robust and powerful WAN network is especially important for companies that use cloud computing across multiple sites.
What is SD-WAN?
Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) is the next generation of WANs: It offers an entirely new way to manage and operate your WAN infrastructure. This managed, secure, SD-WAN connectivity solution delivers seamless connections and an optimised user experience without compromising security.
How does SD-WAN work?
Traffic is prioritised and policies are set by a centralised controller (the IT manager, for instance). The SD-WAN considers these policies and the availability of network bandwidth to route traffic. This means that application performance is strong, with high priority traffic to utilize primary route and lower priority to utilize low-cost broadband links . Using policy-based automation, IT can manage and roll out services across hundreds of devices and multiple locations.
In other words, the IT department sets out what it needs, and the SD-WAN uses automation to deliver a more efficient upgrade of the existing WAN. Unlike its forbear, SD-WAN is a managed, automated, programmable network.
What are the benefits of SD-WAN?
A business using SD-WAN can make the most of all available network connections, exploiting them for their full potential. This includes backup connections that a more traditional WAN network has, but rarely uses.
More efficient uses of existing networks also means that the connection is more dependable; rollout and deployment of new sites and services is faster; migrating applications to cloud is easier; and reacting to unexpected changes and demands to your business is more seamless.
And lower-maintenance, cloud-based services like SD-WAN are:
- Cost Effective
Is SD-WAN secure?
SD-WAN actually has stronger security than its older incarnation. A problem with traditional WAN networks is that it has to deal with multiple appliances for each branch. SD-WAN, however, is more centralised: Encryption and security protocols are built in, and because it’s centralised and much of it is automated, you can further limit the access to the network.
Also, SD-WAN allows managers to establish policies: This can allow stricter control across an entire company’s network – blocking high-risk traffic from the get-go.
The SD-WAN Revolution
The widespread conversion to SD-WAN has already begun: Gartner estimates that “by 2021, more than 65% of WAN edge infrastructure refresh initiatives will be based on SD-WAN versus traditional routers, up from less than 30% as of 2018”.