In today’s world, more and more enterprises are adopting the cloud and virtualizing their operations as part of digital transformation. And as business needs change and technology advances, getting cutting-edge IT solutions is necessary to be successful in the marketplace.
SD-WAN is one of the top solutions helping enterprises improve their business processes, increase scalability, and lower costs. It is particularly useful for businesses with multiple branches in different physical locations. Keep reading to find out more about how SD-WAN works.
What Does SD-WAN Stand For?
SD-WAN stands for Software-defined wide area network. It is a software solution that can help to improve existing WAN architectures by transforming the data center into a virtualized connectivity fabric. WAN is a collection of Local Area Networks (LANs) to facilitate communication between branch offices and the data center.
Essentially, SD-WAN seeks to address the shortcomings of the traditional Wide Area Network (WAN). The traditional WAN involves backhauling data from various branches or endpoints to the data center to upscale security.
The data has to flow through strict paths, which can lead to problems such as slow speeds, increased bandwidth requirements, and more latency. Additionally, enterprises incur additional costs of installing multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) routers at each branch.
Considering technological advancements and the dynamic business environment, using the old WAN in the modern world is not optimal. And this is where SD-WAN comes in handy by leveraging cloud and software to ensure a seamless flow of communication between users and applications.
How SD-WAN Works
SD-WAN is a vast improvement on traditional WANs because it separates the traffic hardware from the control plane. It has a centralized control function that intelligently monitors and manages data traffic within the WAN. Primarily, it simplifies the network architecture by overlaying the WAN. This ensures that users can interact with applications flawlessly and increase productivity.
SD-WAN identifies priority applications and steers traffic to them as per their demands. It also accords each type of application with the appropriate security according to the enforcement policies. Data encryption at the branch level gives the organization the best protection from cybersecurity threats. Also, there is no need to backhaul traffic to the data center for encryption, reducing latency and boosting performance.
Overall, SD-WAN’s centralized control ensures optimal application performance and excellent user experience regardless of geographical location. It maximizes application efficiency within the enterprise’s data centers and Software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers. Ultimately, the business realizes more productivity and profitability in a secure environment.
The Benefits of SD-WAN
SD-WAN is a perfect solution for any business that needs a robust and reliable connection between branches or remote offices. With the rising trends of remote working and more firms adopting cloud computing, SD-WAN is a go-to solution. Here are some of the top benefits of using SD-WAN:
Security is a key concern for customers of all sizes. SD-WAN offers improved security, allowing you to protect your data and applications from the risks of cyberattacks. With SD-WAN, you can eliminate the risk of network attacks, whether they’re aimed at your network or your business partner’s network. These solutions come with improved security features like firewalls, VPNs, and encryption at the user level.
One of the key advantages of SD-WAN is the flexibility to scale. The geographical distance between end-users is inconsequential, making it easier to add or reduce users as per the business needs. And since this model has centralized control, you can add links without altering the infrastructure. Plus, SD-WAN allows users to use multiple carriers and create redundancy, thus reducing downtime and latency.
Lower Operational Costs
SD-WAN doesn’t require additional infrastructure to scale, enabling firms to minimize expenditure. You can also open online branches that don’t need network hardware and save more on costs. Also, it allows automation of updates, eliminating the need for many IT professionals to perform maintenance. You can also leverage multiple carriers to get optimal bandwidth and avoid over-reliance on one expensive connectivity.
The real power of SD-WAN lies in the centralized management system. The solution allows you to control your entire enterprise network from a single location. You can optimize bandwidth, provisioning, and security for your company’s needs. Centralized control and monitoring make it easier to monitor applications and ensure excellent quality of service (QoS). Better yet, fully managed SD-WAN solutions relieve you of the hassle of managing your network systems. Thus, you can focus your energy and time on managing your business.
SD-WAN Promotes Cloud Usage
With SD-WAN, you can take advantage of the power and flexibility of the cloud without having to worry about your network’s ability to handle it. This means that your business can run more efficiently in today’s ever-expanding cloud-based environments. For example, you can embrace remote-working in your organization and save on office space and furniture expenses.
SD-WAN allows you to automate your network processes, making it easier for IT professionals to maintain and troubleshoot. Also, SD-WAN has increased application awareness which enables it to automate traffic routing using defined policies. Thus, critical applications get sufficient traffic and security and achieve better performance.
The Bottom Line
With the increased adoption of cloud and remote work in the modern world, SD-WAN is key to reliable and efficient network connectivity. This model solves the limitations of the conventional WAN by eradicating backhauling and facilitating centralized management. With SD-WAN, you can leverage the cloud, scale, reduce operational costs, and improve security, among other benefits.