Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) is a technology that allows a company to streamline its Cloud connectivity. This can increase the network’s security and provide a better user experience.
Depending on the customer’s needs, SD-WAN can be deployed in various ways. These include Carrier Managed, Overlay, and Cloud-First models.
SD-WAN technology offers several compelling use cases for enterprises, including support for a cloud-first strategy and flexible network security. In addition, it enables the centralized management and reduces costs.
For organizations with multiple sites worldwide, one of the SD-WAN benefits is that it eases connectivity to branch offices and can provide visibility into traffic to help prioritize specific applications. It also enables companies to nimbly extend Internet and cloud access from any location to any device, with bandwidth optimization and application prioritization allowing for consistent user performance.
A scalable, lower-cost alternative to traditional MPLS, SD-WAN nimbly connects remote users to cloud environments and centralizes DDI and security services in the cloud. It also allows organizations to deploy a new branch office within days instead of months, thanks to zero-touch deployment and built-in resilience.
SASE, or Secure Access Service Edge, is a term coined by Gartner that refers to the security functions needed to protect remote, cloud-destined traffic. SASE combines advanced security inspection with cloud-delivered networking and security services, such as firewall, WAN acceleration, CASB, FWaaS, and Zero Trust.
SD-WAN is a software-based solution that enables organizations to use a single network infrastructure, regardless of how many locations they have or how many users they have. This eliminates the need for multiple-point products used for networking and security, reducing capital costs and making it simpler to deploy.
The flexibility of an SD-WAN is a crucial benefit for enterprises that want to use different connectivity types in a way that optimizes performance and avoids backhauling. This gives them a wide choice of connections, including broadband Internet, LTE, MPLS, or other alternatives.
Unlike VPNs, which are based on the public Internet and offer little security, SD-WAN is designed to protect sensitive data and applications. This is done by encrypting all WAN tunnels, which helps prevent attacks on sensitive business data and application traffic.
Using an SD-WAN also allows automatically managing and controlling network policies from one central platform, eliminating the need for separate point products. This reduces operational complexity while providing granular visibility into branch performance and security threats.
Cloud connectivity is vital to a digital strategy, whether a company is transitioning from private data centers to a multi-cloud environment or expanding its use of public clouds. The challenge is providing secure and scalable access to these services while decreasing costs.
Historically, this meant a vast area network (WAN) that included Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) circuits to connect branches and corporate data centers. This approach is expensive because it requires backhauling traffic from branch offices to main hubs. This can slow application performance and cause a loss in productivity.
SD-WAN enables companies to quickly turn up new Internet broadband or wireless WAN links between branch offices and headquarters without needing MPLS circuits. The result is a significant cost reduction.
This is due to several factors, including improved bandwidth and intelligent routing that selects the best route to deliver each packet. This approach lets sites right-size their circuits, saving on over-provisioning and the associated monthly cost.
A key element of SD-WAN is its ability to use multiple WAN connection types interchangeably, such as LTE and MPLS. This allows it to route traffic to data centers based on a prioritized application list, improving operational efficiency and cloud application performance.
Additionally, SD-WAN can use cellular-optimized traffic steering to different direct traffic sources on specific WAN links, reducing network latency and improving performance. This is especially important for organizations that use 5G networks, which significantly enhance broadband quality and capacity.
In addition, next-gen SD-WANs offer pre-defined configuration templates that streamline deployment. These templates automate network configuration tasks and avoid errors that can degrade performance or cause network failures.
In a world of digital transformation, enterprises must have a flexible infrastructure that supports their diverse connectivity needs. Many companies are turning to SD-WAN as a solution for cloud-based applications and other digital technologies. It provides the scalability, centralized management, and automated deployment needed for businesses to meet evolving network and business requirements.
In addition to reducing the bandwidth needed for cloud connectivity, SD-WAN provides better network visibility. The ability to visualize every path of a network can help you pinpoint problems and quickly resolve them.
Unlike traditional WANs that backhaul traffic to a central hub, SD-WAN routes packets directly to the cloud. This can eliminate costly MPLS circuits and improve application performance by reducing latency.
However, if you need the proper monitoring tools to ensure that your SD-WAN service is working as it should, any savings will be wiped out by the impact on your users’ experience.
With digital transformation, user experience is now an essential business outcome for IT teams. Whether it’s the ability to work from home or travel for business, employees need access to their applications and data whenever needed.
With so much at stake, organizations need a solution that can help them get the most out of their SD-WAN investment. Specifically, they need visibility into their day-to-day performance.