Top 5 Reasons to Deploy An SD-WAN
How Can SD-WAN Benefit My Business?
Has your business ever experienced a network outage? SD-WAN was designed to help eliminate the massive headaches and challenges that come with the complete or partial failure of internet services. SD-WAN is a networking technology that allows businesses and users to leverage multiple internet connections, increase network resiliency, and maximize system uptime.
Many organizations require SD-WAN as it provides a strategic business advantage to business operations and service delivery and helps them meet the required client service level objectives and agreements. However, it takes discovery and expertise to understand whether SD-WAN will benefit your business.
What is SD-WAN?
SD-WAN stands for Software-defined (SD) Wide Area Network (WAN). A Software-Defined Wide Area Network is a virtual WAN architecture that enables enterprises to securely connect users to applications by leveraging any combination of internet services, including MPLS, LTE, and broadband internet services.
Organizations that don’t leverage SD-WAN often backhaul traffic from branch offices to their data center for robust security inspection, which wastes bandwidth, adds latency, and reduces application performance. SD-WAN is a better way to send traffic directly from branch locations to trusted SaaS, cloud-based, and Data Center hosted applications while remaining compliant with enterprise security mandates.
An SD-WAN ensures consistent application performance and resiliency, automates traffic routing based on business intent, improves network security, and simplifies WAN architecture. This networking technology employs a centralized control function to route traffic securely and intelligently across the WAN and directly to trusted SaaS and IaaS providers. It improves application performance and provides a high-quality user experience, increasing business productivity and agility while lowering IT costs.
How does SD-WAN work?
An SD-WAN enables cloud-first enterprises to provide users with a better application quality of experience (QoEx). An SD-WAN provides intelligent application-aware routing across the WAN by identifying applications. Each application class receives the appropriate QoS (Quality of Service) and security policy enforcement in accordance with business requirements. The system provides a secure local internet breakout of IaaS and SaaS application traffic from the branch, ensuring maximum cloud performance while protecting the enterprise from threats.
Before SD-WAN, businesses used to leverage a router-centric model which distributed control across all network devices and simply routed traffic based on TCP/IP addresses and ACLs. This traditional model is rigid, complex, inefficient, and unsuitable for cloud computing and 21st century business & user requirements, resulting in a poor user experience.
What are the benefits of a Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN)?
1. Traffic Prioritization Improves Business Connectivity
SD-WAN technology is all about a strong connection with full security. It enables users to build a shared network infrastructure that supports various connections such as MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching), wireless LTE, and broadband. This benefit is easily accessible to users by allocating critical applications to robust connections and less sensitive data to public connections.
This technology benefits customers by eliminating the need for routing hardware and bringing provisioning connectivity and services from the cloud to the platform. Furthermore, you will have the ability to scale connectivity up and down based on your needs. In short, SD-WAN can easily improve connectivity between branches, headquarters, and the cloud.
2. Edge-to-Edge Security Enhancement
Cybercrime is on the rise, but because applications have diverse security requirements, some users may be asked to grant access to critical applications, which could be dangerous. SD-WAN manages each application across all edge, core, and cloud locations. This technology was designed to support security protocols that can be application-specific while also supporting various encryption standards to ensure only authorized individuals can access and/or view the specific applications and data on the corporate network.
3. Reliability and responsiveness have improved
SD-WAN actively manages both link and speed to ensure the best user experience and business security standards are met. SD-WAN also closely monitors the health of your network and connections and actively audits security standards to ensure your network is always in compliance. Since all applications have different requirements and bandwidth needs, SD-WAN also actively manages the amount of bandwidth applied to different applications and users to ensure all inbound and outbound traffic is managed effectively.
4. Higher Data Transfer Quality
Every business has a group of MVPs (Most Valuable Players) whose work needs to be prioritized above everyone else’s.
For example, at a financial services firm, brokers need better network service than salespeople since trade execution should have the lowest latency and highest available bandwidth to ensure the firm doesn’t lose money. If a client receives a contract 5-seconds later than expected, that is not likely to have a major impact on the business, while a 5-second delay on an investment could cost the firm millions of dollars.
The above example shows how different applications and users require different levels of access, network quality, and performance to match the business requirement and expected user experience. An SD-WAN can be designed to automatically manage network bandwidth, workload, latency, and much more at an application level. Advanced SD-WAN networks can provide Network Administrators with the insights they need to detect network bottlenecks and redirect the traffic to less used ports. As a result, traffic is prioritized and distributed throughout the network to ensure each end-user receives the optimal network performance.
5. Management is centralized
SD-WAN provides organizations with a policy-driven, centralized management interface for managing and monitoring traffic. The dynamic path selection begins based on the statistics, indicating that the path has been assigned to the application (according to criticality). The centralized management platform will control and audit the application regardless of where it is, reducing complexity and making it simple to manage the application performance from a single platform.
What businesses benefit most from an SD-WAN infrastructure?
Every company that provides services that rely on the internet must keep an infrastructure that allows for rapid and consistent data transmission. If your organization crawls to a halt after a network outage, an SD-WAN infrastructure can be mission-critical as it provides a high availability network that is resilient and secure.
The organizations that benefit from an SD-WAN infrastructure are the ones that view their internet connection as a strategic business driver. Organizations that leverage the internet for service delivery, like software developers or data analytics companies, are a good example.
SD-WAN can be crucial for organizations with multiple sites, including headquarters, branch offices, and data centers, who need a consistent and reliable infrastructure for end-users and customers because their network performance directly impacts profitability.
In short, the businesses that benefit most from an SD-WAN infrastructure are the ones that need a private network that provides high availability and can be set up and maintained by third-party service providers.
SD-WAN is not for everyone, as most organizations don’t need the level of granularity and customization provided by an SD-WAN network. If your organization is operating a robust, complex network environment that includes multiple computing and storage layers for hosted, local, and cloud applications, SD-WAN is likely a good fit for you.
If you’d like to explore Managed SD-WAN services for your business, schedule your free consultation today with The VoIP Guru. We’ll help you identify and deploy the best SD-WAN for your business and organizational needs.