Traditional wide area network (WAN) design – with its myriad of devices, disparate WAN links and siloed management – is increasingly becoming a thing of the past. The reality is, traditional WAN is too costly and cumbersome to meet the needs of today’s digitally-driven businesses.
Enter Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN). Simply put, SD-WAN is a software-defined approach to managing and mapping new services on top of existing physical networks. A key element in the rapidly evolving WAN edge infrastructure, SD-WAN is ideal for organizations that operate multiple locations (for example, retailers, banks, insurance companies[HG1] ), are concerned about network performance, security and cost, and currently have or are considering cloud-based technologies. In other words, most businesses would see benefits from deploying SD-WAN.
The Upsides of SD-WAN
Here’s more value you can expect from SD-WAN:
- Enhance application user experiences – Meet the demands of an increasingly mobile workforce and deliver optimal connectivity for all users, whether they’re accessing apps on the road, from a branch office or at headquarters.
- Improve end-to-end IT efficiency – With service level agreements (SLAs) from the network to applications, traffic can be dynamically routed to drive the most efficient delivery.
- Boost network security – SD-WAN provides real-time enforcement around network problems, integrated threat protection and secure traffic flow across broadband Internet.
- Optimize network speed and performance – Configure and manage connectivity and security with a single, centralized dashboard with template-based provisioning for all locations.
- Gain real-time visibility – Detailed application and WAN reporting provides up-to-the-minute data on performance and availability.
- Realize cost savings – An expertly deployed SD-WAN solution can deliver cost savings in two ways: by augmenting or transitioning existing MPLS connections with Internet services, and through vendor consolidation.
But before you move to SD-WAN, keep this in mind:
Embracing this game-changing technology may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s not without complexities. It’s important to understand and address these issues:
- Transitioning to an SD-WAN requires an extensive verification, validation and testing process.
- Your security strategy needs to include not only the SD-WAN connection, but also cloud services, mobile devices, IoT, BYOD and branch office connectivity
- Since there isn’t a single, nationwide or global broadband provider, multiple contracts may need to be managed to ensure full coverage.
- SD-WAN utilizes a completely different networking architecture than a traditional WAN. Its multiple layers require deep integration in order to support end-user applications.
- Traditional WAN performance indicators are not enough to support SD-WAN, particularly when it comes to user experience. End-to-end performance management (not just monitoring) is essential.
Making the Most of SD-WAN
Like many others, your organization may not have the in-house resources and expertise necessary to implement SD-WAN. In that case, consider engaging a Managed SD-WAN service. Sentia provides comprehensive, highly secure SD-WAN solutions that optimally support business productivity. And we manage it all.
Have more questions on SD-WAN? Just contact us to get a conversation started. To learn more about Sentia’s Networking Solutions, click here.