Why Businesses Are Migrating to SD-WAN
Running a successful business means staying connected. Whether communicating with employees or customers, companies need reliable connectivity. That’s why companies of all sizes increasingly seek to use advanced technologies such as software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WANs) as an alternative to traditional wide-area networks (WANs).
Organizations also require flexible communication systems. Adjusting WAN configurations to meet changing demands must happen in real time. Peak sales in one retail outlet can’t wait while traffic is rerouted to create more bandwidth and salespeople should never have to say, “sorry, the computer is running slow.”
Most importantly, a communications network must be resilient. Disruptions can happen in an instant and suddenly, the system that worked yesterday is unavailable today. How quickly a business gets back online ensures a consistent customer and employee experience, providing a competitive advantage over those who struggle to return to normal operations.
Traditional local and wide area networks lack the agility needed to deliver flexible management of communication resources. Working at the hardware level restricts the ability to reconfigure resources in real time. The lengthy meantime to recovery hampers their resiliency.
Understanding SD-WAN Advantages
SD-WAN technology is an application that operates above a network’s hardware level, much like an application that runs on a physical computer. The technology allows network administrators to resolve conflicts and reconfigure resources to optimize performance quickly.
Delivers Improved Security and Performance
Before choosing a network, consider the speed and the security of the data you send over it. Today, SD-WANs are the most reliable and secure, guaranteeing coverage of both factors.
End-to-end encryption in these solutions ensures your business is always protected against attacks. Your applications will also perform better. Additionally, SD-WAN eliminates configuration errors. Performance improvement alone can significantly benefit any business, and your company will be no exception.
Serves as a SASE Onramp
Networks are only reliable if they are secure. As more organizations offer hybrid work environments, the number of endpoints on a WAN grows. Unfortunately, each device is a potential entry for bad actors and needs to be secured.
Secured SD-WAN applications use internet protocol security (IPsec), virtual private network (VPN), and detection and response capabilities. They also offer end-to-end encryption of in-transit data, web traffic inspection, and next-generation firewalls.
A secure access service edge (SASE) solution includes traffic segmentation and automatic updating. If your business has an SD-WAN, SASE is an added security layer that delivers security tools in a single solution. Combining SD-WAN and SASE means organizations can purchase individual security tools that don’t require separate interfaces and streamline their network security management..
Related: SD-WAN and SASE How Do They Relate?
Is Cost Effective
Unlike SD-WANs, traditional WANs require network administrators to interact with firewalls, routers, switches, and communication lines to reconfigure resources or resolve conflicts. This process requires IT staff to manually change the settings on multiple devices, either through a user interface or on the device itself.
This approach is inefficient and prevents staff from working on projects that impact the bottom line. Changes can take hours or even days, depending on the network size and the complexity of the change.
Increases Staffing Efficiency
Many companies strive to reduce staff costs to increase profits. It is possible to accomplish this goal without sacrificing quality using a managed SD-WAN solution. The services automate, simplify, and perform essential network operations such as traffic routing and cyberattack prevention.
In addition, businesses benefit from SD-WAN advantages to increase employee and customer satisfaction. A well-performing system makes the team and clients less likely to become frustrated. You can retain your employees when their morale is high, and they work more efficiently. Customers will also benefit from the agile, stable services, and operations provided by a well-maintained SD-WAN network.
Optimizing traffic flows
One essential SD-WAN advantage is its ability to control data flow. This prevents the same connection from being used for all processes by prioritizing specific traffic and signals. It achieves this through path selection and intelligent routing.
When network traffic begins to overload a transmission path, SD-WANs can automatically route transactions over an alternative path to maintain consistent network performance. They can also assess the priority of a given transmission and adjust its approach to ensure it is delivered as quickly as possible.
Your provider can tailor SD-WAN to meet the demands of any business. Scalability ensures the continuity of services as the company grows. These SD-WAN advantages allow you to use MPLS or 5G for any connectivity method. Changing your internet connection or letting go of the one you’ve been using for a while won’t be necessary. The only thing you have to do is adapt your SD-WAN to your existing infrastructure.
SD-WAN equipment is also available in several different configurations. If you need an on-premises, controller-based, or gateway-based solution, one of these might suit you. In addition, you may also see cost reductions and improved performance with the right setup.
Related: Top 3 SD-WAN Architecture Types
Ensures Positive Experiences
Beyond slow download times, latency, packet loss, and jittering can degrade the customer and employee experience. Keeping clients engaged during remote sales calls or video conferencing is difficult when network performance lags. Employees may struggle with collaboration when communication tools do not meet their needs. Features such as path conditioning and tunnel bonding can improve network performance.
Improving employee experiences has often required migrating some applications to the cloud. Traditional WAN deployments do not directly access applications residing in the cloud. Instead, they use an intermediary hub. SD-WAN, on the other hand, can access cloud applications and simplify hybrid environment management.
Enables Business Continuity
Businesses must be able to restore operations quickly after a disruption. SD-WAN creates a more resilient network. With its 24/7 monitoring capabilities, the SD-WAN application can ensure increased uptime and network availability.
SD-WAN can operate 24/7 by routing traffic through available connections until the down channels are repaired. The solution can deliver end-to-end visibility to help mitigate problems before they impact network users. SD-WAN ensures that a business is flexible and reliable and has the resiliency to be agile.
Identifying an SD-WAN Partner
Not all SD-WAN applications are equal, and neither are SD-WAN providers. How well your business leverages the technology depends on the provider. You must verify that a company can increase network security, optimize performance, and scale seamlessly. You want to know that your chosen SD-WAN provider performs the following:
To ensure SD-WAN advantages, you must accept that its implementation can’t be universal. After learning the network’s configuration and design, an expert must deploy the solution for you.
Before implementing or updating SD-WAN technology, an ideal SD-WAN provider thoroughly maps your current network. They will ensure you have satisfied customers, significantly lower costs, and an optimally configured network. Ensure your SD-WAN provider thoroughly evaluates your network topology and business requirements before anything else. You’ll be able to increase your SD-WAN advantages immediately.
With a leading SD-WAN provider, you can receive 24/7 proactive network monitoring. Managing all networked applications is possible, and you can check their status anytime. Additionally, you can manage all your locations through a single portal, no matter how many offices you have.
Carrier and Transport Agnostic
You may find using a vendor’s internet provider inconvenient and more expensive than your existing service. With the best partners, you can pick any internet provider, including keeping your current one, for the best price and a high level of bandwidth at each of your sites.
Planning is also an essential aspect of SD-WAN deployment. Customizing your network design is crucial to meeting your current and future needs. For SD-WAN to work appropriately for your business, it must be optimally set up from the beginning, considering all relevant factors. Any other approach could compromise your business. The best provider will ensure your network is secure and reliable, and your SD-WAN is implemented accurately.
Finally, SD-WAN provider credentials that have been verified are critical to security. Because of the complexity of SD-WAN networks and the need for integrated security solutions, securing them in time can be challenging.
To avoid this challenge, ensure that your SD-WAN provider has exceptional security expertise. You will feel at ease knowing they have an in-depth understanding of the most sophisticated and robust networking options.
The Right Partner For Your Business
Choosing an SD-WAN provider with extensive credentials and security knowledge is wise for your business. Expanding your network to accommodate multiple working modes is crucial as your company becomes more digital. Consider partnering with a company such as BCM One with extensive Managed SD-WAN experience.
At BCMOne, we have extensive experience in SD-WAN implementation and the deployment of the SASE layer. Our experts will evaluate your current infrastructure and discuss your requirements before delivering a customized solution that can scale seamlessly. We aim to simplify your infrastructure while providing a flexible, reliable, and resilient solution that enhances business agility. Contact us to discuss how we can advance your digital transformation.