What Is a Software-Defined Wide Area Network?
An SD-WAN is a technology used to configure and implement a business’s WAN (Wide Area Network). It efficiently optimizes network traffic. Its flexibility offers businesses a solution to slow network traffic.
One of the main characteristics that set SD-WAN apart is that it supports various connections. You can use SD-WAN if you have any of the following connection types:
- Long-Term Evolution or LTE
- High-speed Fiber Optics
- Digital Subscriber or DSL
- Frame Relay WAN
The Different Types of SD-WAN
There are a variety of SD-WAN architectures. Generally, there are three main types.
These are deployed only on-premises. They’re less expensive than others because they connect between remote sites. The downfall of this is that it doesn’t establish a direct connection to cloud services. On-Prem SD-WAN architectures are good for businesses that host everything locally in one location.
These architectures take advantage of cloud gateways. They communicate directly with them to your applications.
Cloud-Enabled plus Backbone
These architectures are the most advanced. They capitalize on the nearest Point of Presence (POP) and gives your network a huge boost.
The Top 5 Business Benefits SD-WAN Can Offer:
Now that you understand what an SD-WAN is, we can break down how it can help your business.
1. Improves Performance
SD-WAN uses a dynamic path selection to make WAN bandwidth more efficient. You can configure SD-WAN to prioritize your network’s traffic. Essential business traffic and real-time services go through the most efficient route.
Other traffic has its own route so it doesn’t slow down your servers. Your IT team or managed service provider can give the SD-WAN requirements to decide which traffic isn’t as imperative to your business. By going a separate path, it helps to balance the network load.
This means team employees have fewer latency issues and more productivity.
2. Boosts Security
Typically, companies focus on all their security policies in a central data center. This seems like a good idea, but it becomes less safe when you talk about using the cloud.
When dealing with digital transformation, there are always security risks. Every year our technology increases while security risks increase as well. This is especially true when it comes to industries that hold sensitive information like finance and healthcare.
Many SD-WAN solutions have built-in security. They come with basic firewalls and VPN functions. In an SD-WAN, you’ll have end-to-end encryption. Everything is managed from a single area. This makes it easy to control the access and privileges of everyone on your network.
On top of that, you can find SD-WAN with a range of integrated security features.
Keep your eye out for networks that include:
You can also find some with sandboxing capabilities the help prevent these issues:
- data loss
- regulatory violations
- legal liabilities
3. Lower Complexity = More Simplicity
Many digital transformation initiatives actually cause unneeded complexity. The more complicated the network solution is, the more issues it can cause. Overcomplexity results in poor network performance and overworked IT teams.
The good news is, SD-WAN solutions are far more simplified. They use broadband to off-load non-critical apps. They automate monitoring tasks. They also manage network traffic through a centralized controller.
SD-WAN also supports third-party API integration. This means you can easily customize it for your business’s needs. Also, day-to-day automation becomes a smoother task.
No matter how many access points your business has, SD-WAN simplifies your connectivity. It doesn’t matter if you have multiple branches, data centers, or cloud environments. Wherever you are, an SD-WAN platform ensures all of your business needs will be met.
All of this works together to create a smoother digital transformation.
4. Enables Cloud Usage
Cloud services are becoming the de facto solution in businesses. SD-WAN enables access to cloud storage at a remote branch. This eliminates extra traffic.
An SD-WAN gives you automated connectivity to your cloud environments. This means you won’t ever be forced into existing gateways or dragged through a time-consuming process.
This means all employees can access what they need on the cloud regardless of where they are. When they do, it won’t clog up the core network or slow it down in any way.
5. Reduces Costs
As stated above, more businesses are increasing the number of cloud services they use. The more they use, the more costs they see.
SD-WAN actually lowers the overall costs. It provides direct access to cloud services. It reduces how much traffic is on the network itself. All of this works together to create a smaller bottom line price tag, saving your business money.
Businesses who use SD-WAN can save anywhere from 5-39% by switching.
Is An SD-WAN Worth it For Your Business?
It doesn’t matter if your business is small or large. If you use cloud networks, an SD-WAN can help you out considerably.
Using an SD-WAN, you’ll see a slew of business benefits. It’s a cost-effective and flexible solution. Your traffic will funnel in the most effective manner. You’ll have a boost of security. And most importantly, your employees will see faster connections without any lag.
Contact us today to learn more about how a managed SD-WAN solution might give you an advantage.