What Is SD-WAN Architecture?
According to recent research, the SD-WAN architecture market could reach a value as high as $8.4 billion in 2025. More and more companies are selecting this advanced option over traditional WANs because they are no longer meeting their needs.
Are you interested in selecting an SD-WAN solution for your business but are unsure about the available types or how they differ? Let’s break down the basics and the three main categories of SD-WAN architecture. Keep reading to learn more.
SD-WAN stands for “software-defined wide area network” and it is a virtual WAN architecture that will allow an enterprise to leverage a variety of transport services to connect users with the applications they use. Transport services combined may include LTE, broadband Internet or MPLS.
An SD-WAN solution will use a centralized control to securely, safely and quickly direct site traffic across the wide-area network. This helps with performance and results in a better user experience.
As a enterprise, you may experience increased business productivity and fewer IT costs with an SD-WAN solution. Traditional WANs are typically not good enough for modern enterprises, especially if you are trying to use cloud-based applications more and break into the digital space.
Related: Comparing SD-WAN vs. MPLS
Choosing an SD-WAN Architecture
A recent IDC survey revealed almost 95% of respondents were in favor of implementing SD-WAN within the following 24 months. The adoption of this technology is on the rise, which might explain how business owners and network managers prioritize this system above others in the field.
In the meantime, there are still many businesses heavily dependent on cloud applications and they often consider Internet issues to be simple to fix. They may think they need to add just a couple of new backup circuits to get the system back online, but this is not necessarily the case.
There may be deficiencies in the current IT infrastructure as a result of a comprehensive network evaluation. A misdirected or incorrectly configured firewall, for instance, can result in longer response times, less uptime and a much greater risk for the whole network.
In many cases Internet problems can be attributed to more complicated network environments requiring precise SD-WAN architecture and implementation. This technology allows for software-based application management, as well as connectivity and services between data centers and remote branches or servers in the cloud. Consequently, its structure is elaborate and sophisticated.
Each of the following SD-WAN architectures is beneficial for certain companies, but choosing the one to perfectly fit your organization is based on a variety of factors. First of all, you need to consider the type of traffic you get, the type of applications used and how much security you desire.
In order to determine whether or not your business fits with a particular type of SD-WAN more than the others, check out the descriptions of the main three types of SD-WAN architecture.
This type will communicate between each edge device using instructions provided by the centralized orchestrator. The purpose of this SD-WAN solution is to replace or increase the efficacy of an already-existing private network. With this solution you will be able to perform traffic shaping in real-time.
With this SD-WAN architecture you are also able to increase your bandwidth and create performance optimization over a small network while, at the same time, spending less money.
To set up a new site for this solution, you just need to order the connections, install the box and register it to your centralized orchestrator. After this, it should adequately connect to the rest of the network. If you want high availability for the SD-WAN controller, it may be challenging to set up this solution.
This option is very secure because it does not connect to anything other than your sites. You will have total control and will need to maintain the SD-WAN controller environment. This SD-WAN architecture will allow you to have meshed VPN connections with associated sites automatically. If you do not have any cloud-based applications, this may be the perfect fit for you.
With this solution, you will get an SD-WAN box to connect to a cloud gateway. This is a virtual architecture, but you still get the benefits of real-time traffic shaping like you would with site-to-site SD-WAN.
Gateway SD-WAN also offers increased performance and reliable applications. The gateway will belong to the same network as major cloud providers, which makes these applications’ performance better.
If your Internet fails when you are using a cloud application, the gateway can keep your session active. Once your company has reconnected or has switched to a different Internet circuit, the SD-WAN will reroute you to the session and prevent the interruption of work. Instead of focusing on replacing the private network, gateway SD-WAN focuses on the cloud application.
Choose this option if you want to mesh sites with your existing firewall while migrating into the cloud. This is also an excellent solution for single-site organizations, fully-cloud operations or organizations with multiple locations that do not need site meshing.
A cloud SD-WAN solution provides benefits from both on-premises and gateway SD-WANs but still has significant differences. Branch-to-branch communication will still happen at your main site, but you will also get better performance from cloud applications and higher availability.
An on-premises SD-WAN box will connect your site to the nearest network point of presence of your provider. Your traffic can hop onto that SD-WAN provider’s optic fiber, private line, which helps lower latency and packet loss levels.
Not only is this good for traffic, but it is excellent for connectivity to those major cloud applications. The performance of all of the network traffic, especially real-time traffic, is going to improve.
You could think of this as being partially cloud-based and partially on-premises-based because you get the benefits of the cloud while still getting the support of the on-premises box.
Selecting an SD-WAN for Digital Transformation
Now that you know about the three types of SD-WAN architecture, you may already know which one will benefit your company.
If you are still not sure which approach is best, BCM One is here to help. Instead of pushing one solution over the other, we want to give you the SD-WAN solution designed to fit your unique needs. Our partnerships with different SD-WAN providers of each type will help us connect you with the right one to accommodate your business.
An SD-WAN provider with strong security credentials and deep security expertise is essential to your company. With organizations moving toward a more digital realm, a scalable network is crucial. Partner with an experienced vendor, such as BCM One, if you want the best managed SD-WAN services.
Experts from our team can assess your existing infrastructure and requirements before designing a tailored solution to suit your business needs. BCM One offers expert assistance and implements a wide range of technology solutions. You can benefit from BCM One’s simplified and optimized communications networks with the highest security standards. Contact us now.