Today’s businesses have far higher bandwidth requirements than they did even a few years ago thanks to high-need applications like SaaS applications, video conferencing, and UCaaS. New bandwidth requirements have made costs skyrocket. Now the old infrastructures are singularly unattractive, but many organizations are unaware that there are better, cheaper alternatives.
That’s where SD-WAN comes in.
A Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is a virtual architecture that enables enterprises to use any combination of transport services – including MPLS, LTE, and broadband internet services to connect users to applications securely.
An SD-WAN leverages a central control function to securely and intelligently send traffic across the WAN. The use of software to control traffic increases application performance, improves the user experience, increases productivity, and lowers costs for IT.
There are several reasons SD-WAN is attractive for businesses with high bandwidth needs.
Transport and Carrier Agnosticism: Businesses can choose any transport from any provider on a per-location basis. This allows IT to gain more bandwidth for a lower cost and get best-of-breed services for each location.
Intelligent Path Control: Application flows are steered through the best available path at any given time, providing an excellent application experience for end-users.
Application Visibility and Optimization: SD-WAN offers network administrators the ability to monitor and report on hundreds of applications running across the network. They can control individual application flows independently and create policies that optimize every application.
Secure Connectivity: Security is as important as application performance. SD-WAN uses the latest encryption technologies on overlay tunnels. Administrators can deploy these and still maintain security they were getting with MPLS or private networks alone. Some SD-WANs include firewall functions like zone-based firewalls, next-generation firewall features, and service chaining.
Centralized Management: You no longer have to login to individual devices and scripting configurations. You don’t have to ship devices to headquarters for pre-configuration and testing before they make their way to their final location. SD-WAN makes setting up new sites as easy as plug and play. All devices are controlled from a single portal, no matter how many locations you have. If your router has any problems, setting up a new one is easy as setting up the old one.
Older technologies simply did not allow for the same degree of application control or control over individual application flows. Even when you could achieve control, it was tough on traditional networking, and all your applications would still be going over the same path.
With SD-WAN, you can pick out individual applications and treat each differently when it comes to path selection. Visibility and optimization of traffic ensure the best possible application experience for end-users. Some SD-WANs further offer application acceleration and caching solutions, further enhancing application performance. You can control all of this with just a few clicks.
BCM One guides our clients through the planning and design stages. We also guide them through the deployment and management phases. SD-WAN should be selected based on a client’s business technology requirements. This process naturally includes the selection of the right SD-WAN provider and deployment.
Please let us know if you are interested in learning how SD-WAN might benefit your organization.