SD-WAN separates the control plane from the data plane of networks, allowing for centralized management and reduced complexity. It also provides improved security, performance, and flexibility.
It can be used to reduce reliance on MPLS by sending low-priority traffic over cheaper internet connections and reserving private links for mission-critical applications. This can lead to significant cost savings.
As businesses grow their digital footprint and embrace more cloud-based applications, ensuring that the network can deliver optimal performance is crucial. But legacy networks based on MPLS routers can need help to provide the required security, agility, and availability.
What is SD-WAN in networking? With SD-WAN, organizations can build a secure tunnel from branch offices and remote workers to the central office data center and the cloud. The network can avoid bottlenecks and optimize application performance by bypassing backhauling traffic and prioritizing business-critical applications.
Furthermore, SD-WAN can reduce costs by utilizing less expensive internet connections. It also helps to eliminate costly private circuits and moves traffic over a cost-efficient vast area network. Companies can save significantly and generate more ROI than traditional network architecture.
The centralized management of SD-WAN enables policies to be set and applied consistently across the entire network. This makes it easy to identify any issues and quickly resolve them. In addition, it reduces the need for many network devices and provides greater control over performance.
The technology landscape continues to evolve at breakneck speed. In the future, we will likely see more organizations move their networking infrastructure to the cloud and take advantage of software-defined technology to provide enhanced performance and agility. This is already happening with increasing frequency amongst SMBs and will become the norm for larger firms.
Rather than relying on expensive MPLS connections, SD-WAN can leverage broadband Internet or LTE (with or without prioritization) to deliver business-critical traffic to branch sites. This lowers networking costs by reducing network bandwidth requirements and enabling IT teams to avoid the cost of dedicated circuits for business-critical applications. Additionally, the centralized nature of SD-WAN architectures and solutions reduces management costs by eliminating or minimizing individual gateway and router management.
In addition, a more dynamic approach to the WAN enables IT teams to prioritize and steer business-critical applications and real-time services over a network path optimized for performance. This can help to prevent costly disruptions due to latency and packet loss that can impact employee productivity, morale, and customer satisfaction levels.
Finally, the ability of SD-WAN to use low-cost Internet connections can also significantly improve application performance by eliminating costly encapsulation and backhauling costs at the WAN edge. Combined with inexpensive Internet breakout at a branch site, this can dramatically boost application performance and agility.
Ultimately, the future of networking is flatter, more straightforward, less expensive to buy and operate, and more invisible than it has been in the past. It’s a network powered by a cloud-based operating system and looks more like plumbing or electric wiring than a complex technology requiring expensive hardware in a machine room.
By bringing the control pane into software, SD-WAN decouples networking hardware and allows centralized management to set policies. This will enable networks to be scaled and deployed more quickly.
Unlike traditional MPLS connections, which require companies to pay for dedicated links between branches and headquarters, SD-WAN enables organizations to use the internet to backhaul traffic to and from remote offices at much lower costs. This can reduce costs by 65%.
In addition, because the software-defined approach to network design enables organizations to prioritize applications, they can quickly deliver high-speed bandwidth for critical applications. This can help drive productivity and boost business results.
For example, when a new application is introduced into a business, the SD-WAN can identify it as soon as its first packet is sent and automatically prioritize it for optimal performance. This can reduce performance bottlenecks, enabling enterprises to run new applications and connect branches more efficiently.
Moreover, the centralized management capabilities of an SD-WAN enable network teams to deploy and change policy across all devices in minutes. This can significantly minimize human error that can compromise the security or performance of the network. It also helps ensure that network configuration remains sane. In contrast, in traditional networking, it can take weeks to make a change that impacts multiple devices. This is because many different people work on individual network devices.
Organizations can improve their connectivity and optimize application performance using an SD-WAN network architecture. In doing so, they can make business operations more efficient and cost-effective.
Unlike MPLS, which can be challenging to manage, an SD-WAN is based on a virtual architecture. It uses an overlay that can run on various transport services, including broadband Internet connections and 5G, and creates secure tunnels between branch offices and the data center or cloud. This enables businesses to scale up or down as needed, saving money.
Furthermore, an SD-WAN can monitor and alert business users of the performance of different types of data, which can ensure enough bandwidth is available for them to operate smoothly. It can also route traffic over the best possible path, improving application performance and eliminating latency issues.
Finally, it can use intelligent routing to prioritize critical business data and avoid wasting bandwidth on lower-priority applications. As a result, businesses can enjoy acceptable enterprise-quality performance up to 99% of the time, even when utilizing low-cost broadband Internet connections.
The bottom line is that if your company hasn’t upgraded to an SD-WAN network, now is the time. These advanced networks offer a variety of benefits that can make your business more efficient and profitable, so it’s well worth the investment.