Software-defined vast area network (SD-WAN) provides the centralized management, security, and performance your business needs to deliver on-demand cloud services. SD-WAN enables you to replace expensive MPLS circuits with low-cost broadband connections for better WAN availability and efficiency while ensuring high-priority application traffic gets the bandwidth it needs without sacrificing security.
What is SD-WAN?
SD-WAN, or software-defined vast area network, is a technology that connects enterprise networks across a significant geographic distance. It uses links such as multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), wireless, broadband and virtual private networks to provide users access to corporate applications and services from remote and branch locations.
SD-WAN enables IT to control and manage a WAN’s connectivity using a centralized network management interface that integrates a unified set of networking functions. This approach eliminates the need to configure and manage individual WAN functions at each location, thereby reducing cost and improving agility.
With SD-WAN, IT can change network traffic policies and configurations in real-time, such as rerouting certain types of traffic to MPLS circuits or changing the default route for new applications. This automation and orchestration improve speed and efficiency while minimizing human errors that can compromise performance or security.
In addition to lowering costs, SD-WAN delivers a more robust internet connection than traditional MPLS connections. It can dynamically route traffic between dedicated circuits and secure internet connections, so businesses never have to worry about network downtime due to link failures or degradation. Many businesses have been struggling with a lack of reliable internet connectivity, which can cause disruptions in business operations and lead to costly downtime. By combining MPLS and internet circuits, IT teams can reduce their reliance on MPLS and ensure they have a reliable connection to the cloud. It is essential for companies that use software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud-based applications.
What Are the Benefits of SD-WAN?
SD-WAN helps enterprises deliver a better user experience and improve network security. It can connect remote locations to data centers, cloud resources, and other networks, enabling direct connectivity to applications and services. Traditionally, packets are sent through routers that have routing tables to determine where data will go. Routing tables create a bottleneck during data transmission, but SD-WAN removes them. Instead, traffic is routed based on various factors like bandwidth and latency to deliver faster to the destination.
It is why SD-WAN is so valuable to companies. Compared to MPLS and other connectivity technologies, it can save businesses money and time.
Another essential benefit of SD-WAN is that it automatically enables companies to optimize connections to their most critical applications and services. It ensures that users get access to the applications they need without compromising performance and quality of service.
As a result, companies can also increase employee productivity by making their applications more accessible and available to remote workers who work from home or other public locations. It allows employees to access their work files and additional information while away from the office, reducing employee frustration and improving morale.
Finally, here’s an sd-wan explained to help improve visibility and IT control over enterprise WANs by providing centralized management and policy-based networking. It makes it easier for administrators to deploy new branch offices and manage network security policies across the organization.
How Does SD-WAN Work?
SD-WAN enables businesses to connect their offices or branch locations with data centers, cloud service providers and SaaS applications via a virtual overlay over existing WAN connections. These connections include Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), internet broadband, and fiber or wireless networks. A centralized control plane manages the overlay and distributes network and security policies to all connected devices. It detaches control from the hardware, reducing the need for manual configuration of devices in each branch location.
Using intelligent routing, SD-WAN optimizes WAN bandwidth and ensures critical traffic is sent over the best network paths in real time. It helps reduce the need to waste expensive MPLS connections on low-priority application traffic, allowing business applications to run at their peak performance.
This process also improves WAN resilience and reduces the chance of packet loss or other degradation of application performance. It is achieved by using a combination of acceleration and data reduction techniques and providing backup information that can be used to repair packets lost on the WAN.
Finally, a business-driven SD-WAN responds automatically and in real-time to changes in the network, such as congestion or transport outage conditions, to deliver optimal application performance at all times. Continuous monitoring and self-learning ensure users can access their applications without manual IT intervention.
How Can SD-WAN Help Your Business?
Today’s digital enterprises need the ability to deliver applications and experiences that can be quickly accessed, continuously and securely. SD-WAN allows these organizations to achieve this through a software-defined architecture that provides flexible network connectivity, unified security, and centralized management.
In a world where data is growing exponentially and applications are moving to the cloud, legacy WANs need help to keep up with performance demands and bandwidth requirements. IT teams can help cut packet loss and jitter by steering traffic across high-performance Internet links prioritizing business applications and real-time services.
With SD-WAN, traffic can be directed based on application policy, meaning every app class will get the quality of experience it requires. It can help boost efficiency, allowing users to get the most out of their workday and improve user morale.
Another benefit of SD-WAN is that it is hardware agnostic to route traffic across any type of network transport, including internet broadband, Ethernet, serial, WiFi, MPLS or even LTE. It makes it ideal for small businesses that need a reliable last-mile connection and large distributed enterprises with branch offices worldwide.
In addition to increasing efficiency, reducing costs and improving application performance, SD-WAN also helps ease the burden on IT teams at branch offices by simplifying WAN infrastructure, using low-cost broadband to offload non-critical apps, automating monitoring tasks, and managing traffic through a centralized controller. Additionally, organizations can integrate SD-WAN with firewall capabilities that allow them to perform quick deployments at branch offices without compromising security.
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