A Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is a virtual WAN architecture that enables organizations to securely link users to applications by leveraging any transport services, including MPLS, LTE, and broadband internet services. In this article, you will learn What is SD-WAN, how does it work and why do you need it? In addition, this article will explore WAN simplification, lower costs, bandwidth efficiency, and seamless on-ramp to the cloud. But, first, let’s look closely at how SD-WAN works in practice.
WAN simplification with SD-WAN is an excellent way to streamline the network while achieving the same or better cloud access than traditional LAN connections. Traditional WANs are unsuitable for cloud traffic, and SD-WANs enable seamless on-ramp to the cloud while reducing costs, improving application performance, minimizing risk, and minimizing business risk.SD-WAN solutions simplify WAN architecture by separating management from networking. It supports BGP routing and communicates with non-migrated branches and SD-WAN-enabled branches.
Among the business benefits of SD-WAN are lower WAN costs and improved branch office connectivity. Besides that, SD-WAN also gives enterprises more choices regarding networks. On the other hand, carriers tend to lock enterprises into long-term, inflexible contracts that make it difficult to switch providers. Furthermore, these contracts give the incumbent carriers a lot of leverage over enterprises. Thus, businesses should explore other options, including SD-WAN.
The most apparent benefit of SD-WAN is that it can reduce IT management costs. With automated management functions and centralized control, SD-WAN allows organizations to avoid hiring highly specialized network engineers. Moreover, it helps cut down human capital costs. Ultimately, SD-WAN can save about 1.5% of their total WAN costs. So how does SD-WAN save money?
The most apparent advantage of SD-WAN is its increased bandwidth efficiency. The traditional WAN can no longer support the high traffic volumes generated by cloud computing. Instead, SD-WAN offers WAN simplification, increased bandwidth efficiency, and seamless on-ramp to the cloud. These benefits are just a tiny part of the benefits of SD-WAN, which is a comprehensive network strategy that reduces costs and improves business risk.
SD-WAN uses multiple connections to provide flexible, scalable, and secure connectivity to your users. This flexibility allows you to prioritize traffic based on its priority. For example, SD-WAN can prioritize low-priority traffic above high-priority traffic, while MPLS only provides one network connection. This approach makes it a practical option for companies to cut operational costs.
Seamless on-ramp to the cloud
SD-WAN is an enterprise-grade, cloud-delivered solution that delivers seamless, secure access to cloud applications and workloads for remote users. Its multi-cloud support and policy-driven networking capabilities ensure an automated, fast on-ramp to the cloud. As a result, this technology is an ideal choice for organizations that want to leverage the flexibility and scalability of the cloud. In addition to a single VM with SD-WAN and a full security stack, this technology can be deployed quickly, reducing operational costs and errors.
Whether you have multiple locations or just one, SD-WAN allows branch offices to connect to the cloud with a single network. In addition, the SD-WAN fabric continuously measures SaaS application performance and computes a quality-of-experience score for each path. The score ranges from 0 to 10, with 10 representing the highest performance. This data gives network administrators a clear understanding of application performance and automatically chooses the optimal path.
SD-WANs are network infrastructures that are constructed of encrypted tunnels between locations. Each site has an SD-WAN device that automatically downloads a custom configuration and traffic policies and establishes tunnels with other sites and points of presence. These devices manage routing, traffic control, and failover to alternate connections if one fails. An SD-WAN can be configured to route traffic to any destination or to allow all applications to flow through it.
While the SD-WAN provides application-based routing and secure local internet breakouts, conventional network administration methods use a router-centric model that distributes the control function across all devices in the network. Furthermore, traditional routers rely on a static set of ACLs and TCP/IP addresses, which results in poor QoS. SD-WAN addresses these problems by identifying applications and providing intelligent application-aware routing across WAN, with proper QoS and security policies enforced. In addition, business-driven SD-WAN services also integrate an orchestrator, a virtualized network administration component, that monitors traffic and enforces policies.