Maintaining high network uptime to enable employee productivity and customer experiences has never been more crucial. But legacy WANs are reaching their limits.
SD-WAN offers a more brilliant way to connect employees and customers. Automation and granular control reduce IT workloads and allow time to focus on other priorities.
The growth of business applications running in the cloud drives SD-WAN adoption. IT departments use these applications to connect employees to customers and partners and to collaborate on projects across remote offices. These apps need a consistent and high-quality network to perform well.
Traditional networking approaches backhaul traffic from branch offices to a central internet security point in a data center. Performance issues can arise, including lagging and jittering. SD-WAN can improve application performance by allowing traffic routed over multiple links instead of a single path.
What is SD-WAN solution? Additionally, a good SD-WAN solution will automatically identify and categorize application traffic, allowing it to give priority to real-time and mission-critical data services. No matter where a user is located, it can help to lessen common performance concerns like lag and latency and increase productivity.
With centralized management, deploying and updating policies based on specific business needs is easy. These policies are immediately translated into operational rules downloaded to all managed devices, providing a consistent quality of experience.
When connecting a decentralized workforce, organizations need flexibility to support network security and application performance. SD-WAN is a network architecture on both fronts, allowing diverse access and supporting advanced network services like NGFW, VPN, and advanced third-party security features.
An effective SD-WAN solution offers centralized management and visibility through a single interface. This centralization enables IT teams to simplify operations and efficiently manage their networking ecosystem.
This unified control, automation, and visibility reduces IT workloads and enables them to focus on deploying new applications, boosting performance, and meeting business goals. For example, SD-WAN can improve performance for sensitive applications by prioritizing and shifting traffic based on the importance of that data. It also enables IT to quickly provision internet connections (including LTE) instead of MPLS for a temporary or remote site and to combine internet and MPLS connections into virtual links for more bandwidth and resilience. This flexibility is vital to meeting the needs of today’s mobile and global businesses.
SD-WAN allows IT teams to manage data efficiently over various network paths. It means critical applications get the priority they deserve without sacrificing user experience. It also enables IT to ensure that data stays secure and private.
Unlike traditional WAN solutions that require costly MPLS connections and edge routers, an SD-WAN solution is transport and service provider agnostic. Businesses can use their preferred internet connectivity (broadband, 4G/5G cellular, etc.) and centrally define policies based on quality, cost, and other business requirements.
An SD-WAN solution can also optimize cloud connectivity for better performance by enabling enterprises to direct traffic over the most efficient path for each application. It reduces latency and packet loss for a better user experience, increasing application availability, reducing IT staff resources to handle routing issues manually, and lowering overall costs. Its built-in resilience ensures users can continue working even if the primary connectivity medium fails. It increases employee morale and productivity while reducing costly lost person-hours due to downtime.
Automation reduces errors, speeds up configuration rollouts, and enables zero-touch provisioning. Automation can also be linked to observability, which improves network management and security capabilities. A 2022 survey found that enterprises that tie observability to automation realize more significant ROI than those that do not.
SD-WAN’s software abstraction decouples WAN configurations and workflows from the hardware, making it easier for teams to implement new features. It also reduces the time to deploy, even in remote locations.
Advanced self-healing SD-WAN solutions detect application performance issues and automatically redirect traffic to a better-performing link. For instance, they might route traffic destined for an MPLS circuit over less expensive broadband or LTE connections.
They can also optimize last-mile bandwidth by combining different connection types at the link level (e.g., MPLS with LTE or broadband internet). It is possible thanks to the ability of SD-WAN to dynamically determine which links to use based on business policies and prioritize applications. It saves organizations on cost while improving application performance, resiliency, and security.
A business-driven SD-WAN delivers secure connectivity for business applications and devices, including those that run over the internet. It encrypts data that moves over the WAN, ensuring only authorized personnel can access it. It means fewer security breaches and a more productive workforce.
A centralized SD-WAN platform manages application policies and threads at all branch locations for consistent, centralized visibility. In addition, an integrated security feature can eliminate the need to deploy and maintain standalone appliances at each location. It reduces operational costs and complexity and improves performance.
A vSmart acts as an enhanced BGP route reflector that distributes much more than routes to WAN edge routers – it carries policy information, service insertion, and security features, providing a highly resilient architecture. An intelligent WAN edge also supports zero-touch deployment for new, remote, or temporary sites by using LTE to get up and running while waiting for MPLS or Internet to be deployed. It is a significant improvement over traditional WANs, which can take hours to get a site up and running.