Enterprises managing the ever-increasing complexity of networks impacted by cloud technology, artificial intelligence, and a flood of data transmissions are looking to software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) as the key to all their solutions. It’s true that SD-WAN is the answer to many of the challenges complicating modern networks, but there’s often a gap between expectations and reality.

If you can balance expectations for SD-WAN with a clear plan for implementation, you’ll experience the benefits that caused you to choose the virtual networking solution in the first place. Here are a few reasons why enterprises are deploying SD-WAN:

Centralized control: SD-WAN separates management of the network into virtualized, centralized control that’s segregated from the physical infrastructure of the network. In practical terms, this means that network engineers no longer need to travel to a branch location to provision it for connectivity, nor do they have to be on-location to troubleshoot a problem with the network.

Traffic segmentation: If your enterprise is managing a fleet of Internet of Things (IoT) devices or a bring your own device (BYOD) program, it’s challenging to protect the network from this expansion of the security plane. SD-WAN allows you to segment out traffic, so that if there’s a breach or a stolen device, the rest of your network is protected.

Better bandwidth management: SD-WAN allows enterprises to lower costs by setting business policies to control the type of pathway any given data transmission takes. For instance, high-priority, mission-critical data can be routed onto the multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) pathway, while an employee on break that’s browsing cat memes can be routed through the public internet connection.

Improved performance: SD-WAN offers immediate end-user benefits, because it increases the speed and performance of the network. This means voice transmissions don’t experience jitter, the new branch location is provisioned in minutes instead of days, and the addition of new IoT devices in a given department doesn’t slow all the other departments down.

Beware the gap between expectations and implementation. Enterprises need a clear picture of the level of control they require in order to efficiently troubleshoot and provision their SD-WAN, and the provider they choose should understand that picture as well. In addition, the enterprise must have a clear path to implementation, so that any required preparation is planned for and included in the budget and timeline.

To create a clear path to SD-WAN deployment, begin your process by contacting us at Clarksys. From determining your network requirements to helping you retain the level of control you need, Clarksys can assist you with each step. Contact us today.