The traditional hub-and-spoke model of networking associated with wide area networks (WAN) over the last few decades is being replaced by a virtualized network approach called software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN).
As companies are increasingly choosing cloud solutions to replace legacy, on-site systems, the need for a corresponding infrastructure upgrade is apparent. Cloud solutions require higher bandwidth speeds and are sensitive to performance issues such as jitter and latency. Businesses also have a need to be able to prioritize traffic, so that – for example – a streamed video from YouTube isn’t prioritized over an executive video conference.
These requirements call for a high level of control over the network in addition to better visibility. Technicians need to be able to identify areas of congestion, isolate security threats, and make changes to business policy directing network traffic.
SD-WAN answers the network challenges that the cloud era has introduced. Enterprises are seeing the following benefits with this approach:
Traffic Prioritization: With SD-WAN, network administrators can set policy based on how mission critical the transmission is. This is particularly helpful for organizations that have invested in IP-based communications solutions, where the technology heavily relies on the network connection. SD-WAN also allows for traffic to be automatically rerouted to the next best pathway if congestion occurs on the primary pathway for that type of traffic.
Improved Visibility: Network problems can be identified and diagnosed through a centralized dashboard. For geographically-dispersed enterprises, this means that the technician no longer has to travel to the branch location to diagnose the problem.
Support for Software: Many businesses make an investment in a cloud technology, excited to improve their business processes and the customer experience. They often experience difficulties because their legacy WAN isn’t able to support the performance requirements of their new software. SD-WAN offers the network support cloud applications require. SD-WAN also offers easy onboarding for new cloud solutions making it an agile solution for companies as they grow and change.
Enhanced Security: Some SD-WAN solutions are better than others in terms of security, but in general, the virtualized network is more secure than legacy WANs. This is due to the ability to segment and isolate traffic and the improved visibility that SD-WAN offers. Look for an SD-WAN solution with security “baked in,” not one in which security features were tacked on after the solution was built.
Is SD-WAN right for your enterprise? If you’re in the midst of a cloud migration or if you foresee digital transformation being a part of your upcoming technology investments, it’s a good idea to consider an infrastructure upgrade. Contact us at Clarksys for more information.