In today’s business landscape, companies need to adapt to the latest technology or risk losing valuable sales to their competition. From high-speed fiber-based internet to Contact Centers as a Service (CCaaS), businesses across the United States are improving their performance with modern, efficient services.
Another valuable service for businesses is a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN). SD-WAN services optimize software and applications necessary for business operations because traditional WANs no longer hold up to today’s connectivity needs. Still on the fence about switching your business over to SD-WAN? Let’s dive into SD-WAN and its four significant benefits.
What Is SD-WAN?
Business SD-WAN solutions are essential for optimizing online traffic. SD-WAN services move traffic away from slow, hardware-based storage solutions on traditional wide area networks (WANs) to the preferred method of storage: the cloud. “The cloud” refers to servers that are accessed over the internet rather than computer hard drives. Software and databases can run through the cloud, which frees up storage space, and ultimately allows processes to run smoother and faster.
Why Don’t Traditional WAN Systems Work Anymore?
Original WAN systems work by hosting servers at a data center and connecting additional users to the original server. An example of this is a traditional internet router you may have in your home. Older WAN systems were not designed to accommodate modern cloud traffic.
Therefore, WAN systems often experience backhauls because they can’t meet today’s traffic and data demands. These backhauls lead to delays, lost productivity, and poor user experience.
As businesses continue to adopt software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) on multiple clouds, companies need to switch to SD-WAN to provide high-quality user experiences.
If businesses keep their traditional WAN services, they will experience an incompatible traffic explosion when they mix cloud-based services and hard-drive-based services. This traffic incompatibility results in:
- Poor user experience
- Decreased employee productivity
- Rising WAN expenses
- Increased security threats
- Unpredictable application performance
That’s where SD-WAN comes in. Since SD-WAN systems are optimized for the cloud, businesses no longer have to deal with frustrating backhauls and poor application performances. SD-WAN allows enterprises to securely connect users to applications by utilizing any combination of transport services, including:
- Long-Term Evolution (LTE)
- Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)
- Broadband internet
4 Major SD-WAN Benefits for Business
SD-WAN benefits are plentiful, so it’s easy to understand why so many businesses are making the switch. SD-WAN is the answer to all of the issues and difficulties businesses experience when they try to mix cloud services and traditional WAN.
SD-WAN services can be set up quickly, and your business will immediately see the benefits roll in. SD-WAN offers a multitude of advantages for businesses, but the four significant benefits that attract business owners are:
1. Increased Security
When businesses mix traditional data centers and cloud operations, they experience security concerns. The two different systems are not compatible, so data becomes vulnerable when traffic moves across systems. As more and more software and data exist on the cloud, protecting traffic for business-critical operations is vital.
One of the best perks of SD-WAN is that it comes with built-in security. Integrated security features help prevent things such as:
- Lost data
- Legal liabilities
- Regulatory violations
Customers and clients can rest at ease knowing their private information is secure in the cloud with SD-WAN services. Integrated threat protection features are enforced at the right time and place, so businesses can catch security breaches before they happen.
2. Improved Performance
SD-WAN simplifies the management of networking services for small businesses. Simplifying operations from a central portal results in ease of performance. SD-WAN can even be configured to prioritize critical traffic and real-time services such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
Traffic for high-demand applications gets routed through the fastest connection. Prioritizing the most critical traffic allows SD-WAN networks to reduce standard performance issues such as lagging and jittering.
With SD-WAN, fast networks are highly available and predictable, so businesses can rely on consistent performance when it matters most.
3. Lower Costs
One of the main reasons businesses switch to SD-WAN is because of how cost-effective it is. Since SD-WAN services utilize technology that you already have, such as ethernet or WiFi, your business doesn’t need to spend money on complicated new equipment or IT services.
Essentially, SD-WAN helps you get the highest performance out of the connectivity you already have, so there is no need to pay for extreme IT involvement or new overhead costs. SD-WAN solutions only use the circuits they need to get the job done.
SD-WAN leverages low-cost local internet access, reduces unnecessary traffic, and provides direct cloud access. The automated management feature on SD-WAN systems removes the need for network engineers to make system changes and reduces the effort needed to maintain a network. All of these modern functions reduce usage and labor costs.
4. Optimized Cloud Experience
Businesses and the general public are utilizing cloud storage more and more each day. The average person who used to store digital photos and documents on computer hard drives now can easily access them through cloud applications such as:
- Google Photos
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Google Drive
- Apple iCloud
- And more
SD-WAN is continually being revamped to provide optimized connectivity over the cloud. SD-WAN is appealing because it dramatically simplifies cloud connectivity compared to traditional WAN services. It can automate simple tasks and organize complex tasks in the most efficient way.
Gone are the days of needing to be connected to a centralized data center. With SD-WAN for business, employees can access cloud applications remotely to be productive from any location.
Optimize Your Business With SD-WAN Today
As you can tell, there are numerous reasons why businesses across the country are switching from traditional WAN services to SD-WAN. Don’t let your competition get ahead. Instead, take advantage of cost-effective SD-WAN services that will increase your security and performance.
At Integrated Communications, we partner with the most trusted SD-WAN providers in North America. Are you ready to make the switch? Contact us today to set up a free telecommunications audit. We will assess your company’s performance and help you determine the best path forward for your business network.
With the growing popularity and use of cloud services, IT administrators continue to face the choice of whether to maintain their network operations in house, or outsource operations to a third party. There are pros and cons to each approach.
Administrators must carefully evaluate a company’s needs and requirements to determine if a cloud solution makes sense. Not all cloud services are created equal. When deciding among Public, Private, and Hybrid cloud solutions, cost, capabilities, and security needs should be considered.
Public cloud offerings are affordable, flexible and easy to access but offer less stringent security capabilities. Security is top of mind for network administrators, who have likely taken notice of recent high-profile data breaches.
Public cloud solutions create an additional point of risk by allowing employees to access information from the cloud from potentially insecure networks. Such breaches cause IT administrators to be cautious about the security risks associated with entrusting sensitive to data to servers they don’t control.
Private cloud offerings, on the other hand, allow enterprises to maintain a certain level of control of data resources. This control allows enterprises to ensure critical company data is kept secure. Other benefits include the ability to control costs. A careful evaluation of the company’s security position is also crucial to determine what data, if any, can be transported and used via a public cloud, and which must remain within the private network.
Private Cloud solutions also provide the ability to customize and optimize services to fit the enterprise’s specific needs. However, private networks sometimes have limited data access, due to fewer interfaces with existing systems. In addition, private networks require in-house support and maintenance, which costs money and personnel resources.
Hybrid cloud solutions are a relatively new offering that can give enterprises the benefits of both public and private approaches by allowing enterprises to offload some resources to the public cloud while maintaining control over others. In particular, enterprises may be attracted to the limitless capacity of the public cloud and the ability to buy into that capacity as needed.
With a hybrid solution, companies can take advantage of those benefits, while still selecting which mission-critical data it must keep within the private network in order to protect that data from breaches. While adoption rates are still low for hybrid solutions, research shows an increasing level of interest in such services among enterprises, driven in part by a market that values the ability to customize IT solutions.
Choose Wisely and Succeed
Ultimately, each enterprise must carefully consider current and future needs when selecting a cloud solution. Once these evaluations are made, the company will be in the best possible position to determine which cloud solution best meets needs and requirements.