Enterprise applications are rapidly expanding into the cloud, giving more reasons for organizations to adopt complex routing solutions. Site-to-site connectivity is no longer a priority when employees can access computing and storage applications like Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Google Cloud, and Dropbox without sending traffic back to the corporate office.
However, conventional technologies like VPN and MPLS have failed to keep pace with the needs of complex wide area networks (WANs). They also add delays and degrade network performance, as everything is called from the corporate branch.
SD-WAN centers on connecting our remote sites to our core network. It can bring diverse network functions and resources into a unified platform and use the internet to reach enterprise applications hosted on the cloud.
What Is SD-WAN?
Conventional networking systems rely heavily on hardware-based routing using embedded control units. Instead of routing traffic based on router control units, SD-WAN uses software-based intelligence to move traffic across applications based on demand. It offers better control over cloud-based enterprise applications, improves performance speeds, and enhances expansion capabilities.
How Does It Work?
When you have multiple services, like broadband, MPLS, and 4G LTE, SD-WAN simplifies their management by virtualizing them and creating a single control point. Other unique features in SD-WAN applications include:
- Software-based routing: SD-WAN rips out the control functions from hardware. It handles all the decision-making so that routers can be more efficient in their role.
- Application-aware: System admins can set predefined performance standards for different applications, and SD-WAN will route the traffic to links that support the required performance levels.
- Prioritizes business needs: If SD-WAN detects latency falling below predetermined thresholds, it will initiate failover to a secondary link, even though the primary service is still up.
- Flexibility: SD-WAN offers many configuration options, like bandwidth selection, application standards management, and latency threshold management.
- Intelligent traffic control: SD-WAN applications can initiate a connection as a user to a cloud-hosted application, rate its performance, and send it on the link that delivers the best speeds.
- Cloud-friendliness: SD-WAN delivers better speed and flexibility for cloud-native applications. An integrated security feature allows multiple access from different locations without compromising your critical assets.
- Custom hardware not required: Traditional networks had to work with specialized hardware, but SD-WAN will work with off-the-shelf hardware.
Business Benefits of SD-WAN
Network connectivity is a critical factor in maintaining an optimal operational environment, and SD-WAN can have a tremendous impact on efficiency and company profitability. Quick responses from your services improve customer satisfaction and employee productivity. Here are more reasons you need to switch to SD-WAN for your business:
#1. Consistent and Predictable Application Performance
An SD-WAN allows us to use multiple high-bandwidth links like broadband, MPLS, and LTE. Adding bandwidth improves the application performance, and the many links improve application availability, as sessions can fail over the next connection when one goes down.
#2. Lower Costs
You will spend much less on hardware investments than you would on conventional networks. You will save on maintenance and energy expenses with a smaller data center. SD-WAN uses fewer hands to manage an extensive network, saving you payroll expense.
#3. Faster Deployment
SD-WAN allows us to deploy new branches with minimal IT resources. For example, when connecting to a new location, you will only need to configure the local area network, plug in the SD-WAN appliance, and leave automated provisioning to run the configuration and authentication.
#4. Reduced Downtimes
SD-WAN facilitates better load-balancing using application-aware routing policies by checking for more than just connection availability.
#5. Consistent and Improved Security
SD-WAN segments traffic according to application and secures it from the rest using strong encryption during transmission.
Comparing SD-WAN with Other Technologies
SD-WAN is a significant leap forward from traditional networking, and here are some of the key differences:
SD-WAN vs. MPLS
Many organizations rely on multi-protocol label switching(MPLS) to direct traffic within their networks. The technology relies on predetermined paths between routers to send packets across the network. MPLS became popular because it offered better control and speeded up the flow. It is highly scalable and makes it easier to manage point-to-point wide area networks (WANs).
However, MPLS is not as cloud-friendly as we would want it to be. And even though the MPLS-Cloud option has better speeds, it is very expensive with every expansion. SD-WAN gives us more speed and flexibility, as we don’t have to set routes manually anymore.
SD-WAN vs. Conventional VPNs
VPN offers one of the most secure ways to access private corporate resources over the internet. While the network’s security is undeniable, it’s hard to support an enterprise with multiple sites over a WAN. VPN has much slower speeds when delivering applications over the cloud because everything has to go back to the corporate branch.
SD-WAN eliminates the need to scale your hardware with every business expansion. It extends your traditional WAN to the cloud, making it easier to access services from anywhere without backhauling all traffic back to the branch.
Integrated Communications: Optimizing Your Operations With SD-WAN
Remote work and teleworking have increased the demand for voice and video calls over the internet, raising more concerns over network quality. SD-WAN addresses the common problems with enterprise-grade architecture, such as security, centralized control, and network expansion. It separates deployment, data, and control functions from the routing function, making it easy to manage the network.
Integrated Communications offers a stress-free migration to SD-WAN. We will provide you with a deeply experienced team, a dedicated project manager, and round-the-clock support for a smooth transition. Contact us today, and discover how to maximize profitability by transforming your computing experience.