The rise of cloud technology is creating new complexity for enterprises when it comes to their networks. From an increased flow of data to the need to ensure voice call quality when it’s competing with video streaming, there is significantly more demand on the network and more complexity for managers to handle than ever before. The answer to these challenges and others, in many cases, is the implementation of software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN).
One of the key reasons enterprises are accessing SD-WAN is the ability to use inexpensive circuits, such as the internet, to handle growing bandwidth requirements. It is favored by enterprises for its low implementation costs, and because it adds a virtual layer over the physical network, the network configurations are more visible to engineers.
Reducing costs: To manage the connectivity of branch locations, enterprises generally utilize multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) lines. But as WAN traffic increased, these lines became more and more accessed, increasing costs. MPLS is highly reliable and secure, but with branch locations backhauling traffic to the network before connecting to the internet, this approach added latency problems and began to not make much sense.
SD-WAN allows enterprise networks to prioritize network traffic based on business policy and access a variety of pathways, including broadband and public internet, saving MPLS for critical transmissions.
Highly visible, centralized management: Network engineers value SD-WAN for its high level of visibility and for removing the need to travel to a branch location to troubleshoot a connection issue. If there’s a problem with a suspected security breach or a lost Internet of Things (IoT) device, the problem can be isolated in the network so that other areas of the business are not impacted.
In addition, when a new branch location is built, SD-WAN is easy to deploy. Network managers can configure the network for the new branch from headquarters and have it ready quickly for connection.
Security: SD-WAN offers security capabilities like internet links for WAN connections and integration with third-party security providers to access tools like firewalls.
It’s important when choosing an SD-WAN provider that a few key questions are asked. It’s preferable to identify SD-WAN providers that have built their product in-house, versus those that are simply resellers. It’s also critical to find out whether the provider has worked with a similar size enterprise with a similar infrastructure in the past.
To talk more about how SD-WAN might solve enterprise network challenges, contact us at Enterprise Visions. We can help you navigate choosing a provider and selecting the right product for your business objectives.