Traditional wide area networks (WANs) connect multiple locations so that you can share information, resources and communication. Remote sites can be nearby or across the country. A WAN might include branch offices or remote workers to connect everyone to the central office or data center.
A software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) simplifies the operation of a network by separating the hardware from the control and management. While you still need WAN hardware at each site, you can control all of it remotely from a single interface.
SD-WAN solutions enable you to create a single network infrastructure that includes multiple pathways for connectivity, whether you are using broadband, dedicated internet, LTE, a private network or multiprotocol label switching (MPLS). Within one interface, you can control routing and prioritize mission-critical traffic.
An SD-WAN can also help you optimize costs by using the public internet for less sensitive data while routing traffic for more sensitive, proprietary or protected data through a private network. It also facilitates control over remote connectivity for branches without the need to manage the network locally.
SD-WAN for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
Large enterprises can take advantage of SD-WAN solutions by coupling it with their MPLS networks and existing hardware.
Small and medium-sized businesses can also get the same advantages without having to buy expensive hardware and lease expensive MPLS lines to connect remote employees or multiple locations. Businesses of all sizes are increasingly partnering with managed service providers to deploy SD-WAN solutions across their network.
SD-WAN Benefits for Business
SD-WAN delivers a cost-effective, secure and simple cloud-enabled network across single or multiple locations. SD-WAN benefits include greater flexibility, control, security and resiliency.
SD-WAN lets you use whichever wide area network service you want for connectivity. You can use multiple connections from your preferred provider and switch providers whenever you want. If you want to move to another provider or switch to another service, it is easier to move without disrupting your existing infrastructure.
If you need to add more locations, it is possible to implement SD-WAN endpoints quickly. SD-WAN also supports network scalability up and down during peak times or as demand changes.
SD-WAN enables visibility and management of your entire network from a single cloud-based interface. You or your managed services provider can control everything across multiple locations and tailor your network the way you want it. For example, you can define critical applications and prioritize network traffic.
You can also define primary and secondary paths for traffic or let the system define the best path routing based on efficiency at that moment.
In a health care setting, for example, you might prioritize sharing images such as X-rays or other essential health information that doctors need in real time for patient care, while designating billing and coding to a lower priority. You can route electronic protected health information over a private network, while handling routine data through an encrypted public connection.
Other businesses may prioritize traffic for videoconferencing, Voice over Internet Protocol or other high-demand applications.
An SD-WAN allows you to integrate with your firewall and other security solutions. Deploying microsegmentation of network traffic and virtual private network tunnels can mitigate security risks.
Some SD-WAN solutions have built-in firewall and security features, which reduces potential points of failure.
With automatic and dynamic path selection, you can optimize load-bearing activities to manage resources more efficiently. Because SD-WAN can detect outages in real time, automatic switchovers can minimize downtime. The ability to adjust traffic flows based on network performance at the moment helps deliver the best performance.
Some companies choose to use multiple WAN uplinks to provide redundancy, ensuring optimal quality of service based on network performance metrics.
An SD-WAN works as an overlay to your existing technology architecture. In other words, SD-WAN sits on top of the existing technology and infrastructure that you already have in place. This enables you to change or add additional technology without having to worry about whether it will work with the SD-WAN.
SD-WAN solutions can grow with your business, supporting features and applications such as Wi-Fi, LTE and remote worker connectivity.
For example, SD-WAN is a great solution for remote workers. Organizations can push certain SD-WAN functions out to the edge where the remote worker is, thereby extending capabilities the same way that they would as if they were sitting in the home office. Even if workers are not on-site, they can still take advantage of some of the features of an SD-WAN solution. IT teams can also manage how remote employees access the cloud and put controls on what apps they can use.
Optimize Your Network with SD-WAN
SD-WAN benefits businesses to keep your organization connected, while optimizing communications. A user-friendly interface enables control of multiple locations, provides end-to-end encryption and takes advantage of dynamic path selection.
An SD-WAN solution works with your existing network infrastructure and can evolve as you add or change technical resources. Contact LOGIX today to learn more.