First, what is SD-WAN?

You may have heard about the latest networking buzzword SD-WAN, but maybe you don’t know much about it. With old-school WAN management, Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS), data transmission is very limited, and often very expensive. It also doesn’t allow for network visibility and customization.

A Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is a virtual network that leverages any combination of transport services to securely connect users to applications.  It can send data between various locations; for example, remote branches, data centers, cloud instances, and the devices of employees working from home. In short, SD-WAN can meet your business needs faster and more effectively.

More than ever, companies of all sizes are turning to enterprise-grade SD-WAN technology. It delivers internet-based networking to solve their WAN architecture challenges.

Four mission-critical ways SD-WAN can improve your business:

 1) Optimize expenses/reduce costs

Reduces WAN expenses while increasing bandwidthOne of the most expensive IT budget line items is the WAN, with costs sometimes exceeding $100 per mbps. This can result in insufficient bandwidth at branches and other locations, leading to poor user experiences. WIN SD-WAN can provide 10 times the bandwidth at half the cost.

Enables zero-touch provisioning to save time and moneyYou’ll save time and resources with automatic provisioning of new brand locations and network services. SD-WAN routers are configured and managed using zero-touch provisioning (ZTP) cutting devices and maintenance operational expenses.

2) Improve employee experience

Provides optimized cloud access – Many networking cloud solutions offer a hodgepodge of options, a lack of consistency, and a poor user experience. SD-WAN optimizes performance for major SaaS applications and provides agile solutions to onboard public cloud access. This creates a better user experience on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

Delivers reliable application performance and availability – Without dependable performance, business-critical applications can crash. SD-WAN meets tough service level agreements (SLAs), even during link outages and other network events.

3) Improve productivity

Offers greater agility – Existing WANs lead to infrastructure sprawl with their complex amalgamation of devices and appliances. SD-WAN enables faster, easier WAN deployment and operation, as well as faster performance while using less bandwidth, and helps you deploy new revenue-generating services in days—not months.

Ensures a more resilient network – Traditional WANs can be prone to faults, even during normal operations. SD-WAN is designed for failover and to choose the best or optimized path at all times.

Simplifies policy management – Machine learning and advanced orchestration with centralized cloud-managed fabric across all your remote sites improve scale, performance and monitoring of your WAN, while reducing the complexity of managing network policies. 

4) Reduce Security Risks

Provides advanced threat protection – Given the increased sophistication of cyber threats, traditional WANs can leave businesses unprotected. SD-WAN employs the zero-trust model. Every component mutually authenticates each other, all edge devices are authorized before they are allowed into the network, and every packet is encrypted using SSL and IP Security (IPsec) technologies.

Provides multi-layer security – Hybrid cloud-based and on-premise infrastructure security applications include encryption, authentication, segmentation and service chaining.

Real-world, bottom-line benefits!

Here are several real-world examples of how SD-WAN has improved networking and business performance [1]

  • Savings of $20 million on Operating Expenses (OpEx) over three years for a retailer
  • An 80% reduction in cost/Mbps for a national insurance provider
  • A 4-fold improvement in application latency for a healthcare provider
  • Completing M&A integration in under 2 weeks for a Fortune 50 healthcare provider
  • Securely isolating more than 100 business partners for a manufacturer with more than 1,000 sites in the US

[1] Cisco, Enterprise Grade SD-WAN

 This only highlights a few of the many advantages of SD-WAN. If you’d like to learn more about how SD-WAN can improve your business Contact Us Here