SD-WAN technology has gained popularity over the last few years as organisations seek to modernise their network infrastructure.
Top Ten Considerations for Your Next-generation SD-WAN
Table of Contents
What is SD-WAN?
SD-WAN stands for Software-Defined Wide Area Network. It is a technology that enables the management of wide area networks (WANs) in a more flexible and efficient manner through the use of software. Traditional WANs, which connect geographically dispersed locations, often rely on expensive and inflexible hardware appliances.
SD-WAN replaces or enhances traditional WAN technologies by using software and virtualisation to control the WAN connections, optimise traffic, and improve network performance.
What are the benefits of SD-WAN?
SD-WAN technology has gained popularity over the last few years as organisations seek to modernise their network infrastructure. This is particularly significant in the context of cloud computing and the increasing demand for high-performance and secure connectivity across multiple locations. It helps businesses adapt to changing network needs more efficiently and cost-effectively.
- Cost Savings: By intelligently routing traffic and potentially using lower-cost internet connections alongside more expensive dedicated lines, SD-WAN can significantly reduce WAN operational costs. It can also help organisations avoid costly bandwidth upgrades by optimising existing resources.
- Improved Performance: SD-WAN can optimise network traffic by dynamically routing it over the most efficient paths based on factors like latency, packet loss, and bandwidth availability. This dynamic routing improves application performance and can use multiple network links (e.g., MPLS, broadband, 4G/5G) simultaneously.
- Quality of Service (QoS): SD-WAN can enforce QoS policies, ensuring that real-time or high-priority traffic gets the necessary bandwidth and low-latency path, which is crucial for applications such as voice and video conferencing.
- Security: Many SD-WAN solutions include built-in security features or can integrate with security services. This ensures that traffic is encrypted and can be inspected for threats, providing greater visibility and simplifying network management.
- Centralised Control: SD-WAN allows network administrators to centrally control and configure network policies through a software-based controller. This central management provides greater visibility and simplifies network management.
- Visibility & Analytics: SD-WAN solutions can provide detailed analytics and reporting, allowing IT teams to monitor network performance, trouble shoot issues, and make data-driven decisions to optimise the network further.
- Application Optimisation: SD-WAN can prioritise and optimise traffic based on the specific requirements of applications. It can identify and route critical applications over the best-performing network paths, ensuring mission-critical applications receive the necessary bandwidth and performance.
- Scalability & Simplified Branch Deployments: SD-WAN enables easy setup and management of new branches and remote sites. It reduces the IT burden and costs associated with maintaining each location’s networking infrastructure and removes the need for extensive hardware changes.
- Cloud Integration: SD-WAN solutions are designed to work well with cloud services. They can provide optimised access to cloud applications and services, enhancing the user experience, especially for remote or branch workers using cloud-based workflows.
- Resilience: SD-WAN can provide network redundancy and automatic failover mechanisms. If one network link experiences issues or downtime, traffic can seamlessly shift to an alternative link, ensuring business continuity in case of network failures.
In summary, SD-WAN technology is a valuable tool for organisations seeking to improve the efficiency, performance and reliability of their wide area networks while simultaneously reducing operational costs and simplifying network management. It is particularly well-suited to the demands of modern business, which often rely on cloud-based applications and have distributed workforces. With the growing use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, SD-WAN helps manage the increased network traffic and security considerations associated with IoT deployments.
Simpli-Fi offers next-generation SD-WAN solutions to meet the demand growth of bandwidth-hungry applications and cloud-based services. We work with you from pre- to post-deployment and everything in between, wrapped up with our managed services for your ongoing network support to keep your business securely connected and always on.
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