The best SD-WAN solutions are a combination of routers, WAN optimizers, and virtual network functions (VNFs) hosted on a cloud system. It reduces hardware costs and allows for centralized management.
The result is greater agility to onboard new locations, improve application performance and resiliency, and improve user experience with cloud access. It also eliminates the costly infrastructure existing WANs require with link bonding and aggregation of Internet connections.
Cost-Effective Bandwidth Management
A capable SD-WAN can detect isolated outages and switch connections to other routes to ensure that core business is never interrupted. It can also prioritize traffic for critical applications and route it over the most cost-effective path.
As a result, WAN costs are significantly reduced. In addition, application performance improves, and IT teams no longer have to backhaul all traffic over long distances to headquarters. This use case is significant for companies that rely on SaaS and infrastructure-as-a-service solutions.
For global organizations, an SD-WAN can help optimize connectivity across multiple sites. It can help reduce costs and improve WAN reliability by balancing traffic between sites connected over private circuits with broadband internet connections.
An SD-WAN can also help improve network security by reducing the attack surface and providing centralized management capabilities. Advanced security features include:
- A next-generation firewall.
- Secure web gateway.
- Granular threat intelligence for edge-to-edge data encryption against cyber threats.
A fully managed SD-WAN technology can also reduce the burden on IT staff by enabling them to deploy, configure, and upgrade software and services in a centralized portal. It can eliminate the need for expensive on-premises appliances and free up IT resources for more strategic initiatives.
Dynamic Path Selection
With modern knowledge workers relying more than ever on internet-based business applications and next-generation communications technology like UCaaS, you can’t afford a network bottleneck that reduces productivity and hurts the bottom line. Unfortunately, traditional WANs aren’t designed to handle the increased bandwidth demands of cloud adoption and software-as-a-service (SaaS) application deployment.
An SD-WAN solution can improve WAN performance and reliability by dynamically selecting the best path for data traffic in real-time. Its edge devices continuously monitor various metrics and criteria, such as round-trip delay, packet loss, and latency, to select the highest-quality lines for data traffic. It is done on both a site-by-site basis and across the enterprise network as an overlay to ensure that business applications always have the most optimal performance.
When a specific line experiences problems, an SD-WAN offers multiple ways to automatically route around the problem, including link bonding, which combines multiple local internet connections into one logical connection for enhanced failover and increased bandwidth. This way, you can avoid having to reroute all data traffic to backup circuits. You can continue providing a high service even during transport outages or other disasters.
A secure SD-WAN enables enterprises to use low-cost, scalable Internet connections instead of costly MPLS circuits for branch-to-branch connectivity. It enables organizations to lower their overall bandwidth costs and increase capacity by adding new lines for internet broadband access while providing better performance and reliability than typical DIA or MPLS options.
If one of your Internet connections goes down, SD-WAN will automatically reroute data transmission to other healthy connections. You won’t lose a single packet of information, and you can trust that your business will be up and running, no matter what.
When implementing an SD-WAN solutions, monitoring the entire network infrastructure is crucial. Visibility into SD-WAN provides a clear understanding of performance, enabling administrators to identify and address issues that can impact productivity and user experience.
Network issues like choppy video meetings and unreliable Internet connections can disrupt work and hurt productivity. With SD-WAN constantly monitoring those Internet pipelines, it can proactively detect and redirect traffic to alternate pathways to prevent issues.
SD-WAN provides reliable Internet connectivity and advanced security features to safeguard sensitive data from hackers and malicious code. By encrypting sessions and distributing traffic across multiple links, you can ensure that only your intended recipients can decipher your information.
Visibility into SD-WAN also allows you to validate your service provider’s claims about network performance and SLA adherence. Regularly generated reports enable you to evaluate performance over extended periods and make informed decisions that support your SLA goals. By identifying the most critical metrics and KPIs, customizing dashboards for different stakeholders, and analyzing historical data, you can improve SD-WAN visibility to meet your organization’s needs.
Simplified Policy Management
Managing the WAN traditionally is one of the most expensive and rigid aspects of running an enterprise. SD-WAN eliminates this complexity by allowing you to use programmable network devices and dynamic best-path routing. It improves cost, agility, and performance.
An advanced SD-WAN solution provides enhanced visibility and automation with business-driven policies that optimize traffic for consistent application performance and QoE. These policies are applied based on business needs, user identities, and locations and are pushed out from a single unified software platform.
The best SD-WAN solutions provide secure connectivity by encrypting all data sent across the WAN. It helps to protect sensitive information and prevent cyber threats. This type of security is crucial for IoT devices that generate large amounts of data susceptible to interception by hackers or other companies.
An integrated WAN optimization and security solution also improves remote connectivity to critical applications. It provides a seamless blend of MPLS, Internet, and cellular broadband (4G/5G) with routing optimization and load balancing. It reduces reliance on costly and slow backup connections and improves overall application performance.