What is SD-WAN?
Networking has become highly complex due to the growth of cloud services and increased connectivity between devices and global locations. A WAN (Wide Area Network) integrated over MPLS connections is no longer the ideal architecture for businesses to operate. The network and infrastructure must evolve according to the ever-changing IT development and business needs. Software Defined – Wide Area Network, or SD-WAN a solution, offers many solutions to simplify your workplace. With a centralized management system and simplified work process, this modernized structure advances your journey to Digital Optimization.
Why Choose SD-WAN Over Traditional WAN
A traditional WAN (Wide Area Network) connected users at different campuses or branch offices to applications hosted on servers in a data center. This forced the data center to use traditional leased line circuits to ensure reliable connectivity, availability, and security. But as we have moved into the new world of cloud computing, this approach is no longer sustainable for cloud computing businesses.
Over the past five years, companies have begun deploying SaaS andInfrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) applications across multiple clouds. At the same time, IT departments realized that the user experience of their applications could have been better with a traditional leased line.
Why is that? This is partly because WANs were not designed for the cloud era. The sudden increase in traffic has created problems that a traditional WAN setup needs help to handle. Data vulnerability, management complexity, and application-level performance unpredictability are real.
Then there is the issue of compliance. When a company uses a cloud service, significant threats disappear. With multiple branch offices accessing networks and a diverse workforce (including employees, vendors, contractors, business partners, and even guests), protecting sensitive business information is extremely challenging.
Traditional WANs are obsolete in light of the shift to the cloud. And after they were pushed aside, a new internet model emerged. This is called Software Defined Wide Area Network or SD-WAN.
At its simplest, SD-WAN is a virtual architecture that allows businesses and large organizations to use any combination of transport services they need (such as LTE, MPLS, and essential broadband Internet) to connect users to applications securely.
SD-WAN uses intelligent routing to provide bandwidth optimized for each application. (This includes latency-sensitive applications like VoIP.) Migration to cloud applications can be done by targeting traffic from each branch directly to the cloud without going through the data center. It is a movement away from physical locations/devices and towards software.
While enterprises have sought to upgrade and optimize their MPLS-based WAN architecture to improve performance in recent years, moving to a customized SD-WAN will be a much more valuable solution in the future. There are different types of SD-WAN network systems; however, they all offer similar advantages over the existing architecture.
The Most Common Solutions Experienced When Implementing An SD-WAN Network Are:
Connectivity to the Cloud:
Legacy network systems were created when the idea of a cloud service did not exist. Most companies have adopted cloud technology in their operations, and their existing solutions cannot meet the growing demands of this new environment. SD-WAN offers a modern solution to these problems while providing advanced security in an edgeless cloud configuration.
Compared to a traditional WAN, SD-WAN solutions require less human interaction with the system, such as manually changing routers. SD-WAN’s centralized management process provides a simplified networking approach that allows employees to spend time on more critical tasks and reduce human error. Companies can easily configure, manage, and define rules or policies within the network automatically implemented across the entire system.
Faster Network Performance:
SD-WAN streamlines traffic by optimizing all paths across the network and diminishing the system’s downtime, which improves functionality and value in your business operations.
The implementation of SD-WAN technology dramatically decreases IT costs by combining the previously mentioned components of increased performance and efficiency in the workplace. Companies may also use SD-WAN as a solution to reduce the number of costly MPLS connectivity lines and switch to primarily using broadband technologies.
Key Benefits of SD-WAN As A Solution For Business Networks:
Now that we have a basic understanding of SD-WAN, let’s understand why it’s essential. Specifically, let’s look at some of the key benefits that businesses enjoy (compared to a traditional legacy WAN):
In today’s market, speed is more important than almost anything else. Customers have high expectations and want what they want when they want it. SD-WAN as a solution ensures that multi-location enterprises can connect efficiently and seamlessly, meeting this immediate need.
Excellent app performance:
Many businesses rely on their software to succeed. If your request expires, everything else will fall apart later. SD-WAN improves applications everywhere. What does it mean? High availability with highly predictable service; dynamically targeted application traffic improves user experience; and better consistency across all application touchpoints.
Ultimately, SD-WAN simplifies everything from a management perspective and makes connectivity easier for everyone involved. And with fewer problems, reliability increases.
SD-WAN Security Issues:
SD-WAN is helpful in today’s cloud-based environment but could be better. As businesses change, new security issues and challenges emerge. Here are some of the main concerns that need to be addressed:
Larger attack surface:
For all the benefits of SD-WAN as a solution, it’s hard to ignore that it opens up a larger attack surface for businesses. In a traditional setup, each branch uses an MPLS link that routes traffic to headquarters (where it then passes through the corporate firewall). This prevents remote locations.
Last, the SD-WAN as a solution service richness of a cloud-based WAN depends on an architecture based on distributed service delivery points (PoPs). These PoPs, unlike traditional SD-WAN PoPs that only support data transmission, integrate routing, switching, computing, and storage. A vital part of the architecture is the handshake between the SD-WAN services edge appliance and the PoPs. All devices and services are managed centrally, which enables timely and consistent service improvement.