Software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WAN) are a simple, cost-effective, and flexible substitute to older-style WAN solutions, refining the performance of applications on-site and in the Cloud.
The level of interest in this area is so high that estimates on SD-WAN products spending could rise from the millions to the billions by 2020.
Here are 5 key benefits of SD-WAN.
As any large retail or manufacturing company will tell you, connecting geographically dispersed offices can have a huge impact on IT budgets.
MPLS circuits previously considered a reliable form of network connectivity is expensive and can give rise to ‘price vs performance’ conflicts.
SD-WAN reduces the reliance on expensive MPLS lines while preserving overall performance. Organisations can leverage effectively more available network connections to their full capacity, enabling optimal performance of critical applications and preventing higher costs associated with lost productivity.
Improved Initiation Times
Although many SMEs have access to increased agility in many aspects of IT, the challenges of initiating new branch office networks is a continuing issue.
Due to the simplified configuration, arrangement, and speedy provisioning of an SD-WAN solution, there could be a 50-80% reduction in the time it takes to initiate network changes at a local level.
An SD-WAN solution, therefore, provides businesses with timelier and less expensively deployed broadband circuits as opposed to buying additional lines when up-scaling resources, meaning a new office or site or branch can be initiated almost instantly when utilising a Long Term Evolution (LTE) solution.
The undisputed primary cause of network downtime is human error. Studies have shown that 82% of businesses have experienced downtime due to manual configuration errors.
Previously, making any changes to network configurations required manual configurations being created and installed and more often than not, an on-site technician deployed to carry out the changes (for many firms, this is still how things are done now) but this is time-consuming and expensive.
SD-WAN is provisioned for rapid deployment of WAN services (both bandwidth and firewall) without the need for on-site IT personnel.
Because SD-WAN configurations are simpler and less fragile than their older WAN counterparts, together with the availability of zero-touch provisioning (a key benefit of SD-WAN) which eliminates manual configuration of devices entirely.
Bandwidth can also be easily added or reduced as your organisation’s needs evolve, providing businesses with the scalability needed to stay ahead of your competitors.
Strong and Secure
Ensuring the safety and security of a network is becoming increasingly difficult.
Users require access to applications and information beyond the traditional security boundary, with the cyber-crime milieu becoming increasingly hostile, creating the need to protect more endpoints than ever before.
While ordinary WAN handle security through multiple appliances at a local level, SD-WAN has inbuilt security protocols with built-in encryption capabilities, ensuring that only approved users are able to access and view assets connected to your network.
Furthermore, SD-WAN also provides granularity in control and empowers organisations to create procedures and policies to apprise the network on how certain types of traffic should be treated, precluding high-risk traffic from entering the network in the first place.
Advanced Quality Transfer
As IT contexts grow more multifaceted, network performance has become increasingly critical for the effective handling of latency-sensitive and mission-critical applications.
Of course, not all applications require the same levels of service from the network; some can get by without taxing it unduly, while others require optimal performance, a high degree of reliability, and maximum quality, in order to deliver the anticipated user experience.
SD-WAN supports dynamic path selection, which means it can intelligently choose the most appropriate path for specific traffic, ensuring congestion points are spotted swiftly and diverted along alternative less-utilised pathways, providing optimised load balancing and congestion management, while high-quality data transfer is upheld.
For more information on SD-Wan call Flow Networks or contact us here.