Why is SD-WAN a connectivity solution?
A Software Defined Wide Area Network or the SD-WAN solution combines software and cloud technologies for businesses to connect with branch offices using a WAN. It separates all routing services into programmable subunits centrally controlled. SD-WAN becomes a virtual overlay for the underlying physical network connections and simplifies the whole WAN operations. Therefore, the adoption of SD-WAN has been rapid. Businesses are finding great ROI in deploying this internet-based connectivity since it is easy to use, reliable, and secure. It also increases the bandwidth, lowers operational costs, and improves application performance.
SD-WAN: Delivering software-defined connectivity.
A Wide Area Network (WAN) connects users to applications hosted in enterprise data centers by a router over MPLS or leased lines uses TCP/IP addresses, Access Control, and complex routing protocols, with every router becoming part of the control system.
However, with businesses transitioning to cloud-based applications, WAN had limitations. Web services like Microsoft Azure, Software as a Service apps like Salesforce.com, and DropBox host enterprise apps via the internet. So, networking experts began to use software overlay to improve traditional WAN solutions like MPLS. The result was a transformed, intelligent network model with software defining the network.
How can businesses benefit from SD-WAN solutions?
SD-WAN solutions are new business models that have evolved to overcome IT challenges. The new networking model connects multi sites at low operational costs and enhances resource usage. Network bandwidth issues are resolved as SD-WAN allows administrators to use bandwidth efficiently. High performance does not place the network at risk since advanced security policies run at every stage. SD-WAN offers businesses the following advantages:
SD-WAN is more than a technology solution that improves Wide Area Networking. Businesses can find a better ROI as most service agreements are measurable. Besides, the overall service experience with SD-WAN providers is far superior to their peers. For example, providers define the Quality of Experience (QoEx) for each application to its users. Every application class is assigned QoS and security policies per the business requirements.
Businesses no longer need to depend on expensive MPLS connections since SD-WAN solutions offer transport independence. They can switch to low-cost internet connections such as Ethernet, Cable, and DSL and can provision rapidly compared to MPLs at comparable speeds. Additionally, SD-WAN solutions have low operational expenses, capital expenses, and total cost of ownership.
Businesses can improve their connectivity by consolidating several WAN connections and allocating bandwidth for efficient consumption. Apart from increasing the bandwidth, SD-WAN enhances reliability and security.
Sustainable WAN architecture
SD-WAN Solutions support sustainable network architecture with hybrid WAN. MPLS is used for mission-critical flow and switching to an internet connection for high-speed apps. Since cloud and increasingly SaaS apps need fast connectivity for file transfers, email, video applications, and storage, the hybrid solution is ideal. SD-WAN further expands connectivity with 4G LTE and 5G. Since these are high-speed wireless solutions, provisioning is rapid, auto-failover.
SD-WAN provides quick access to multiple clouds like SaaS applications (e.g., Salesforce and Microsoft Office 365) and Web Services (Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS)).
Security policies on SD-WAN applications have end-to-end segmentation, access control, and integrated threat protection. Traffic is secured over broadband internet and in the Cloud. Distributed security practices are enabled for branch and remote endpoints using DNS security, NGFW, and NGAV.
Optimized Application Experience
Critical enterprise applications are highly available, service-level is prioritized for all network scenarios, and active-active links are in multiple hybrid varieties—efficient delivery with routed application traffic, application-aware routing, and a dynamic approach. Administrators can quickly diagnose drops in performance since they have complete visibility of traffic across the network - from LAN, Cloud, or WAN.
SD-WAN solutions have a centralized monitoring system with a dashboard to manage the configuration of the Cloud, security, and WAN. Zero-touch provisioning for Cloud, branch, and campus and generates detailed reports of the application/WAN performance for use in business analytics, forecasting bandwidth.
Thus, SD-WAN brings flexibility in solutions to a business. It runs on traditional tunnel-based infrastructures like IPSec or switches to a session-centric approach depending on the business requirements and application awareness. By using ‘tunnels,’ the session visibility lowers as traffic is assigned using an MPLS link. Hence, SD-WAN solutions can overcome jitter, packet loss, and latency at the tunnel level itself! Accurate
SD WAN’s AI-driven solutions
SD-WAN technologies leverage Artificial Intelligence to create intelligent algorithms by studying WAN operations, feature models, linkages, business service delivery models, and applications. The result is an advanced solution for accurate network analysis, application performance, and cause analysis. AI drives continual error detection, and the algorithms detect anomalies to switch to automated troubleshooting, a quick repair, and restoration.
When SD-WAN uses AI technologies, service-centric solutions can be built for businesses. Assured zero-touch provisioning (ZTP), Accurate Visibility, Smart Analytics, Automated Statistical Analysis, and higher control in understanding network and application performance. Several session optimizations, intelligent routing, and sub-second failovers are available.
Is the SD-WAN solution right for your business?
Doyle Research predicts that SD-WAN is a solution for the next-generation network and a competitive market. Features will continue to evolve and will be most suitable for businesses in many verticals like - financial services providers connecting branch offices directly with central offices for guest Wi-Fi, allowing employees to access SaaS apps; at retail stores to connect new stores, pop-up outlets; Construction business - to join the organization with remote locations for secure, reliable data center and cloud access.
SD-WAN technology providers include Cisco, Citrix, and VMware VeloCloud. SD-WAN service providers like Spectra help your business connect with your distributed locations, increase security application performance, lower bandwidth costs, become agile, and have consistent wireless connectivity.
We at Spectra understand this business need and add value to your SD-WAN Solutions. To enable SD-WAN Basic and SD-WAN Advanced for businesses with top-of-the-line security compliance, speak to our team today!