As you may already know, traditional wide area networks (WAN) have long been the backbone of enterprise connectivity. However, according to the folk at Hillstone Networks a new player has emergedin the form of SD-WAN. Herewe will look at how SD-WAN works, why it’s a game-changer, and what you should consider when choosing a solution.
What is SD-WAN?
SD-WAN, or software-defined wide area network, is a new method of managing and optimizing enterprise networks. It uses software-defined networking (SDN) principles to bring flexibility, visibility, and control to anexisting WAN. However, unlike traditional WAN technologies, which rely on fixed, hardware-based infrastructure, SD-WAN offers a more flexible and cost-effective solution.
At its core, SD-WAN provides the ability for centralized management of a network by separating the network control plane from the data plane. With the ability to control everything from one place, it becomes easier to make changes and fix problems as these arise.
How SD-WAN Works
With SD-WAN, you have a bird’s-eye view of your entire network. A centralized controller allows you to manage, monitor, and configure your WAN from a single location. This simplifies network administration and helps you to quickly adapt to changing needs or resolve issues.
SD-WAN uses intelligent algorithms to dynamically route traffic over the most efficient path. This means that if there’s congestion or an outage on one path, your network traffic will be automatically rerouted to avoid delays. As a result, your business benefits from improved performance and reliability.
One of the standout features of SD-WAN is its ability to prioritize traffic based on the application. You can define policies that ensure critical applications, like VoIP or video conferencing, receive the highest priority and the best possible performance, while less critical traffic takes a backseat.
SD-WAN solutions come with built-in security measures like end-to-end encryption and stateful firewall capabilities. This means you can protect sensitive data and ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations.
With real-time analytics and reporting, you can easily monitor yournetwork’s health, identify bottlenecks, and troubleshoot issues. This level of visibility empowers you to make data-driven decisions and optimize your network for peak performance.
SD-WAN seamlessly integrates with popular cloud platforms and software as a service (SaaS) applications, ensuring low-latency and reliable connectivity. This makes it an ideal choice for businesses adopting multi-cloud or hybrid-cloud strategies.
Benefits of SD-WAN
Now that you understand how SD-WAN works, we can look at some of the advantages it offers over traditional WAN solutions. For example, SD-WAN provides cost savings and reduced complexity. Replacing expensive MPLS circuits with more affordable broadband connectionsmeans that SD-WAN can significantly reduce your networking costs. Additionally, the centralized management and automation capabilities simplify network administration, freeing up your IT team to focus on other tasks.
SD-WAN can also improve network performance and reliability thanks to its intelligent path selection and application-aware routing. This ensures optimal performance of all critical applications. By dynamically rerouting traffic to avoid congestion or outages, it also enhances the overall reliability of your network.
As your business grows, SD-WAN makes it easy to scale your network infrastructure to accommodate new locations or increased bandwidth requirements. This flexibility allows you to respond to changing needs quickly and efficiently.
With built-in encryption and firewall capabilities, SD-WAN helps protect sensitive data and maintain compliance with industry standards and regulations.
To conclude, there are many benefits to using SD-WAN over traditional WAN solutions. It can be used to reduce networking costs while its ability to simplify network administration means IT staff can spend their time working on other tasks. Finally, SD-WAN is scalableso can grow with your business.