Companies are feeling the pinch of their present networking resources. While private wide area network (WAN) technologies such as Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) help make networks more responsive and less complex, they are associated with expensive contracts and long provisioning times. Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) is another solution that is less costly than MPLS, but its performance can fluctuate depending on location, time of day, or the choice of a service provider.
Industry experts believe that Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology is a less expensive choice that gives the same level of control, reliability, and performance that MPLS provides. One area of a company’s networking architecture that is ripe for SD-WAN adoption is the WAN. A software-defined network (SDN) can enable businesses to reap the benefits of reduced costs and the ability to optimize the WAN in a cloud environment through virtualization.
Instead of complicated routing, business policies are automatically converted into WAN configuration and harmonized on network devices in powerful yet, simple traffic patterns. This automated process minimizes the need for manual intervention. The system is also capable of detecting any changes in network topology, automatically updating it if necessary to optimize future orchestration.
Traffic bottlenecks happen around network congestion points. A common consequence of network congestion is degraded application performance. In a traditional WAN environment, the implementation of changes or updates needs to be accomplished in milliseconds to prevent disruption. This function is done automatically in an SD-WAN environment so that even end-users are unaware of the impact on their application usage.
This benefit of SD-WAN provides intelligent path control by steering traffic based on application. This capability can be centrally controlled while feeding it out to all SD-WAN devices across the network. Policies can be based on a number of variables, such as application profiles, IP addresses, time of day, port number, or quality of service (QoS) markings.
Conventional WAN solutions manage security through multiple appliances at individual branch offices. This means different filtering and anti-malware services at different locations. An SD-WAN solution can integrate all these functions at one control point while remotely providing full security for every branch and device located at different places and time zones.
Bandwidth allocation is managed on-demand to meet the sudden surge or abrupt fall of application bandwidth requirements. For example, when a user initiates a voice session and later adds video that requires more bandwidth, the SD-WAN dynamically adjusts the bandwidth allocation to ensure that QoS is not diminished.
CIOs, IT managers, and other IT stewards are provided a convenient tool to watch over WAN performance, especially for crucial business applications and attempts to breach security. Software-defined WAN technology provides end-to-end monitoring, application statistics, and traffic flow analytics that are critical for strategic decision making and don’t break the bank.
SD-WAN is gaining interest among businesses that seek alternatives to investing in expensive computer infrastructure and enterprise applications. The right SD-WAN solution is one that contributes to successful cloud migration. It gives enterprises the guarantee to maximize application performance and improve security at a fraction of traditional WAN cost.
If you’re ready to embrace SD-WAN, contact us at BlackPoint IT Services for a no-obligation consultation session.