SD-WAN

What is SD-WAN?

SD-WAN or Software defined WANis a software-defined approach to managing wide-area network (WAN). This means that SD-WAN automatically determines the most efficient way to route traffic between branches and data locations. Powerful Software enables Information Technology (IT) and network engineers’ employees to remotely program edge devices, reduce delivery times and minimize or eliminate the need to manually configure routers in remote locations because SD-WANs are managed by a centralized controller.

Differences between SD-WAN and traditional WAN

SD-WAN are a logical progression that has been made over time by optimizing the clustered WAN. SD-WAN is a technology that is built on understanding private WAN connections and optimizing for traditional traffic patterns. SD-WAN has taken this a step further by leveraging all available resources, including even low-cost Internet services, to make one of the biggest advances in today’s network technologies.

Traditional WAN network configurations are housed locally on individual routers and are usually based off of a template.

SD-WAN have software-defined approach which offers flexibility that is not prevalent in traditional WANs.

Traditional WAN have failover depends on the state of the link, which forces users to depend on routing protocols.

In SD-WAN services that are already positioned in the cloud will be given prioritization.

In Traditional WAN device policies have to be individually configured on a per-device basis in order to be compliant.

SD-WAN provides real-time traffic monitoring in the event of brownouts, and does not wait for up/down statuses of links prior to initiating a switchover to alternate carrier links.
Traditional WAN heavily dependent on data centers, forcing traffic to be backhauled through the data centers and cloud traffic.

SD-WAN have a unified bandwidth pool provided by multiple service providers. This allows for greater network resource utilization when data migrates through between offices.

In data centers where Traditional WAN is usedhave limited in their capacity to deal with incoming connections to multiple cloud platforms.

SD-WAN is not restricted based on the limitations of underlying hardware that comprises the network.

Today’s Business Challenges in IT field

Times have changed. Businesses are racing to accommodate the use of SaaS / IaaS applications with multi-cloud solutions, IT departments are realizing that the user experience is poor. This is because WAN networks, designed for another era, are not ready for the unprecedented explosion of WAN traffic that cloud adoption brings. This increase in traffic causes complexity in management, unpredictable application performance and data vulnerability.

Further opening up of the enterprise segment to the Internet and the cloud revealed major problems with new threats and the use of user data. It is extremely challenging to protect key enterprise assets when applications are used by different employees, whose access rights vary from employee, partner, associate, salesperson or guest. Enabling WAN bandwidth makes security requirements critical, which puts pressure on the IT department to balance user experience, security and complexity.

How SD-WAN works

SD-WANs work using tunneling solutions on an existing network architecture. It is basically network management at the top of the network, where communication paths are unified and application performance optimized. Gives businesses the ability to dynamically connect branch offices and offices, utilizing Internet and cloud services, along with integrated intelligence. This makes software-defined networks much easier to deploy regionally and globally.

SD-WAN products and services may vary depending on the provider that’s providing the service. Basically, this service is based on one of two types by SD-WAN provider:

  1. SD-WAN overlay or network as a service. With SD-WAN covered, the service provider provides its customer with an edge device that contains the software needed to run SD-WAN technology. For use, the customer connects their WAN connections to a device, which is automatically configured with the network.
  2. Providers that offer SD-WAN as a network type as a service give their clients access to their private networks. SD-WAN functionalities, including traffic prioritization and WAN optimization methods, are integrated into the service.

How does SD-WAN improve IT?

Traditional WAN architecture was restricted between the enterprise, the data center branch. As businesses embrace cloud-based application services in the form of SaaS / IaaS, their WAN architecture is experiencing the explosion of traffic accessing these globally diverse applications.

These changes in business have multiple implications for IT. Employee productivity is influenced by performance issues with SaaS applications. At the same time, WAN costs are rising with the inefficient use of dedicated and backup circuits. IT leads the day-to-day, complex struggle of connecting multiple types of users across multiple types of devices with multiple types of cloud environments.

With the SD-WAN solution, IT can implement routing, threat protection and efficient unloading of expensive circuits, while simplifying WAN network management.

SD-WAN solution provides multiple benefits to the business, we will list the most important:

SD-WAN have Integrated security

  • Application-aware policies with real-time network troubleshooting
  • Integrated threat protection
  • Secure traffic through broadband

SD-WAN is optimized for the cloud

  • You can seamlessly extend WAN to multiple public clouds
  • Real-time optimization for Office 365, Salesforce and other large SaaS applications
  • Optimized workflow for cloud platforms like AWS and Azure

SD-WAN have better application experience

  • High availability with predictable SLA across all mission critical enterprise applications
  • Multiple hybrid active-active links for all network scenarios
  • Dynamic routing of application traffic leads to efficient implementation

SD-WAN simplifies operations and security.

  • Unique, centralized dashboard for configuring and managing WAN, cloud and security
  • Template-based, zero-touch provisioning for all locations
  • Detailed reporting on WAN performance and business analytics applications

SD-WAN types

SD-WAN increasingly imposes on the market because of its features quickly and efficiently establish networks. There are three main types of SD-WAN available for use in today’s network environment:

  1. Premise-based

This type refers to configuring on-site traffic through an SD-WAN framework. Although adjustable quickly, it lacks the ability to connect to a cloud gateway. This type only allows your organization to connect to satellite offices and remote locations that are integrated into your intranet.This solution is ideal for companies that do not have any cloud applications on their networks.

  1. Cloud / MPLS based

This solution uses an in-place SD-WAN framework that allows your company to connect to a virtual gateway cloud. It adds the benefits of providing premise-based configuration (circuit load-balancing/failover) as well as greater reliability and performance of your cloud-based applications. Your gateway cloud will connect directly to providers such as AVS, Salesforces, Office 365, etc. If your circuit happens to be interrupted for any reason, the gateway can still maintain an active session. If alternate circuits are available, your cloud app will be re-directed through that alternate circuit, negating any form of interruptions entirely. The cloud-enabled solution is geared towards companies that have cloud-heavy applications hosted within their networks.

  1. Internet / Cloud based

This solution is ideal for large companies that use a number of real-time cloud applications. This type of software-defined architecture offers a back-end connection to the nearest vendor presence point (POP).This essentially guarantees that you will experience minimum levels of packet losses and latency. Performance would improve across the board through real-time applications including virtual desktops, VoIP calls and video conferencing. The backbone also has dedicated connections to cloud providers like the cloud-enabled solution, increasing performance and reliability for cloud-based applications as well.

Why SD-WAN improve Businesses

Businesses are looking for networks that are more adaptable to their businesses. SD-WANs cover only 3%, but they are attracted by the huge value they provide, with significant cost savings. However, they still rely on dedicated MPLS circuits, which also include switches and routers that go back to network vendors. This makes implementing any changes to the network configuration a lengthy and expensive process.

As we have already mentioned above, SD-WAN technology offers the ability to use multiple connections in a single platform, offering opportunities for departure that do not exist in traditional WAN’s.SD-WAN gives users the ability to take advantage of these links and connect to any application.

Because businesses are heavily connected to their applications, they will need a unique platform to track and manage everything that goes through the network. SD-WANs offer a unified dashboard that allows you to monitor network traffic. Combined with artificial intelligence, it helps businesses manage their networks wisely.

Conclusion

The software-defined WANs give your organizations a way for them to expand their reach and deploy to branch offices and remote sites quickly. They do not rely on singular connections alone and are aimed to support cloud-first strategies of businesses.

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