SD-WAN is described as the future of network management, but few people know what it is or its importance. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what SD-Wan is and what its function is. We’ll also address whether your business should adopt it or not.
An Overview of SD-Wan
SD-Wan is simply short for software defined WAN or software defined wide area network. An SD-WAN system is smart enough to distribute network traffic to manage bandwidth and minimize delays. It is often used to route traffic on secure networks between distributed locations. Software defined wide area networks found early adoption with construction companies that wanted temporary work locations to have access to company scheduling software, time card systems, and building models. The SD-WAN allowed them to have secure and reliable internet connections, whether to the company data center or software delivered via the cloud on a third party’s cloud server.
An Overview of the Technology
Most SD-WAN systems create a virtual overlay that manages the network. However, it is transport-agnostic. A device agnostic system doesn’t care if it runs on an Apple phone, Android phone or Windows phone. A transport agnostic system doesn’t care if it is managing traffic on wired networks, fiber connections, MPLS or wireless systems. And most SD-WAN systems, though not all, readily handle a mixed network system. For example, Masergy integrates SD-WAN on hybrid networks that are a mix of wired and wireless connections, private wired connections and communications through the internet.
The Benefits of SD-Wan
If someone is trying to maintain a download, the software defined system determines if a wireless router or wired connection is best for meeting their bandwidth needs. Users see better performance in most cases without having to add more Wi-Fi antennas or network connections.
SD-WAN can maintain virtual private network services without interruption. You don’t have to worry about secure data transfer ruined by one insecure connection in the chain.
SD-WAN allows system administrators to study network performance in real time and control it. Just as you can increase the priority of the gaming system on your personal network to enhance performance, your system administrator can choose to give priority to cloud servers hosting critical data or specific users. When you use SD-WAN, a system administrator anywhere on the network can manage WAN services for any branch office.
SD-WAN systems allow you to assign traffic to the connection type best suited for it. On a hybrid WAN managed by SD-WAN, you can route mission critical communications to secure MPLS and use internet connections exclusively for high-speed access or SaaS applications accessed through the cloud.
Security is improved when guest users are limited to slower Wi-Fi and don’t use the same communication channels as your business-critical applications. You can also increase bandwidth and reduce latency for critical applications, such as ensuring that a high definition virtual reality demo with the customer doesn’t suffer stuttering or delays.
By switching to a single, unified communication management system, you enjoy economies of scale and simplified administration. You may be able to consolidate your hardware and IT system administrative roles into one or two key people.
As you can see, SD-WAN offers many advantages that should not be overlooked. If you feel it would be the best option for your business, consult the members of your IT team and try to gauge is the would be favorable to a switch.