Corporations and businesses have begun to drop their traditional networking methods to virtualize technology and reinforce their digital infrastructure. With the implementation of a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), businesses have adapted virtualization to overcome the IT costs related to computing environments such as hardware energy consumption as well as maintenance costs. SD-WAN centralizes the complete management and supports businesses in the complete usage of all available network resources.
Decrease Hardware Costs
Most of the businesses find the maintenance and management of hardware to be expensive and resource consuming. Virtualizing with SD-WAN benefits by reducing expenses, minimizing infrastructure costs and decreasing hardware maintenance. Therefore, to reduce expenses, the digital transformation needs to go beyond simply retiring branch routers in favor of an SD-WAN framework, it must encompass a rearchitecting of the WAN and a shift toward a single platform that can unify network functions at the WAN edge including SD-WAN, routing, security and WAN optimization. By doing so, enterprises can simplify and consolidate the WAN edge and begin to leverage cloud services, like security for example.
Enhance Business and Employee Efficiency
Managing a virtual infrastructure with SD-WAN enables IT experts to control and connect resources to meet the ever-changing business requirements, presenting them with a more adaptable working environment.
Traditionally, applications were centrally hosted from the data center and users connected to these applications via private MPLS networks. Today, many applications and services have migrated to the cloud (SaaS). Other applications and infrastructure have moved to the public cloud (IaaS). Connecting users to cloud applications, services and workload instances requires a fundamentally different approach to the wide-area network. Employees do not introduce unique or new servers for each different application. Rather, the network must have the intelligence to identify the application and dynamically steer it to its intended destination, taking into account security and quality of service policies required to deliver the highest quality of experience to the user. SD-WAN can enable this.
Virtualizing your network with SD-WAN contributes to more security to the network. It enhances the businesses’ capability to achieve quicker security patches in the occurrence of a data breach, consequently improving the organization’s capacity to improve security.
Also, several SD-WAN solutions have foundational security built-in, encryption or data at rest and in motion, stateful zone-based firewall capabilities along with the ability to segment applications in alignment with defined security policies. As required, the SD-WAN solution must have the ability to integrate or service chain to leading next-generation firewalls for additional inspection and verification of traffic.
Why Does Your Business Need SD-WAN?
SD-WAN has developed as a trending revolution in the networking industry. Motivated by international inclinations towards the selection of the cloud-first strategy and innovations in the internet of things (IoT); there have been several requirements for secure and more high-speed WAN connections.
Thus, companies looking to accelerate enterprise connectivity and accommodate the quickly changing application environments, should consider adopting SD-WAN for their business.
Challenges in Migrating To SD-WAN
Managing Current MPLS
For enterprises that previously have been using MPLS, understanding how to manage MPLS while transitioning to SD-WAN can be difficult. If your enterprise yearns to decrease MPLS expenses, increase productivity, reduce hardware devices, and provide reliable internet then SD-WAN would be the best option for your business.
Several enterprises deploy SD-WAN as a hybrid network, leveraging/retaining MPLS where it makes sense and introducing broadband or 4G LTE wherever it is necessary. The benefit of SD-WAN is the flexibility to use any combination of WAN transport to connect users to applications, including the ability to connect branch users directly to the cloud over broadband with a technique called local internet breakout. Some enterprises will opt to shift away from MPLS in favor of broadband, while others will continue to deploy SD-WAN as a hybrid network.
Selecting the Perfect SD-WAN Framework
The IT team of an enterprise often misunderstands the true value proposition of SD-WAN because the virtualization demand may not be related to various different enterprises.
An enterprise can achieve expense conservation with SD-WAN, by selecting the right framework, this will help the networking leads in an enterprise avoid delays that can ultimately raise business costs.
There are several factors that can modify the deployment decision of an SD-WAN framework, including the user requirements, remote site structure and also the budget limitations. Below are some of the factors you need to be sure about before selecting the right SD-WAN framework:
- Determine the maximum number of remote sites
- Analyze required services, applications and workloads
- Determine the number of end-users as well as where their applications & data reside
- Calculate throughput and latency requirements
Plan for Post-deployment Maintenance and Operation
It’s essential for companies to focus on the framework maintenance even after deploying an SD-WAN architecture, thus, ensuring that it operates efficiently. Even though the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) within an SD-WAN framework reduces various manual processes, the architecture, however, requires continuous appropriate information concerning variations in growth, user requirements, or industry demands. This data needs to be accumulated and analyzed so that the intelligence formulated into SD-WAN architecture can perceive the changes and implement relevant changes in data flow policy.