SD-WAN, a software-defined wide-area network, is one of the most essential pieces of modern networking. There are many reasons why SD-WAN is superior to other network technologies.
At its core, SD-WAN provides value by separating the control of a network from the apparatus itself. This allows for total control and visibility over all network connections, regardless of whether they’re MPLS, broadband, or anything else.
With SD-WAN, organizations are able to leverage their networks—and secure them—more effectively than ever before. Since it’s clear SD-WAN has practical applications, take a peek at this definitive guide to SD-WAN.
Why Is SD-WAN Important to Enterprises Today?
If you’re wondering how SD-WAN can be useful to your organization, you’re not alone. Many business leaders, stakeholders, and managers of all kinds of agencies are asking themselves how they can extract the most value from their networks while also increasing security. SD-WAN should be at the center of these conversations.
There are a few things that make SD-WAN such a promising solution for organizations. Here are a few of the main benefits of SD-WAN:
- Optimized encryption and routing – In the past, good firewall offers would encrypt traffic. Today, your SD-WAN can offer intelligent encryption and routing to keep data as secure as possible.
- Ability to see applications and their usage – With SD-WAN, you can get a view of what’s happening on your entire network. This is extremely powerful for keeping tabs on any kinds of behaviors or patterns that might be of concern. Some of these might be as simple as determining what applications are taking up too many resources and finding a better alternative. More critically, this can help spot suspicious behavior on enterprise networks.
- Improved traffic flows – At an organization of any size, it’s likely you have users and devices connecting in multiple ways from various locations. Without the proper optimization policies, network traffic will route in ways that don’t make sense. By creating a set framework for what applications, users, devices, and other qualifiers take certain connections, all traffic will flow better.
- Better performance – When network traffic flows better, it makes all end uses function at a higher level. This can be essential for video and other data-heavy applications.
- More flexible – The world is always changing. This has been made crystal clear through the way the Coronavirus pandemic shifted the world to remote work. Evidence shows, however, that remote work increased the costs associated with data breaches by over $1 million, according to IBM and the Ponemon Institute. It’s, therefore, more important than ever for enterprise networks to be securely flexible. Whether it’s in setting up a new branch or an individual employee in their home, SD-WAN can enable higher levels of trust regardless of circumstances.
One thing you’ll want to note when evaluating SD-WAN is the difference between bandwidth control and path selection. While similar in concept, they work in slightly different ways. Bandwidth control determines how much bandwidth will go to a specific app, user, or anything else. Path selection allows you to send connections over the most efficient course. Both of these work together to reduce friction and improve the efficiency of enterprise networks.
It’s also crucial to consider third-party solutions for SD-WAN. Not all of these are going to have the same level of comprehensive service. Finding an SD-WAN as-a-service provider with a reliable track record will help you scale your networks more safely and with ease. With a cloud-based solution from a third party, you’re able to scale up and down seamlessly without having to make any upfront investments.
Overall, there are a lot of reasons SD-WAN is an important technology today. The combination of enhanced performance and security makes SD-WAN a logical choice for many network configurations.