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AdvantageJan 13, 2020 12:00:00 AM2 min read

SD-WAN: What Is It and What Are Its Benefits?

SD-WAN is the latest buzzword in technology and IT circles. It’s become to networking what the Cloud was to infrastructure and applications. It is estimated by industry analysts that by 2021 at least half of Enterprises will use SD-WAN technology in their branch offices. But what exactly is it, and what benefits can businesses expect to see from it?

SD-WAN stands for software-defined wide area network, and in a nutshell, it’s a technology that virtualizes a network’s intelligence, moving it away from on-premises equipment. It utilizes software to intelligently route traffic with application awareness over variety of access types. SD-WAN offers businesses with remote locations a more cost-effective and uniform way to connect sites back to their corporate data center.  

Having the ability to incorporate all different access types, such as broadband Internet, 4G LTE, and MPLS circuits, into one network is a huge benefit of SD-WAN.  Geographically dispersed multi-location businesses generally have to deal with numerous different network service providers around the country, each of which has its own contracts and service terms. SD-WAN would allow them to optimally use their existing IP connections, regardless of type or provider, to create a fully managed WAN that seamlessly connects all locations. SD-WAN utilizes a single, identical termination device at every location, and it has Link Aggregation capabilities, allowing users to combine the bandwidths from multiple circuit types to meet high speed application demands.

Another benefit of SD-WAN is centralized policy management and resiliency. Every location accesses the same streamlined network management interface, and even if a business utilizes multiple access types and service providers, there is still just one network to manage. Any policies you set can be enforced uniformly at all locations, so there is no need to separate private WAN and Internet connections.  The real-time network visibility component of the interface allows businesses to see how bandwidth is being used and make real-time adjustments to optimize application flows across connection. In that same regard, any adds, moves or changes that are made to the network, like opening or moving a location, are streamlined and simplified faster with SD-WAN.

In summary, SD-WAN enables networks to be more dynamic, and businesses to be more innovative. It provides lower CapEx and OpEx while enabling increased flexibility.  Is it right for your business today?  Let us help you investigate the options.