What is SD-WAN? The answers to everything you’ve been wanting to know
Software Defined Wide Area Networking isn’t just another tech buzzword swirling around the internet and your IT department. In fact, we see this rising technology as the next new cloud in the sense that in a few years, everyone’s going to be using it.
Yet, while we hear this acronym thrown around more and more, there’s still a lot of confusion about what SD-WAN is, and how it can be used to support business today. Here, we’re answering the biggest questions surrounding this technology.
What is SD-WAN?
The acronym stands for Software Defined Wide Area Networking, and we like to describe it as a tool that lets you be the conductor of an orchestra — AKA, your network.
As the conductor, you stand above the orchestra with a full view of every instrument and player. And with the flick of your baton, you can tell the chello’s to speed up the tempo or the violins to play quieter. On the conductor’s command, the orchestra seamlessly pulls themselves into place, never messing up the tune or beat of the players around them.
With SD-WAN, you can do exactly the same. The software is integrated on top of your existing WAN so you can now have a full-view and total control of your global network. This allows you to make adjustments quickly, easily and seamlessly on command.
How does SD-WAN work?
Using a cloud-based software, a Software Defined solution is deployed to literally hover over your Wide Area Network. But how does SD-WAN work, exactly? Well, what the software does is abstract the individual WAN connections — like broadband internet, fiber, or wireless — between your company’s offices, branches or data centers. This allows you to order commands or make adjustments fast and remotely, instead of deploying someone to modify it manually.
Because SD-WAN is deployed over your existing WAN, your current connections stay the same. The software is simply used on top of your WAN, for example, to direct traffic to the best routes for maximum bandwidth.
How might my business use SD-WAN?
SD-WAN is the best tool on the market to maximize your network’s efficiency. The ability to quickly and easily provision changes will revolutionize your IT team’s workflow and your company’s agility.
Think of all the things that happen on your network every day. With SD-WAN, you can optimize how those actions impact the network and prioritize only the most important things. For example, you can program your network to prioritize time-sensitive workflows for your sales team. Or, prioritize business-critical applications over those funny dog videos your employees love to share. With SD-WAN, you’re in total control.
What are the advantages of SD-WAN?
By now, it’s quite apparent that SD-WAN allows you to easily and quickly made adjustments to optimize your WAN. But, Software Defined Wide Area Networking can also act as an additional security layer and built-in fail-safe.
When you implement SD-WAN, your IT team can configure the software to route suspicious traffic through a firewall, for example. It’s also possible to configure the software to correct for failed or congested links by automatically redirecting traffic — keeping your business running 24/7.
Is SD-WAN cost effective?
We’ll cut to the chase, yes. SD-WAN can actually eliminate the need for expensive MPLS circuits. SD-WAN allows your IT team to send low priority, not sensitive data over public internet connections that are cheaper and easier to implement. This makes your network more flexible, easier to provision and much less costly.
Additionally, SD-WAN eliminates the need for your employees to manually configure new commands into local routers. Now, everything can be done remotely — saving you time, money and manpower.
Who benefits from using SD-WAN?
Because SD-WAN gives you total oversight and full control over your network, we see it as an essential tool for global enterprises.
With SD-WAN in place, your IT team no longer needs to waste time manually optimizing your network across your international offices and branches. This gives you a faster network in less time, making you more agile and efficient. Plus, SD-WAN provides essential tools for security and backups that are key to keeping a global business up and running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Want to learn more about how SD-WAN can improve your network? Check out our bespoke solutions. And if you liked this article, don’t forget to share this infographic with your network on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!