SD-WAN enables IT teams to prioritize critical traffic and real-time services, eliminating packet loss and latency that degrades worker productivity. It also enables branch offices to directly access the Internet instead of being backhauled via MPLS connections or other costly access types, providing cost savings and bandwidth efficiencies.
This helps improve performance with business impact and a return on investment. Here are some additional key benefits:
Maintaining network uptime is essential to employee productivity and customer satisfaction. But it can be costly for many enterprises – just one hour of downtime costs $300,000 in revenue and productivity losses on average. SD-WAN systems reduce costs by reducing dependence on expensive private connections like Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) at branch offices and enabling direct Internet access at remote locations.
The best SD-WAN solutions enable application optimization based on what is important to the business, prioritizing sensitive applications over others. Then, they use low-cost network connections — such as broadband or wireless WAN (4G/5G) — for most traffic, saving more costly MPLS circuits for priority applications only.
Another way an SD-WAN can reduce cost is by deploying a device at each location that can “phone home” to automatically configure itself and avoid the need for IT to spend time at each site for initial setup. This is particularly useful for remote locations where technical staff is scarce.
In addition, an SD-WAN can help reduce reliance on MPLS by enabling direct Internet access at the branch office, thereby eliminating backhauling of cloud and remote work traffic to a central data center. Instead, this traffic can flow directly from the branch to the Internet – providing users with a better experience while helping to reduce overall network costs.
With SD-WAN, a business’s IT infrastructure can adapt to changing needs without requiring the hands-on programming that a traditional WAN requires. This automation creates a policy-based framework propagated across multiple networks from a single pane of glass, simplifying IT’s ability to define and control network requirements and ensuring adherence to business goals and objectives.
As data demands rise, an SD-WAN can flexibly allocate bandwidth using dynamic path selection. This means high-demand applications like video conferencing or VoIP will get priority. As a result, businesses can expect better performance, improving employee morale and customer satisfaction.
Additionally, an SD-WAN can also improve cloud performance. The technology enables remote sites to connect directly with the cloud and avoid backhauling traffic normally routed through a central data center. This can dramatically improve application performance, especially for those critical to the business, such as backups or CRMs.
The most successful deployments of an SD-WAN align with a company’s business goals and objectives. This is why enterprise teams need to understand what they want to accomplish from a business standpoint before purchasing or implementing new technologies. Once this research has been completed, it’s a good idea to work with an experienced provider to ensure the solution is properly configured and deployed to meet organizational needs.
As a result of the centralized control function and WAN optimization software that comes with an SD-WAN system, network administrators can create policies and rules that automatically prioritize bandwidth-hungry applications. This way, mission-critical apps always get the most optimal path through the network. This is a far more flexible and reliable approach than relying on traditional routers that manage traffic in a hardware-based fashion.
Another feature of an SD-WAN is its ability to provide direct access to cloud services at the branch offices without backhauling them to a central data center. This helps reduce operating costs and improves performance by offloading traffic over costly MPLS circuits and using lower-cost public connections such as broadband internet or LTE wireless.
A WAN architecture that leverages an SD-WAN can also help businesses save on the cost of Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) connections and instead prioritize applications by business value and performance needs. This allows businesses to optimize WAN bandwidth utilization across the entire network while improving application performance, resiliency, and security.
The bottom line is that a reliable and secure SD-WAN solution is essential to any organization to keep employees connected to the company network. With the right technical expertise, you can deploy and manage an SD-WAN system that is easy to implement and maintain in many locations.
When it comes to ensuring your SD-WAN system is secure, choosing a solution provider with extensive security features is key. These include traffic encryption, next-gen firewalls, and threat intelligence capabilities. This will help protect your data and improve productivity by reducing downtime caused by malware and other security issues.
Another way to keep your SD-WAN system secure is by preventing devices from accessing the network until properly authenticated. This can be done with a captive portal that uses a registration number, serial number, or other security token to ensure the device belongs on your network. This can prevent employees from using rogue infrastructure devices to access confidential data.
An SD-WAN can also reduce your reliance on expensive MPLS circuits by sending low-priority data over cheaper public internet connections and prioritizing mission-critical or latency-sensitive application traffic over private links. This can lower your operating costs while improving WAN performance and boosting productivity. It can also improve resiliency by providing redundancy and automatic failover between your WAN connections. Lastly, zero-touch provisioning allows you to add new locations to the network with minimal effort and provide them with instant connectivity. This can reduce your IT staff workload and eliminate the potential for human error. Choosing a managed service provider with an extensive security footprint can further alleviate this burden by handling the day-to-day management of your network.