SD-WAN replaces multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) with direct Internet access at branch offices, exiting traffic locally to avoid backhauling and improve performance. It also eliminates the need for costly MPLS upgrades and simplifies WAN management.
Security is a key component in the architecture of SD-WAN. It minimizes risks by separating traffic to ensure that one hacking attempt does not compromise all applications.
SD-WAN enables business applications to operate securely across multiple networks. Its dynamic bandwidth prioritization enables it to optimize application performance, ensuring that the most important applications get all their needed resources. This allows employees to work from anywhere with a reliable connection and ensures their business applications always perform at the highest possible level.
The SD-WAN architecture also allows for secure access to cloud services. This is crucial for the modern work-from-anywhere business model. In addition, it helps minimize security risks by separating company assets into distinct regions subject to internal company security policies. This also makes it easier to contain the effects of a breach, should one occur.
A centralized management plane and a virtualized edge mean that SD-WAN can be more easily scaled than traditional WANs. This scalability is particularly important in a cloud-first environment, as it reduces the need to make expensive hardware investments at each branch location.
Lastly, SD-WAN also provides greater end-to-end visibility of network traffic. This gives administrators a bird’s-eye view of the entire network, unlocking the ability to troubleshoot issues and direct traffic in real time. It also allows them to identify stress areas in their bandwidth and conduct capacity planning to improve user experience. Additionally, using an SD-WAN means companies can avoid costly data overages by redirecting non-critical traffic over low-cost connections such as broadband Internet and LTE.
Compared to legacy networking models like MPLS, an SD-WAN architecture uses software to control network operations. This reduces the time and cost of deploying new capabilities to branch locations. And, since it’s built to support the work-from-anywhere environment, it’s a great choice for ensuring reliable access to cloud applications.
Another benefit of an SD-WAN architecture is that it allows businesses to prioritize traffic by directing data across circuits based on their business needs. This means high-priority applications get the bandwidth they need while non-critical data travels on lower-priority routes. Additionally, if one or more circuits experience issues, an SD-WAN can provide forward error correction to ensure application packets reach their destination.
Finally, combined with network security technologies like firewall as a service (FWaaS), secure web gateways, and zero trust network access (ZTNA), an SD-WAN architecture offers a more comprehensive and effective defense against cyber threats. With the right platform, an organization can even leverage the power of artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) to automate manual tasks and speed up issue remediation.
Whether deployed as a physical appliance, virtual machine on universal customer premises equipment (CPE) or in the cloud, an SD-WAN solution can be easily installed and upgraded without needing technicians to visit individual branch offices. This makes adding and updating features that meet evolving business needs easier.
With more businesses embracing remote work, the need for secure and reliable networks and connectivity has never been higher. SD-WAN provides rock-solid continuity and performance along with centralized network management.
A traditional WAN treats all traffic similarly, but SD-WAN technology prioritizes network traffic for better performance. This is especially helpful if some network applications have more importance than others, such as voice and video conferencing. Prioritizing ensures these applications are always available while reducing bandwidth requirements for general network data transfer.
Another security benefit of SD-WAN is improved visibility across the entire enterprise network, rather than relying on individual routers, firewalls, and proxies to monitor the security of every connected device.
An SD-WAN also allows for cheaper IT costs by enabling enterprises to use cost-effective transport methods like broadband Internet, LTE, and cellular, alongside MPLS. This enables more flexibility in WAN connectivity, increasing reliability and performance while significantly cutting costs. Additionally, an SD-WAN can integrate multiple connections at a single site to prevent a single point of failure. This is active/active or load-balancing and improves overall site availability.
Moving to SD-WAN makes your network far more flexible than with MPLS. Instead of relying on a single type of connection for all sites, SD-WAN links multiple transport modes together for real-time application transmission. You can improve costly contracts with telecom operators, cut the number of branch routers, and use low-cost Internet bandwidth 70 percent cheaper than MPLS.
When one of the connections fails, SD-WAN automatically switches to a backup. This helps avoid costly outages and ensures business continuity. It also gives IT a bird’s-eye view of all the sites and applications, so they can prioritize bandwidth and optimize performance for each.
With SD-WAN, you can deploy new sites quickly and easily. This is because WAN circuits are replaced with inexpensive Internet connections that can be set up in days. You don’t need to wait for on-site experts to configure networking equipment like firewalls, NGFW, and routing. Instead, SD-WAN enables you to deploy and manage these technologies based on an automated policy-based framework propagated from a single interface.
Secure SD-WAN provides high security by using real-time data to analyze traffic for signs of eavesdropping and malicious anomalies. Additionally, it supports the segmentation of network assets to minimize security risks and make it easier to contain the impact of a breach.