Choosing an SD-WAN that supports your business goals and needs is crucial. You want to ensure the solution has centralized security and a simple user interface. The system should prioritize lifeblood applications and automatically redistribute bandwidth to accommodate flash conditions. It should also provide a seamless connectivity experience, remotely or at your local office.
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When choosing an SD-WAN, look for one with a built-in zero trust network access (ZTNA) access proxy. It provides a more robust security architecture that can protect the vast area network against sophisticated cyber attacks. This is especially important because modern tech often introduces gaps that can be exploited. Additionally, an SD-WAN that offers centralized management of firewalls and routers helps simplify the network architecture and reduce maintenance costs. It also makes adding new connections to branch locations easy while ensuring security and performance. The best-performing WAN solutions like Versa Networks offer a more innovative way to route traffic based on business priorities and the most efficient path between points. You can prioritize applications critical to the business, like voice or online meetings, and deprioritize bandwidth-hogging ones like file downloads. If you have backup links, an SD-WAN can enlist them to support traffic on primary links, helping to minimize outages in the event of failures. This is a big win for businesses that need to stay connected and productive despite potential outages.
SD-WAN allows you to scale up or down capacity as needed, making it easy for businesses to adapt their network to meet evolving needs. This scalability makes it easier for businesses to keep up with demand while cutting costs by eliminating the need to purchase additional bandwidth for remote locations. This scalability can also benefit companies that experience frequent changes to their network, such as adding or removing branches or adjusting employee headcounts. SD-WAN can easily handle these changes with minimal impact on network performance and application connectivity. Another way scalability can help businesses is by reducing the need to invest in costly private circuits. This is because SD-WAN uses software to determine the highest reliability level required and then chooses the best path for the traffic. It can also be configured to leverage backup backup links for traffic support, allowing organizations to get more out of existing infrastructure investments. It can even be configured to prioritize applications when a complete office is shut down due to a disaster or outage.
Managing the WAN can be one of the most complex tasks in a network. Traditional networks must use complicated routing protocols and manage bandwidth with quality of service to ensure mission-critical applications get the proper priority. SD-WAN enables this process to be streamlined by leveraging programmable network devices that can be modified remotely and using dynamic best path routing to save costs. It also helps improve security through data encryption, secure connections, and tight integration with cloud-security functions such as next-generation firewalls, Secure Web Gateways, and Zero Trust Network Access. As an added benefit, a well-designed SD-WAN solution can reduce the time and resources required to troubleshoot problems because of centralized monitoring capabilities. The ability to easily add, delete, or re-configure network elements from a central control dashboard also means small teams can quickly deploy and implement new changes. This flexibility is critical in enabling digital transformation while delivering on employee productivity. It can also help companies respond to business change quickly to stay competitive. The ability to connect remote locations and workers to the corporate database through a low-cost, high-speed Internet connection such as fixed wireless provides significant agility.
When you think of implementing SD-WAN, it’s essential to consider all of the uses it can be put to. Organizations looking to enhance application performance at all locations and ensure business continuity in the event of a link failure can benefit from this technology. In traditional WAN configurations, traffic had to be backhauled from each branch office to the data center and then to applications. This introduced latency and hampered application performance. SD-WAN enables enterprises with multiple locations to connect over the Internet, eliminating this expensive and complex backhauling requirement. Centralized management allows administrators to control routing, security, and transport from one interface easily. This eliminates the need for a separate firewall, WAN optimizer, and router and makes correlating information about traffic and performance more accessible. With granular, easy-to-understand data about the network and application performance, IT teams can better anticipate capacity issues and take action accordingly. This visibility can also aid in troubleshooting when issues occur by allowing IT to identify the problem’s source quickly.
Using an SD-WAN solution designed for performance can help reduce the cost of business connectivity. While many businesses still need to leverage MPLS, an SD-WAN can enable you to eliminate the need for costly private network circuits and instead route traffic over the lowest cost link available based on application priority and performance needs. In addition, an SD-WAN can utilize multiple links from different ISPs to ensure a resilient network, eliminating any single point of failure. It can also use a variety of low-cost broadband connections (like FTTC or cable) for delay-sensitive applications and lower-cost MPLS or Internet links for other apps. Suppose your company has multiple sites, relies on IaaS, SaaS, and cloud solutions, or is considering expansion plans. Consider implementing an SD-WAN in your network to improve uptime, agility, visibility, and more. Ultimately, it will save you money on networking equipment and costs and provide better flexibility for connecting to cloud and IaaS solutions. It can also improve application performance by dynamically routing traffic based on application requirements and improving availability.