Compare the SD-WAN Market

What are the top SD WAN benefits to your business?

Top SD WAN benefits include:

  1. Traffic prioritization with traffic steering across network links and quality of service controls resulting in improved agility
  2. SASE security (Secure Service Edge) as part of your SD WAN solution, e.g. Intrusion Protection and Next Generation Firewall to secure branch office and remote users
  3. Cloud-based configuration and centralized management allowing branch office and remote users to utilize the network and public applications seamlessly
  4. Available as Fully managed, co-managed and DIY service options or a hybrid of each service option
  5. Get highly valuable network performance statistics across the network and users
What are the top SD WAN benefits to your business?

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Compare the SD-WAN Market

Businesses are adopting SD WAN as a component of their business transformation to meet the demands of branch offices and remote users. With adoption of public Cloud (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud) and other application traffic residing on the Internet, the Enterprise is turning to SD WAN in order to meet these demands. SD WAN offers significant benefits which include simplification of network management and infrastructure.

SD WAN Benefit 1 - Traffic prioritization and link steering

SD WAN is capable of routing packets or sessions on a per-application basis or based on network events such as poor latency or packet loss.

These benefits are critically important when accessing public cloud applications and resources over the Internet. Compared to legacy MPLS, the Internet does not provide for end-to-end (QoS) Quality of Service - SD WAN directs traffic based on a reliable, logical pattern.

With direction from the centralized controller, SD-WAN offers intelligent cloud application performance pathway control throughout your network by directing traffic based on application. That way, unlike a regular WAN, SD-WAN doesn't need to route traffic through a central data hub.

Instead, SD WAN can direct all traffic from its origination point based on network-wide instructions. And those instructions can be updated at any time to increase efficiency.

It doesn't even matter whether the links use the same technology. All that matters is efficiency.

SD WAN Benefit 2 - SD WAN Security benefits

Gartner has created its SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) and SSE (Security Service Edge) frameworks to identify the core services needed to secure users, networks and devices.

Within SD WAN solutions, services such as SWG (Secure Web Gateway), CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker), MDR (Detection and Response) and NGFW (Next Generation Firewall) are now commonplace and provide the features and benefits across the majority of product offerings.

Cloud delivery with AI (Artificial Intelligence) provides almost realtime learning and defence against cybersecurity attacks.

SD WAN Benefit 3 -  Public cloud

Adopting public cloud applications is now a firm reality in almost all Enterprise networks. SD WAN services are purchased as 3 main deployment types:

  • Virtualized instances - virtualization is not a new technology but the adoption has accelerated with the growth of large data centre hosting providers, including AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Applications.
  • SD WAN applications - available for iOS and Android devices (mobiles, tablets), allowing any remote user to access the same security and SD WAN traffic routing benefit regardless of location SD WAN network architecture
  • SD WAN Edge - traditional hardware purchased for branch and home office locations

SD WAN Benefit 4 - Management

SD WAN management is conducted via one single 'pane of glass' interface when compared to traditional edge routers and stand-alone devices. With SD WAN solutions, you can manage and deploy a Firewall with DDOS protection, IPS (Intrusion Protection), UTM (Unified Threat Management), restrict access and even display a network of CCTV cameras.

The downside is making the right decisions based on your specific business requirements is complicated. Fortunately, one of the benefits is the ability to deploy a stock policy across most aspects, reducing network complexity. In other words, SD WAN vendors know there needs to be an initial configuration to ensure the WAN is quickly deployed.

There is a growing hybrid option between managed SD WAN and DIY. The co-managed or part-managed service is gaining ground. As an example, a business may order Meraki (traditionally a DIY solution) with an initial setup configuration which is defined using professional services consultancy. But, post-delivery, the service becomes self-managed with professional services on hand where required.

Benefit 5 - Network performance statistics and network visibility reporting

Reporting and statistics provide IT teams with realtime data across their user's traffic and network resources as follows:

  • Top business-critical applications
  • Network infrastructure security breaches
  • Remote sites and user application performance across packet delivery, latency and jitter
  • Per host and interface monitoring
  • Per link WAN optimization and infrastructure reporting
  • Cloud resources
  • Entire network traffic Network hardware and virtualized instances

Good reporting and statistics offer a significant SD WAN benefit, enabling IT teams to make better decisions on meeting business needs.

Why should your business use SD WAN?

SD WAN, SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) and SSE (Security Service Edge) are technologies which Enterprise Business widely adopts. In most cases, digital transformation based on Internet underlay is the driving force behind the growth of SD WAN and the demise of legacy technologies such as MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching).

Branch locations and remote users typically access public cloud resources via leased lines, cellular 4G and 5G and Broadband for home office or smaller office locations. Accessing public Cloud across numerous devices requires security policies to protect the user and the business.

Does SD WAN reduce costs?

First, your budget buys both greater bandwidth in respect of traffic aggregation. Plus, the actual circuits are generally lower in cost when compared to MPLS. Software WAN allows businesses to intelligently aggregate the overall bandwidth either via path or application preference. The overall benefit results in real-time use of the best circuit type per application (4G, 5G, Broadband or Ethernet) with ease of management via your single pane of glass interface, i.e. changes can be made as reporting insights are analyzed.

Second, you get that bandwidth at a much lower cost. It doesn't matter to SD WAN what type of connection you use within your office locations - Software-defined WAN solutions let you perform simultaneous link aggregation without regard for the kind of connection. And that means you can select cheaper connection options for low-priority traffic and spring for pricier connections for high-priority traffic.

Lastly, SD WAN pricing across internet bandwidth is different between countries. The UK software-WAN pricing is not dissimilar to MPLS resulting in less of a commercial reduction and, in some instances, a more costly solution due to refreshed capability. The US market is markedly different as MPLS is significantly more expensive when compared to Ethernet Internet leased lines.

What benefits does SD WAN offer over MPLS?

When delay-sensitive Voice apps are deployed, there is a specific latency figure that must be achieved to hold a conversation across your Internet circuit successfully. And this very point is why Enterprise businesses deployed MPLS with strict EF (Expedited Forwarding) end to end from the WAN edge with Quality of Service to provide the business with an SLA on traffic performance.

SD WAN with MPLS provides benefits by adding additional failover circuits and further granular control of application traffic. 

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