Businesses choose SD WAN for their business to enable access to public cloud services, circuit bonding (4G, 5G, Broadband and Leased Lines), granular QoS, comprehensive reporting, simple management, SASE security and cost reduction.
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It doesn’t seem so long ago that thousands of telecom users crowded onto their corporate cloud services platform as if it was the last lifeboat available when their business leaders told them to stay home and work during the COVID pandemic.
No matter that the popularity of cloud applications already glutted network connections and slowed communications to a crawl. Organizations that hadn’t updated their WAN connectivity through a digital transformation towards SD WAN were stuck with slow, inefficient WAN connections that degraded network performance and annoyed remote working end users.
Luckily, many users could avoid these problems by using networks controlled and managed by a software-defined wide-area network (SD WAN). This multi-function connectivity technology provides administrators with fast, clear, and secure connectivity that’s easier and less expensive to manage than earlier alternatives.
Modernizing Digital Communications with an SD WAN solution
The development of SD WAN technologies provides serious telecom solutions to problems often made worse by the continued growth of cloud-based applications and the global distribution of connectivity users during the pandemic. This post describes SD WAN solutions, the problems they solve, and why software-defined WANs have become an important networking, security, and management tool.
How SD WAN is changing the corporate data center forever
An SD WAN solution is a new way to choose and arrange networking resources to achieve optimal bandwidth, security compliance, and network management efficiency. This approach to network design and operation uses software to define conditions that enable businesses and large organizations to use multiple connection types, from any combination of network connection services (LTE, MPLS, basic broadband internet), to connect users to different cloud applications securely. SD WAN reduces hardware costs as its software approach ensures that new locations, such as remote offices, can be added without needing physical routers.
Gone are the days of traditional enterprise WANs relying upon a headquarters data center. SD WAN can reduce costs and deliver improved performance while removing the need for backhauling traffic, which can negatively affect application performance.
Why SD WAN technologies matter
SD WAN network solutions are essential because they solve networking problems vital to cloud computing, the engine of an increasing percentage of global networked resources. Its technology enables rapid connectivity, reliable security, efficient data management options, and flexible reporting capabilities on one platform.
The value of SD WAN solutions rests on one fact. Much of the world is run on cloud computing, hybrid cloud usage is increasing, and access to cloud computing apps, SaaS apps, SaaS services, and data is crucial to keep cloud computing functions moving.
As businesses adopt software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) applications across multiple clouds, IT infrastructures have been engulfed by a tsunami of files and data. IT departments recognized that the user experience on these applications is far from perfect, and traditional WAN is not designed for the cloud era. The sudden growth of cloud traffic has led to problems that cannot be handled or managed in legacy WAN environments.
By migrating to the cloud, many types of users (employees, vendors, contractors, partners, and customers) engage with data and files by accessing the Internet. With so many people accessing information, managing networks and protecting sensitive business data becomes exceedingly difficult. Gradually, migration to the cloud has made legacy networks (WANs) obsolete.
SD WAN Explained
So, what can Software-Defined WANs do? And how can they help organizations with legacy communications equipment avoid obsolescence? The following table provides examples.
How SD WAN Solves Network Problems
Network bottlenecks caused by data or user overload
SD WAN uses direct origin-to-target links rather than a round trip from and to a data center.
Faster, more responsive network behaviour. No jittering, chattering, packet loss or degraded network signals caused by lengthy data round trips from and to data centers.
Downtime created by heavy network traffic and data overload
SD WAN supplies redundant routes
Faster signal speeds and increased network reliability
Failover problems and VPN-related costs
SD WANs reduce concerns related to adding VPN security protection
Lower VPN-related capital and operations costs (No need to build VPNs on each site.)
Large attack surface (higher risk of security breaches)
SD WAN controls enable the IT department to run multiple transmission methods along secure connections. A secure network presents a smaller target for attackers.
Smaller attack surface, less risk of compromising security
Time and effort IT pros spend reconfiguring connections whenever network bandwidth levels change.
SD WAN configuration is automated and controlled automatically by AI.
Network configuration-related costs avoided.
Time the IT team spends on routine management, update, and maintenance tasks.
SD WAN uses a layer of code to connect LANs and centralize network operations.
Automation eliminates repeated manual tasks, and admins can push policies from a centralized dashboard.
Why build or update a telecom system based on SD WAN technology? Many SD WAN solutions supply fast, reliable, and efficient telecom implementations of high-volume, high-speed, and often widely distributed networks.
What Makes SD WAN An Attractive IT Solution?
SD WAN continues to become the basis of modern telecom, network security, and system management. Older network infrastructure solutions are becoming obsolete because legacy equipment suffers from reduced application performance and cannot handle the demands of high-volume telecom systems based on cloud-based services.
SD WAN enables organizations to:
Reduce network-related costs and operations efforts by using the public cloud. For years, corporate users have become familiar with the benefits of cloud-based services on-premises. Now, their organizations can achieve identical cost and time savings with distributed services anywhere on the company network, helping to securely connect users in remote sites and branch locations.
Avoid costly security compliance issues of large, high-volume networks.
Manage distributed networks—even those with multiple locations, many remote users or branch offices—more efficiently.
Automate and optimize connectivity, security, and management capabilities using centralized operations from a control plane and pioneering Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions.
Improved Network Capabilities
But what can SD WAN services do from a process improvement point of view? Here are profiles of SD WAN capabilities used by IT pros, security specialists, and business users.
Improved technical capabilities
Optimum signal speed and network reliability. SD WAN and WANs don’t share limitations. Instead, it ensures network availability, measured in part by improved uptime. Part of this capability is based on providing direct origin-to-target links rather than a round trip from and to a data center. The resulting route shortens transit time and accelerates responses to signal interruptions. SD WAN provides a path for direct traffic between public and private clouds.
SD WAN works by:
Supporting multiple connection methods, such as MLPS, broadband Internet, and LPE, simultaneously on the same platform.
Using automated control functions to find signals and route them through the fastest connections available.
Minimizing downtime caused by performance failures.
Eliminating the need for human intervention (IT teams) to reconfigure connections whenever increased demand slows the network or lag times increase when traffic clogs the network.
Improved responsiveness. Traditional networks (WANs) struggle to accommodate the always-changing flow of network traffic. SD WAN uses WAN optimization to optimize and automate network functions to reduce bottlenecks, reduce network responsiveness and improve application performance.
For example: SD WAN enables network administrators to reconfigure network resources and identify conflicts quickly to maintain optimal operations. By using a layer of code to connect LANs, SD WAN technologies allow administrators to improve performance by pushing policies from a centralized location.
Avoiding failover problems. Deploying SD WANs also eliminates Virtual Private Network (VPN) concerns related to potential failover problems. Every SD WAN product has a controller that seamlessly processes and guides many tasks. And there’s no need to build a VPN—the controller does it automatically.
Load-balancing distributes traffic over several links and finds signal routes that provide greater bandwidth. Traditional networks can degrade performance because signals must travel round trips to deliver content to the cloud. SD WAN provides data directly to its target, eliminating lengthy and round trips and improving network operations.
Eliminating VPN-related concerns. Building a VPN to secure network traffic introduces issues, such as the proliferation of VPNs that must be established, managed, and maintained. Companies must install firewalls at their data center and a VPN device or firewall at each remote site.
Reduce security-related management efforts. Security platforms can deal only with public internet traffic by encrypting and securing network traffic via SD WANs. Also, SD WAN platforms use performance metrics to automate and optimize signals moving through organization data centers. The platform uses intelligence when for example, security routing decisions—should user traffic go for security scrubbing or to security features before it goes out to the cloud provider or the Internet—occur. This helps to reduce the need for administrators to deal with the task of managing traffic, in turn helping minimize network security issues arising from human errors.
Smaller attack surface. SD WAN controllers can communicate with every site on the network without signals returning to the data center. This capability alone can reduce an organization’s security footprint significantly because the site-to-site traffic becomes secure, straightforward and easy to use.
Reduce traffic volume going through security. Another SD WAN security benefit is that it reduces the volume of traffic that needs to go through security parameters because all site-to-site traffic is encrypted. This reduced the time, effort and human resources required to complete security tasks.
Reduce attack surface. Using VPNs to secure site-to-site traffic, signals passing through firewalls, or another type of encryption mechanism increases the site’s security footprint. By changing how traffic is routed through security functions, SD-WAN reduces network complexity and security-related operations costs.
Improved business capabilities
Less time and effort are spent on management tasks. are critical SD WAN capabilities. Direct connections between network devices and the cloud environment also enable important capabilities:
Monitoring this information in an easy-to-use dashboard. All data and status information (in non-hybrid cloud environments) is visible.
Responding to detailed network events in real-time.
Rapid access to network resources. Now more than ever, positive end-user experiences affect customer satisfaction and loyalty as well as employee ease of use (an essential factor in a world of remote worker efficiency). Employees who cannot access network resources can become frustrated, grumpy, and impatient. And employee productivity plummets when network technology is unresponsive or fails to perform.
In recent surveys by Owl Labs and Global Workplace Analytics, about 15% of companies surveyed deployed all their users remotely. Nearly 65% of employees aged 22 to 65 work from their homes occasionally. Trends indicate that remote employees will continue working at home until 2023 and beyond. So, companies must improve network performance and user efficiency to improve employee work experiences and ensure peak performance of application traffic for business-critical applications.
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