SD-WAN might be right for your business if:
You need greater visibility over your network
It is difficult to track the capacity and performance of multiple types of WAN network links from different service providers. Traditional service provider portals, used to visualize links and performance, were often inconsistent and patchy in coverage. SD-WAN is an overlay to network connectivity, purchased from third parties, that combines the performance of all links into a single pane of glass. SD-WAN works with whatever types of links are purchased to connect a location. This is inclusive of 4G connectivity, DSL, or enterprise-grade connectivity.
You need an accessible network for remote employees
Where employees are working from home but need connectivity as if they were in the office, using their existing home internet is the default. However traditional secure methods require VPN connectivity from a user’s device. Device-based VPNs can be complex as they are operating system dependent and impact latency as traffic is routed to the cloud via the corporate network. SD-WAN opens exit points to the internet, close to the use at their remote location, while safely managing firewall policies across all exit points as if they were a single gateway in a central office.
You need a simple one-stop network management interface
SD-WAN offers organisations a simpler interface with which to control their network configuration. It can prioritise traffic over links based on the application the traffic is being used for, giving them the ability to prioritize business-critical traffic for maximum performance and efficiency.
You want secure connectivity to remote sites with the need for:
Lower latency to the cloud for remote users.
Avoiding the need to duplicate private links and public links for secure and unsecured connectivity. Significantly higher availability through multiple diverse links.
Key Benefits of SD-WAN
Digital transformation is quickly becoming a priority for businesses across all sectors, but the rapidly growing and diversifying telecom industry can make it difficult to agree on a strategy.
One purpose of SD-WAN is to improve network performance for enterprises. Businesses can configure their SD-WAN to prioritize operationally critical traffic and ensure it travels across the fastest or higher performing route based on application. This feature reduces latency and improves efficiency and experience for teams.
SD-WAN offers built-in cybersecurity protocols such as VPN and basic firewalls to protect enterprise data. For more rigorous protection, businesses can partner with SD-WAN providers that offer integrated security features such as encryption, AV, and sandboxing capabilities to further prevent breaches and data loss.
SD-WAN reduces IT complexity by automating tasks, helping identify and off-loading redundant enterprise applications and managing traffic through a centralized controller.
SD-WAN may not be right for your business if:
If the primary case for using SD-WAN is to reduce direct connectivity expenditure, SD-WAN may not be for you. Use of multiple low-cost residential grade links, even from several providers, can have limited or unknown diversity and no availability guarantees. It is generally assumed that the internet is the cheapest way to connect to remote sites because affordable internet is available for domestic residences. However, for a service-grade connection, the internet is generally more expensive per $/Mb than a private connection of equivalent service quality.
Additionally, the hardware required at the end of each connectivity service to monitor and secure the link adds cost to the solution.
Using SDWAN to save operational costs for large complex networks may be an achievable outcome. For only a handful of locations, the additional costs for SDWAN may not be warranted versus its cost.