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SD-WAN Explained: Software-Defined WAN Benefits, Working and Importance

A reliable and strong network is essential for a business to grow. As the company expands, IT managers find it difficult to keep up with applications and network management because of its increasing complexity and cost. Bandwidth-intensive applications slow down the network causing a serious problem during business peak hours.

In order to keep the company running smoothly, it is important to have a network that can support a large amount of data consumption. SD-WAN resolves this issue by providing simple, better-performing, cost-effective, and secure network environments. This blog explains SD-WAN Solutions, how it works? why it is important for businesses? and more in detail.

What is SD-WAN?

SD-WAN or Software-Defined Wide Area Network is a more intelligent connectivity for your business that replaces complex connection practices such as MPLS lines and eliminates dependence on single software solutions.

The SD-WAN being hosted on the cloud provides an infrastructure that allows traffic routing based on specific applications, policymaking, and centralized management and helps achieve seamless connectivity

SD-WAN Benefits

The benefits of SD-WAN include cost reduction, enhanced performance, and quick to deploy when compared to traditional WANs. With the introduction of public cloud computing, traditional enterprise WAN architectures have become sub-optimal in terms of both price and performance.

Important Benefits of using SD-WAN

Increased Performance and Availability

SD-WAN is used to enable multiple WAN transports including MPLS, Broadband, and 4G / LTE. Advanced SD-WAN solutions also enable transports such as phone calls, video conferences, business transactions, and more. All of these factors contribute to increased productivity, a better user experience, fewer helpdesk calls, fewer downtimes, and higher overall customer satisfaction.

Reduces Complexity

The digital transformation process results in adding layers of complexity to its network. This causes poor network performance and arises the need for location on-site personnel for managing its IT infrastructure.

SD-WAN is a perfect solution as it creates a simplified WAN infrastructure using broadband to off-load noncritical business apps, and automates monitoring tasks all while managing traffic through centralized control. Advanced SD-WAN solutions provide the option to be integrated into the local branch infrastructure. This can increase security and management in the LAN.

Boosts Security

Upgrading network components of your company to support application performance and improve customer satisfaction can also expose the organization to significant security risks. SD-WAN solutions offering VPN and firewall functions may only secure your network in certain cases. For enhanced security and control, SD-WAN solutions come with a wide range of integrated security features such as NGFW (Next Generation Firewall), IPS, encryption and AV capabilities to safeguard your critical data.

Utilizes Cloud Infrastructure

Evolving businesses today are making use of the cloud to improve their operational efficiency. SD-WAN completely eliminates backhauling traffic from the data center and instead provides direct cloud access from remote branch offices. This means employees can seamlessly access applications in a secure and seamless manner. The software can prioritize and boosts business-critical applications to provide maximum performance all while communicating directly via the internet.

Reduces Costs

The amount of data traveling over a WAN increases exponentially as organizations constantly keep deploying more and more cloud-based applications. This results in increased costs. Fortunately, SD-WAN leverages low-cost local internet access to provide direct cloud access while reducing the amount of traffic over the backbone WAN.

How Does SD-WAN Work?

SD-WAN or a Software-defined WAN is structured to solve complex challenges faced by traditional WAN designs. SD-WAN uses multiple connection types such as LTE, MPLS, and Broadband Internet interchangeably to improve network bandwidth, performance, and redundancy. All this is done by enabling centralized management and orchestration.

SD-WAN creates an encrypted tunnel network using its appliances at each site to allow the flow of traffic. These SD-WAN appliances are centrally managed using consistent networking policies. When the traffic enters such appliances, the type of application traffic is determined and routed to its destination considering its policies, availability, and performance of different network links.

The characteristics of SD-WAN are listed below:

Centralized Control

SD-WANs’ primary means of control are centralized and often reside in a SaaS application running on a public cloud. The separation of control is done from the hardware to simplify network management and improve service delivery. The SD-WAN appliances including the virtual ones work based on the operational rules or policies set by the central SD-WAN controller. This reduces and eliminates the need of managing routers and gateways in person.

Multi-connection, Multi-transport

SD-WAN gateways support hybrid WAN, which means each gateway can use different transport paths including MPLS, LTE, Broadband Internet, and more. A VPN is set up at each WAN level for security.

Dynamic Path Selection

This feature enables the SD-WAN with the capability to automate and selectively route traffic onto a WAN link depending on network conditions and traffic characteristics. In case of a link failure, packets can be steered to a different link.

Policy-based Management

SD-WAN supports the Quality of Service (QoS) policy to determine which way to steer traffic for dynamic path selection. It can also understand the level of priority assigned to a QoS. Usually, the business intentions or choices can be implemented as policies using the central management console. New and updated policies as translated into operational rules and downloaded to all SD-WAN gateways and routers under control.

Service chaining

An Additional characteristic of SD-WAN is its ability to chain along with other network services. Often WAN optimization is combined with SD-WAN to improve network and application performance. To achieve a balance of performance, security, and cost, Internet traffic leaving and entering a branch office may be routed through a VPN to a cloud-based security service.

SD-WAN vs MPLS

MPLS is expensive when compared to SD-WAN

With SD-WAN, you can expect significant cost reduction as it provides completely optimized, multi-point connectivity using distributed, private data traffic exchange and control points allowing users secure, local access to the services they need. These services can be from the network or the cloud.

Increased bandwidth

MPLS connections with 100Mbps + bandwidth and monthly costs will be too expensive. SD-WAN enables your company to fully utilize multiple, high/low bandwidth, inexpensive internet connections constantly. This includes business-class cable, 4G, fiber, and so on. Your company experiences a fast internet connection by aggregating multiple connections.

Increased performance

SD-WAN can throttle low-priority traffic on-the-fly and (for users with multiple ISP connections) always uses the fastest route to send the internet traffic using the circuit. MPLS doesn’t execute any of the actions as they have a single network connection and as your Class of Service (CoS) setting is static restricts the ability to adjust on-the-fly.

Increased uptime

Aggregating multiple ISP internet and WAN connections at a single site will help your company achieve seamless circuit redundancy for your WAN even across multiple circuit types and within the network of services providers.
With MPLS, there can be failover to a secondary internet connection sometimes but it is typically not instantaneous and leaves us with no other backup plans.

Increased performance at small, remote, or international sites

Almost every company has sites that don’t suit well for MPLS networks due to various reasons. The site may be too small ( due to the high cost of an MPLS circuit), or they cannot be serviceable by the MPLS provider (as the providers are in a remote or international location). Such scenarios force companies with MPLS to suffer less-than-desirable performance as the complete traffic is run over an IPSEC VPN.

On the contrary, SD-WAN provides agnostic and will deliver the same benefits, no matter which underlying ISP your company is using.

No longer imprisoned by your ISP

MPLS connection requires you to have its service provider at every site.

As a result, it takes a whole lot of reasons to make you want to go through the hassle of switching your company’s MPLS provider. You are bound to a difficult situation.
Whereas, with SD-WAN being ISP agnostic, your company can never be caught with ISP and can benefit from adding or removing ISPs at any site and time easily.

Reasons You Need SD-WAN

If you haven’t had an SD-WAN connection yet and can answer “YES” to any of the items below, then you should probably have an SD-WAN connection before it’s too late.

  • Carrying out multi-site operations using legacy MPLS WAN connections
  • Your existing network environment needs manual Intervention in case of failover between WAN carriers
  • Your Business is expanding and adding multiple locations at a rapid pace
  • The increasing need for VPN connections to allow remote working.
  • Disturbances in VPN and VoIP calls
  • Inability to seamlessly switch internet connections when one goes down
  • Centrally hosted business-critical applications are accessed from a satellite office or distant locations

Why Choose SD-WAN Services from Micronova

Micronova’s SD-WAN provides unparalleled visibility, centrally managed security, and performance at scale – perfect for maximizing your network’s potential.

  • Vendor Agnostic Service Provider: We give you the option of selecting services from multiple OEMs based on your requirements.
  • In-built Multi Slot Intelligent Routing: Ensure high availability and seamless connectivity from Headoffice to Branch offices via 4G wireless, Leased Lines and broadband connections.
  • Investment Protection: By simply upgrading your existing firewalls with our SD-WAN functionality, you can save on CAPEX and also be future-ready to support complex upgrades.
  • 24×7 Customer Support: Get technical assistance and support from our expert technical team anytime.

Is your company looking to minimize networking problems while enhancing security standards? It’s time to get started with Micronova’s Secured SD-WAN Solutions. Talk to our experts to learn more about how we can help you in optimizing your network infrastructure with high-performing and scalable SD-WAN services for the best multi-site connectivity.

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