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The Business Benefits of SD-WAN
July 21st, 2017

The Business Benefits of SD-WAN

Ian Linton

SD-WAN, can make it easier to provide central communications and IT services to branches, as well as simplifying access to cloud services. Find out why.

Software-defined networking is a technology that allows network administrators to virtualize their network resources and use software to improve control, flexibility, security, and costs.

The technology can improve the performance of many different types of network, including the Wide Area Network (WAN). WANs are important to businesses with branch locations and multiple data centers in the cloud or on their premises.

SD-WAN, as it is known, can make it easier to provide central communications and IT services to branches, as well as simplifying access to cloud services.

Reduced network infrastructure costs

Network administrators have traditionally used a number of different solutions to connect branches to central resources. Generally, they leased WAN connections such as MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching), built dedicated VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) or used both. To ensure reliable availability, administrators also over-provisioned their WAN connections.

SD-WANs are vendor-neutral. That means they can work with any existing network protocol. So, for a business using both MPLS and IP-VPN, SD-WANs can aggregate traffic and use any available route. This reduces costs by eliminating the need to over-provision and also protects investment in existing network infrastructure.

Enhanced user experience

SD-WANs can improve the availability of services for users. The technology gives administrators high levels of control and visibility over their network resources. SD-WAN’s intelligent path control automatically selects the fastest route for different types of traffic and prioritizes applications such as voice or mission-critical data.

Before SD-WAN, administrators had to try to maintain quality of service and other important network measures across multiple networks, without visibility of the entire network infrastructure. SD-WAN eliminates that problem and ensures users can access their services and applications with minimal delay. That improves the user experience and can increase productivity.

Better access to cloud services

For businesses that host applications and services in both premise and cloud data centers, SD-WAN provides a solution that is efficient and scalable.

SD-WAN works with Internet services as well as other networks, so it can optimize connections to both cloud and premise services. The combination of cloud services and a scalable network helps make the business more agile and adaptable to change. By optimizing the connection, administrators can ensure the best performance from cloud services such as Office 365 or SalesForce.

Increased security

To improve security across multiple networks and locations, SD-WAN can support a cloud-based network-wide security solution. This eliminates the problem of managing and monitoring separate and possibly incompatible security appliances at each site. It also ensures consistent security standards across the network to protect the business and its data.

Improved service to branches

An efficient, flexible WAN allows businesses to give branches access to the same services as head office and supports easier collaboration. Businesses can deploy communication services such as VoIP to branches or give them access to virtual contact center facilities.

IT does not have to set up duplicate systems at each location or provide local technical support. It can use SD-WAN in conjunction with existing network connections to deploy services. Access to these services helps branches improve productivity and deliver a consistent company-wide standard of service to customers.

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