Three key reasons for SD-WAN deployment

By Ilvija Skerskane|1 November, 2019

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As cloud-based applications have grown in popularity over the past decade, the resultant connectivity and bandwidth requirements have exposed the limits of traditional hub-and-spoke WAN. Inefficiencies caused by the need to backhaul all data through a central hub can have a significant and negative impact on business productivity.

The introduction of SD-WAN has evolved network connectivity with a model that dynamically assesses the data crossing the network and sending it over the most appropriate and efficient connection. This means critical, sensitive, or urgent packets are sent over the premium MPLS link, while less important or latency-sensitive data traverses a secure tunnel over the public internet.

The upshot is three key reasons businesses are implementing SD-WAN and how each improves businesses in different ways:

1. Public cloud Integration

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications have become a mainstay of productivity, with Office 365, G-Suite and Dropbox finding their way into most organizations. But reliance on SaaS has also extended to more mission-critical tools like ERP and CRM, with the space occupied by the likes of SAP and Salesforce.

The adoption of SaaS shows no sign of slowing and with the requirement to connect to more business-critical cloud servers businesses are finding that the network can become congested during peak times.

By spreading the load over multiple networks including interconnect (such as Console Connect), SD-WAN and  public internet, usage on essential and expensive MPLS lines is reduced and bottlenecks are significantly reduced.

2. Security

Cloud-related services got off to a shaky start in terms of security as the basic premise is that ‘someone else’ is taking care of things. But as technology and business have moved on, many organizations realize they do not have the expertise or budget to manage all aspects of security in house. MPLS alone is not cost-effective as a  transport for all data and the public internet is not secure enough for business use.

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But SD-WAN has improved security and reliability by maximizing capacity for the most sensitive and mission-critical data, while giving all other data a secure, encrypted tunnel over the internet. Network segmentation also means an organization can close off a certain server rack or device that is behaving suspiciously and incorporate firewalls with unified threat management.

3. Resilience and reliability

Traditional hub-and-spoke networks were never highly reliable. If an outage occurs it could be hours before the issue is recognized and take even longer to fix. Especially if the failure is in the central hub, this could have a knock-on effect on all sites. SD-WAN is able to migrate traffic to alternative routes in real-time, should one or more routes become compromised.

This changes the actual job performed by roles such as network admins and engineers and frees them up to spend more time innovating and investing in the business, rather than troubleshooting and applying fixes. Overall it increases productivity across the entire business.

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