A software defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is a way of connecting offices in multiple locations. They are used to connect multiple transport services – such as VPNs, broadband internet, LTEs – simultaneously.
Traditionally, broadband Multiple Label Switching (MPLS) connections would have been needed to connect multiple locations in a single network. This is a very expensive and complicated process. Even once properly configured, the MPLS method is susceptible to failure or dropouts. SD-WAN solutions enable these disparate transport methods to be unified and their data accessed from different geographical locations, which can reduce cost and improve application performance
In this article, we’ll consider some of the top SD-WAN solutions on the market and suggest what type of organization they are ideally suited to. We’ll identify key features such as encryption, speed, and ease of setup.
What Is SD-WAN?
SD-WAN stands for software defined wide access network. Simply put, it is a virtual WAN infrastructure that allows large organizations to communicate across the globe. They are designed to transport multiple types of traffic.
Many SD-WANs will have native tools to ensure your data is secure, and optimization features so that you are always getting the fastest connection.
An effective SD-WAN solution can be managed from a centralized dashboard. From here, admin users can manage traffic steering policies, monitor network performance, and find actionable insights on vulnerabilities.
What Are The Benefits Of SD-WAN?
Reduced Costs: MPLS is much more expensive than SD-WAN as the latter uses public internet bandwidth. There are also additional maintenance costs associated with MPLS as this is a physical piece of infrastructure.
Greater Visibility Over Performance: With a SD-WAN, you can monitor network activity and speeds at every step of the journey. This makes it easy to identify issues and remediate them effectively. If one connection goes down, or suffers a drop in speed, your SD-WAN can automatically switch connection to preserve productivity.
Simplified Management: Implementation and management of MPLS can be complicated and time consuming – changes need to be rolled out individually. Across a large and disparate network, this can be a challenge. With an SD-WAN, changes can be rolled out immediately, across the whole network. Not only does this save time, but it also reduces any downtime.