SD-WAN or Software-defined Wide Area Network is a modern networking architecture that is implemented by organizations that require a robust, reliable, and speedy network setup for communication and data transfer.
The increase in popularity of SD-WAN has introduced lots of vendors into the market that offer managed SD-WAN services. Thus, selecting the right SD-WAN vendor will ensure the provider itself will handle all the background tasks required to set up and function the network architecture.
Despite the vendor doing all the work, it is essential that you understand how SD-WAN architecture is helping your business operations. So, in this article, we will be taking you through some essential things to know about SD-WAN before implementing it within your organization.
5 Essential Things to Know About SD-WAN
1) SD-WAN Supports Multiple Internet Access Types
With SD-WAN, you get support for all the popular internet access options. Regardless of whether your organization implements Ethernet, Fiber-optic, Wireless, LTE, DSL, Broadband, or MPLS, SD-WAN can function efficiently using any such type of internet access.
This allows businesses not to be locked into any specific vendor as they can switch vendors and try better internet connectivity options when required.
2) SD-WAN Allows Network Scaling Without Reworking the Infrastructure
Usually, when you wish to scale your network infrastructures using the traditional networking architectures, it would require to rework the entire infrastructure to accommodate new nodes or routers.
However, with SD-WAN, this is not the case. You can easily add nodes and routers and expand the network capacity without affecting the bandwidth or performance of the entire network.
3) SD-WAN Isn’t Necessary for All Types of Business
SD-WAN is best for businesses that have operations across different locations and use complex applications and networks such as cloud-based platforms, complex business intelligence apps, data centers, etc. Moreover, SD-WAN is a perfect choice for businesses that wish to explore the areas of IoT (Internet of Things) and AI (Artificial Intelligence), as the architecture supports both these technologies.
For businesses that operate in a single location and utilize only basic processing applications, setting up an SD-WAN infrastructure isn’t necessary and wouldn’t make much of an effect on the efficiency and performance of the business operations.
4) SD-WAN Can Integrate with MPLS
Multi-Protocol Label Switching or MPLS is a network architecture that is mainly used by large organizations. However, most of the organizations that previously had MPLS network infrastructure are now shifting to SD-WAN because of the advantages it has.
What makes SD-WAN an ideal alternative to MPLS is the fact that it can integrate with the existing MPLS network, thus saving organizations time and money that would otherwise be required to set up a whole new network infrastructure.
5) Support for Zero Touch Provisioning
In a traditional WAN router setup, IT specialists will have to visit each branch location of a business and push in new configurations and policies for the network.
SD-WAN has support for Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP), which allows businesses to program all the new policies and configurations from a centralized location instead of having to visit each branch individually. ZTP also helps in reducing human-induced errors while programming each router, thus ensuring the consistent working of policies and configuration throughout the network of the organization.
SD-WAN ultimately allows businesses to maintain a cost-effective and efficient network infrastructure. However, the architecture isn’t worth for all types of businesses.
Therefore, it is crucial that you properly study the existing network infrastructure within your business as well as how implementing SD-WAN can improve the networking of your business, before actually implementing SD-WAN.