What Is SD-WAN, and What Does It Mean For Networking, Security, Cloud?
Of the many advancements in wide area networks, SD-WAN technology has been considered one of the most important. It proves to be a gamechanger in networking, security, and cloud, given its connection optimization features.
What is an SD-WAN?
Also known as a software-defined wide area network, SD-WAN uses software to help data centers and cloud or remote management oversee services, such as connectivity and management.
Similar to software-defined networking, it dissociates the data plane from the control plane.
This application can cover existing switches and routers and virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE) when deployed. The latter comes with software that governs security, policy, networking, and management, with configurations depending on SD-WAN vendors.
Network SD-WAN Features
Now that you know what is a SD-WAN, it’s necessary to learn its basic features.
SD-WAN provides the ability to control several connections, from multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) to broadband internet to long-term evolution (LTE). In other words, it can readily support different internet connection types and bandwidth requirements.
It can also segment, part, and secure all application traffic traversing the traditional WAN. This dynamic path selection with WAN makes load sharing easier.
SD-WANs also provide a more straightforward interface for WAN management since it can support zero-touch provisioning. This makes it easy to set up, just like your home WiFi internet access.
SD-WAN solutions also readily support virtual private networks (VPN) and other third-party services. These include firewalls, web gateways, and WAN optimization controls.
With these features, a wide area network SD can help a big business turn up new links to its respective branch offices. Moreover, SD-WAN brings better link utilization for voice, video, or data.
In essence, it can help an enterprise run business-critical applications at a lower cost.
What Makes SD-WAN a Fast-Growing Segment?
With its ability to improve user experience and magnify cost savings, SD-WAN traffic is expected to increase more than ever.
Experts peg the annual growth rate at 30.8%, equating to sales of about $5.5 billion.
Although SD-WAN architecture only provides 9% of today’s IP-WAN traffic, it is estimated to increase to 22% in 2022.
Several factors drive this high demand for software-defined WAN. One is traditional WAN’s inability to support digital applications, such as SAAS and hybrid/multi-cloud usage.
Another reason is each enterprise’s desire to manage multiple connections to improve end-user experience and app performance.
Given the SD-WAN edge in terms of performance, it comes as no surprise that it has become a hot commodity in the business community.
Depending on your budget or desired offerings, you can choose an SD-WAN vendor from this extensive list:
- Silver Peak
Why WAN-SD is Good for Network Security
While SD-WANs are suitable for all types of customers because of its secure features, it is undoubtedly essential for the following users:
Customers using Amazon Web Services and cloud-based Office 365
These applications need remote access. SD-WAN appliances enable clients to create secure regional zones to direct traffic securely.
Retail, healthcare, and financial enterprises
For these businesses, SD-WAN can protect critical assets from vulnerabilities within the network.
With its stack of security solutions, such as IPS, cloud security, malware protection, and URL filtering, it can help defend the system from external threats as well.
SD-WAN Application: A Cheap Alternative to the MPLS Network
Although the packet-forwarding technology of MPLS is vital for most business needs, it does have two drawbacks: its high cost and setup difficulty.
That said, SD-WAN proves to be the better network management option because of the following reasons:
- It has a simple operational environment.
- It can use several circuits from different carriers, making each business less reliant on service providers.
- An SD-WAN application is often combined with other services, thus providing better routing mobility and security.
What an SD-WAN Application Can Do for the Cloud
Apart from improving security and lowering WAN costs, area network SD-WAN can help tie cloud services quite efficiently as well. It is vital for those who use containers and cloud-based applications that require access.
With every private data center growing bigger, more and more companies will have to adopt public cloud services. With SD-WAN enabling such quick and cheap resource spin-ups, it can help businesses move to cloud storage efficiently and securely.
SD-WAN Performance In a Nutshell
SD-WANs — alongside vCPE — are what networks need to be agile, not fragile. After all, it can improve networking, security, and cloud services, among many other applications.
And since it provides the best mix of price, flexibility, and performance, it is deemed the best choice for every enterprise over costly hardware approaches.