What is SD-WAN?
SD-WAN – short for software-defined wide area network – is a cloud-first, intelligent way to build a computer network over a wide geographic location. An SD-WAN uses software to route traffic across the network, enabling companies to connect their systems and employees easily regardless of their location, without as much dependence on physical infrastructure.
This makes SD-WAN a very useful tool for businesses with a partially or fully remote workforce. But do you need an SD-WAN and what benefits can it bring? Read our quick guide.
Basic SD-WAN vs. Business SD-WAN
Not all SD-WANs are created equal. Some basic software-driven networks do not have the intelligence and reliability to deliver superior network performance. To become an asset to the business and enable digital transformation, only a business SD-WAN will do, and here’s why:
Orchestration and automation of functions
Basic SD-WAN solutions do not always provide full end-to-end orchestration of all WAN functions such as security and routing. Business SD-WANs support centralised orchestration, which reduces the likelihood of human errors that can compromise security and performance.
A business SD-WAN automatically adapts in real-time to any changes to deliver optimal application performance under any network conditions. That’s in contrast to a basic network, which only steers traffic according to predefined rules.
A key benefit of a business SD-WAN is its ability to use multiple forms of WAN transport simultaneously to deliver a consistent quality of experience. A basic network only directs application traffic down a single path. It can change the path if it is underperforming but that can lead to interruption and cause significant delays.
Secure local internet breakout
Most basic software-driven networks provide some application capabilities to direct SaaS and IaaS traffic directly across the internet. However, with cloud applications changing constantly, business SD-WAN continuously adapts to provide automated daily application definition and IP address updates to eliminate interruption and remove user issues.
Advanced features for Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) functions
Server access service edge or SASE (pronounced “sassy”) is an emerging cybersecurity concept that describes the convergence of WAN and security services like Zero Trust, FWaaS and CASB into a single, cloud-delivered service model. Given the constant demand for access to applications from users operating in diverse locations, SASE is the ultimate goal for many organisations. However, this is something that basic SD-WAN cannot deliver.
Instead, business SD-WAN with advanced networking capabilities is required to fully enable SASE. You can then grant greater security without loss of access and have the freedom to deploy new security innovations from any vendor to address future threats.
Tailoring an SD-WAN for your business
Choosing the right SD-WAN solution is one of the most important business decisions you will make. That’s why we work with you to tailor a solution that’s the perfect fit for the size of your business, the services you provide, the systems you use and how you want to connect with them.
Part of the process is to ensure that you have strong and stable internet connectivity. We also provide 24/7 monitoring to make sure you never miss a beat. Get in touch to find out how converting your systems to an SD-WAN can improve performance and help you scale your business.