It’s no surprise that enterprises are turning to the cloud for networking. With data storage, software applications and communications all moving to the cloud, software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) is the infrastructure answer to many networking challenges that are introduced in the cloud era.

SD-WAN allows the enterprise to virtualize network management, provisioning, and troubleshooting, as well as prioritize certain types of traffic for enhanced performance and reliability for those transmissions. Here are some of the ways that SD-WAN is equipping enterprises as they increase their cloud investment:

SD-WAN provides opportunities for optimization. Your employees sharing GIFs on their break don’t require the same level of reliability and performance that’s required for a video conference between board members. SD-WAN allows you to automatically route network traffic based on business policies, favoring video and voice over transmissions, such as email, which don’t require real-time connectivity.

SD-WAN is inherently better for security purposes. As mentioned above, you can segment network traffic with SD-WAN for performance reasons, but you can also segment it by device type. For instance, if a field employee’s laptop is potentially compromised when it’s left behind at a site, the risk of a breach can be prevented from spreading to other types of devices.

Think value, not savings. There’s a lot of talk around the type of savings that you can expect with SD-WAN solutions, but it might be helpful to think more in terms of how it will add value to your organization. You may see some savings on WAN costs because you’ll be able to replace some of the more costly multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) traffic to a public internet pathway. But as cloud solutions and Internet of Things (IoT) devices become more common, you’re also likely to see an uptick in traffic.

Another area where you might gain value from SD-WAN is in its centralized model of management and troubleshooting. With a virtual overlay that sits on the physical network, your network engineers can access provisioning and configuration tools from a centralized dashboard, reducing the need to travel to branch locations for initial setup or to resolve any issues.

SD-WAN improves visibility. One of the ways SD-WAN is aiding enterprises is by helping them see how network traffic is routed and making adjustments for better use of network resources. Increasing visibility also helps identify where there are instances of jitter or dropped packets, so changes can be made for better performance.

SD-WAN certainly is not a silver bullet that eliminates the cost of networking or removes the need for network management. What it does is simplify network management and add value to organizations pursuing digital transformation and requiring an infrastructure that supports their digital goals.

Want to learn more about SD-WAN? Contact us at Net Tel One Communications, where we can help you determine whether SD-WAN is right for your enterprise and evaluate your needs to leverage the best solution for your business needs.