Many enterprises are turning to software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) to address a variety of challenges for IT. The advance of cloud technology means that a traditional hub-and-spoke configuration is being replaced by a more complex infrastructure. Rather than branch locations simply interacting with a centralized network, they are interacting with one another and with applications in the cloud. In addition, more devices being used for collecting data is resulting in more endpoints and increased traffic hitting the network.
These are just a few of the factors complicating network management for enterprise IT. There’s also the added difficulty of handling the barrage of security threats from all directions, as well as the added vulnerability that comes with the risk of an employee misplacing a device or one being stolen.
SD-WAN answers a wide range of network concerns with several valuable features, such as offering the ability to segment network traffic by user or application type. This not only optimizes broadband use, prioritizing mission-critical data transmissions to highly reliable, but more expensive pathways, but it also provides an inherent security benefit. Because the traffic is segmented, it’s easier to identify and isolate a potential threat.
While SD-WAN is a great approach for solving complex network concerns, solutions are not always used to optimize the network’s performance. Here are three ways to be sure that SD-WAN is delivering maximum benefits in supporting efficient business processes:
Depth of understanding related to applications: One of the key ways in which SD-WAN offers advantages is through the optimization of WAN management. SD-WAN automatically routes traffic based on business policy, but this demands a granular understanding of how the application prioritizes network use. Does it require low latency, or is reliability more the priority for that particular application? The better an organization understands application requirements, the easier it is to allocate resources and reduce costs.
WAN efficiency: The best use of SD-WAN is the identification of the correct pathway based on application type. It can also automatically determine a next-best pathway if it finds there’s a problem with the initial option. This is all done without any impact on application performance.
Integrated security: Traditional security solutions are not adequate for the elastic nature of SD-WAN. SD-WAN requires a comprehensive and integrated approach, with firewalls, antivirus, intrusion prevention and web filtering. Third-party validations are necessary to determine whether security is adequate for your network.
It’s relatively easy for most enterprises to determine that they need SD-WAN to handle mounting network complexity. The bigger challenge is using the technology in its optimized form to reap the most benefit from implementation. Contact us at Net Tel One Communications to find out more about how to make sure you’re getting the most from SD-WAN.