Enterprises are finding that the digitised landscape has limitless potential to enhance business. However, they are also finding that old processes are quickly becoming obsolete and counterproductive. Today, applications are increasingly delivered from multiple locations, whether it’s on premise or the cloud, which puts pressure on the lack of flexibility in traditional networks. To enhance their network connectivity and streamline their operations, enterprises are now asking, what is SD-WAN?
What is SD WAN?
SD WAN, or ‘Software Defined Wide Area Network’, is a type of networking technology that helps to manage and optimise the performance of wide area networks (WANs). It’s become a popular technology due to its ability to enable organisations to securely connect users, applications and data across multiple locations.
Previously, traditional WANs were built to access applications within a private network, like a company’s dedicated datacentre. This system mean you would typically invest in one of three technologies:
- MPLS (private networks) – traditionally expensive and slower to deploy
- IPSEC Site to Site VPN Tunnels – often rigid and prone to issues, especially with changes to IP Addresses
- Point to point or Point to muli-point (Layer 2) – a ‘hub and spoke’ solution with fixed ends
These traditional networks generally relied on a single point of interconnection between the ‘private network’ and the internet, and apps were all ‘on-premise’. However, this created a ‘longer’ path from the end user to the web, increasing latency. It also caused a bottleneck and single point of failure for apps destined for the internet.
SD WAN is a modern concept to replace or augment these older technologies. It allows us to:
- build business grade networks on internet services
- rapidly re-locate locations
- add seamless redundancy to sites
- provide rich reporting on real-time usage of the network to quickly find issues.
Benefits of SD WAN
When your network is productive, your business is productive. SD WAN can help you optimise this productivity with its intelligent routing algorithms and Quality of Service mechanisms. By selecting the most efficient paths to transport your data, it can reduce latency and packet loss, thereby improving your traffic flow. This delivers better application performance and user experience, meaning your team can spend more time working and less time waiting for your network to catch up. If you rely on applications like video conferencing and cloud services this is particularly useful.
More time for the things that matter
Managing WANs can be complex, challenging and time-consuming, particularly if you are operating across multiple locations. SD WAN simplifies this process by allowing IT teams or administrators to monitor, manage and configure the entire network from a single dashboard. This streamlines the entire process and allows fires to be put out before they become huge, costly problems. With this amount of visibility, your IT team has more time to look towards strategic growth.
Optimised network performance
This same dashboard allows your team to monitor network behaviour, traffic, and application performance. Your administrators can identify any issues with data flow or cyber security in real time. That way, you can make more informed business decisions and proactively resolve threats to business productivity or security.
In the face of a digitised business landscape, network security is more important than ever. Thanks to the inclusion of robust security features, SD WAN can help you better protect your data and traffic. Some of these features include integrated firewalls, data encryption and threat intelligence, assisting in preventing attacks before they happen and informing you sooner in the event of a breach.
A network that grows with your business
The nature of business is unpredictable, so it helps to have a network that scales with you. Otherwise, you are left with slow loading times during growth periods or overly expensive infrastructure during more stagnant times. With SD WAN, you can easily scale up for down as needed. Add new branch locations, adapt to changing requirements, and integrate new cloud services without worrying about costs or disruptions.
Better business resilience
Business continuity is important; you can’t grow if you aren’t actively delivering your service, therefore you don’t want a network outage to disrupt your operations. Thanks to SD WAN, you can leverage built-in features that can adapt in the face of outages. It can reroute traffic to available paths to keep your applications running smoothly and keen your mission- critical operations in action.
Save on costs
Investment in your network infrastructure is important, and with the right set up you can get a better return. SD WAN allows you to increase your bandwidth efficiency by allocating traffic across multiple connections depending on network conditions and the needs of an application. This achieves better load balancing and minimises a need to spend on more expensive connections. With less downtime caused by poor internet, your team is spending more time on profitable outcomes.
Let SD WAN level up your network with Rubicon 8
From optimising network traffic and increasing bandwidth efficiency to simplifying management and ensuring network resilience, SD-WAN empowers organisations to embrace digital transformation and stay ahead in today’s dynamic business landscape. At Rubicon 8, our experts will work with you to understand how SD WAN can be used across our many carriage types to build a smarter modern network aligned with your business and technical requirements. Contact us today to find out more.