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SD-WAN Technology: What You Need to Know

Posted December 15, 2018

SD-WAN connectivity is the next generation of network performance. With lower operating costs and exceptional reliability, SD-WAN sets the standard for today’s networks with tomorrow’s technology. What does SD-WAN mean, what are some of its advantages and how can it boost your own business prospects?

Image credit: TheDigitalArtist via Pixabay, CC0 Creative Commons

Businesses are always looking to gain a significant edge over the competition. Sometimes, these advantages are found by looking inward. This means doing business more efficiently, with little or no waste.

Take today’s networks, for example. Wide area networks (WANs) have been around for a while, but they’re limited by certain infrastructure problems, WAN connectivity issues, higher-than-expected costs and other issues.

Think of WANs as the dial-up Internet connection of the early 2000s: Effective at times, for sure, but plagued by outdated technology, slow connection speeds and various reliability problems.

So, what’s the network equivalent of today’s top-speed broadband connections? SD-WAN, the next generation of network performance that’s helped companies across the globe work smarter – and less expensively – than they ever thought possible.

SD-WAN stands for “software defined WAN.” How is this technology part of the way we network today, and what are some advantages of SD-WAN technology?

SD-WAN: Just the Facts

Regular WAN networks are based on a confusing, error-prone process of data plan and control plane operations. For global requirements, WAN networks demand literally tens of thousands of CLIs (command line interface) instructions for all sorts of network activity, including:

– Protocol implementation

– Application deployment

– Rule administration (local and network based)

– Data flow

– And much more

SD-WAN networks, meanwhile, offers a superior alternative to traditional CLI functionality, because they’re based on a simple yet effective way to transfer data securely and reliably.

Advantages of SD-WAN Technology

SD-WAN networks offer optimal broadband connectivity, and they’re ideal for replacing multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) network functions. With a streamlined central control plane interface, SD-WAN eliminates the burdensome needs for endless CLIs. SD-WAN is also more reliable than regular WANs, due to broadband-based connectivity with robust backup support.

But that’s not all; SD-WAN technology is also easier to implement and maintain network-wide rules and protocols. Plus, it’s also less expensive to operate and maintain than WAN configurations, because reliability = affordability. Just 60 minutes of network downtime costs some businesses an excess of $100,000.

Another considerable benefit of SD-WANs is cloud compatibility. With so many applications, software platforms, data packs and more in the cloud, it makes sense to use a network infrastructure that can handle current demand and expand with future growth. As applications and related software move toward the cloud, you want a network that’s ready to perform right away – ­and SD-WAN is simply the perfect network solution for the cloud!

A few other SD-WAN advantages include:

– Superior security setup. Unlike MPLS and regular WANs, SD-WAN provides exceptional encryption, data packet integrity and other security measures. SD-WAN shows that reliable and robust can also be secure!

– Quality of service (QoS) – with an emphasis on quality. Today’s businesses demand flexible, adaptable communication platforms. SD-WAN specializes in handling all kinds of data streams, and has the versatility to channel QoS communications to a wide variety of end points and links.

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