A software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is a type of computer network that allows multiple Internet access resources - such as DSL, cable, cellular, or other IP broadcasting - to be combined to provide reliable, high-bandwidth data channels. SD-WAN abstracts connectivity options such as multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) and mobility and broadband connectivity to create a wide-area virtual enterprise network (WAN).
SD-WAN has a virtual WAN architecture and software-driven technology. A key element of this network is its centralized control, which keeps connections, security mechanisms, application flow, policies, and general administration separate from the associated hardware.
You can think of SD-WAN as a series of encrypted tunnels that include core services that provide application routing and optimized path selection to ensure that packets get to the right place. From there, the underlying data services determine the path to the destination. The SD-WAN architecture enables fast IP communication between the branch and the headquarters, as well as between branches - even in large geographical areas.
Why is SD-WAN important and what are its advantages?
Many companies are turning to software-defined wide-area networking technologies to solve connectivity and performance issues and improve business results.
What benefits does SD-WAN bring to organizations?
The solution provides reliable, secure WAN service at online prices. Broadband is more cost-effective and flexible than carrier-grade connections, which typically come with long durations and expensive contracts. With this technology, companies can take full advantage of all available network connections without having to use backup connections.
SD-WAN provides security at the branch level, avoiding the constraints of having to return data to the center for additional security such as firewall gateways and domain name system (DNS) enforcement. Additionally, SD-WAN encrypts traffic during location changes and segments the network , minimizing damage in the event of a breach. It can also help IT administrators detect attacks faster by enabling them to monitor the volume and traffic on the network. SD-WAN also allows the use of virtual private networks (VPNs).
SD-WAN allows businesses to easily add and remove WAN connections, as well as combine fixed and mobile connections. Organizations are becoming more agile as technologies enable multiple connections, devices and services to coexist with legacy infrastructure. With SD-WAN, the headquarters can quickly deploy WAN services in a remote location without sending staff there. Companies can also reduce setup times with this flexible technology.
SD-WAN makes WAN deployment at the enterprise level quick and easy. Because networks rely on a central cloud architecture, companies can easily scale them across multiple endpoints. Organizations can also improve branch infrastructure by introducing network services – in data centers, at the branch edge or in the cloud. IT staff are able to automate zero-touch deployments through a single management interface. SD-WAN also offers services such as network optimization, so fewer network devices are needed in each location.
SD-WAN technology leverages the Internet to create secure, high-performance connections. You can also cost-effectively keep your business applications up to date while improving software as a service (SaaS) and other cloud-based services. Users who sleep online can work faster and experience lower latency.
When does implementing SD-WAN make sense?
Gartner's report identified the types of enterprises that would benefit from implementing SD-WAN in their IT architecture.
This technology is needed if a company wants to move a large number of applications to a public cloud such as Office 365 or Google. SD-WAN is also useful when an organization wants to create a hybrid WAN topology, implementing Internet access directly from its headquarters locations.
Businesses will benefit from moving to SD-WAN if they want to:
GFI Software's Exinda SD-WAN solution provides enterprises with reliable, high-performance connectivity to headquarters data centers and the public Internet. The technology guarantees each branch a quick connection to the network, combining many inexpensive transport technologies such as DLS or 5G.
Exinda SD-WAN features include:
If you want to learn more about the solution or have any questions, please contact Damian Malinowski, who is responsible for this solution at Bakotech.