SD-WAN offers many benefits, especially for businesses that rely heavily on cloud-based applications. It prioritizes critical business processes over low-cost and reliable network paths, and IT teams can monitor performance digitally.
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A business’s IT network is essential for productivity. However, if employees struggle with slow or interrupted connections, morale can drop, and work productivity suffers. This is where an SD-WAN can help.
SD-WAN allows companies to prioritize which applications and processes move data first. This helps ensure that social media use or a video conference is consistent with an important voice-over-Internet-protocol phone call quality. Additionally, SD-WAN can eliminate the trombone effect and improve last-mile performance with link-bonding and other capabilities.
Businesses can also save time and money with a managed SD-WAN service. This type of service handles all of the management and upgrades for a network. This allows IT teams to focus on other tasks and projects. Select an SD-WAN provider with a streamlined and easy-to-use management portal and app. This will give your team a better view of the entire network, which can be challenging with traditional WAN solutions.
SD-WAN offers secure connectivity by encrypting data as it is transferred across the network. This protects it from being intercepted by hackers or other malicious actors who can use public networks like Wi-Fi to gain access to business systems.
Additionally, SD-WAN systems provide business continuity by allowing companies to deploy multiple WAN services and ensuring that critical applications receive priority over other connections, such as cellular. This eliminates the need for costly hardware at each site and makes it much easier to scale up or down based on demand.
Lastly, SD-WAN enables organizations to prioritize real-time services and signaling over specific network paths with policies based on business requirements and near-real-time performance monitoring. This means you can minimize the latency and jitter that impact voice, video, and meeting apps while reducing the bandwidth needed for file downloads and social media.
Considering deploying an SD-WAN solution, it’s essential to consider how the technology shift will impact end users. Change, even positive change, creates friction that may cause users to feel frustrated and impede their work performance.
When choosing an SD-WAN solution, ensure it’s compatible with your current connectivity and can handle future growth. This will help reduce any service disruptions. Additionally, look for a solution that offers flexibility in network design and automatic traffic routing.
This allows the network to choose the best path for each application, providing resiliency and performance improvements. Also, consider how your business needs to connect with customers and suppliers, which can affect WAN bandwidth requirements.
With the ability to quickly scale up or down as required, SD-WAN can be an ideal alternative to MPLS networks. This makes it easier for businesses to control costs and improve operational efficiency. Furthermore, SD-WAN can efficiently merge multiple networks into one unified network. This is especially useful for organizations that frequently undergo mergers and acquisitions or operate multiple logical networks within a physical network. For example, a cardholder data environment (CDE) can be run on a separate virtual network from the public Wi-Fi used for employee devices. This helps protect sensitive information and ensure compliance with security standards.
The ability to prioritize which applications and processes move data first can help companies ensure that social media usage doesn’t derail the quality of video conferencing or voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) phone calls. Additionally, SD-WAN offers a more flexible management of network resources. It operates above the hardware level and allows quicker reconfiguration during a network outage. With SD-WAN, businesses can easily make changes for remote sites from a central location without manually re-provisioning routers onsite or relying on expensive MPLS circuits. Organizations can also use the technology to merge multiple networks into a single one efficiently. When choosing an SD-WAN solution, be sure to look for a service provider that offers 24/7 support to rest assured that your network is in good hands. It is also important to select a provider that offers an agnostic connectivity approach, which can accommodate MPLS connections, broadband Internet connections, and other data services.
Traditionally, upgrading and maintaining a business network to meet new bandwidth demands was a laborious, expensive process with traditional router-based technology. SD-WAN is typically cheaper, easier to deploy and manage, and offers increased resiliency and efficiency through better routing data over the most appropriate connectivity link at any given time.
Many SD-WAN solutions support a range of network links, including MPLS, broadband internet, and cellular connections. This allows organizations to rethink their connectivity choices and eliminate expensive private circuits in favor of low-cost broadband or satellite links. Some solutions offer additional features like zero-touch provisioning, built-in security, and analytics. Choosing an SD-WAN solution that works with the connectivity options you already have is important, as is finding a provider that offers both physical and virtual appliances for maximum flexibility. Checking user reviews and testimonials can help narrow down the possibilities and find the right solution for your business.