What are the benefits of SD-WAN? You may have heard a lot about this network. Indeed, in our blog we have written various posts on SD-WAN from different perspectives, but I believe that at this moment in time it would be interesting to review the benefits that this network can bring a company or organization.
However, firstly we should remind ourselves why should a company or organization be thinking in SD-WAN? The answer is easier to understand if we analyze what companies and organizations are currently demanding from their networks. Apart from various other issues, it is clear that they now need three key pillars in respect to their networks. Firstly, more economical networks are required because cost savings are a must. Secondly flexibility, so that they can obtain exactly what they need from the network. Thirdly, access to public cloud services, because many of the services that are needed cannot be within a closed private network anymore. No matter how large the company or organization is, they will be obliged to use the public cloud network.
Now that we have these key points clear, we can go into the benefits of SD-WAN and we will see that it directly allows companies and organizations to attack these three issue and more.
- SD-WAN is an economical network
SD-WAN works on Internet because it is a considerably economical network, especially compared to private networks such as MPLS. How much more economical one network can be over another, depends on many factors, but what is clear, is that the costs savings are substantial. That cannot be denied
- Secure SD-WAN network
SD-WAN has maintained the Internet network on which it works economically, but has totally increased the level of security of the Internet. This was a must because otherwise large companies and organizations would not be able to use it. However, there is no standard for how the security is built into the SD-WAN. There are various ways, from an overlay based on DMVPN and IPSec to a third party SaaS security systems and others.
- Large bandwidth with SD-WAN
SD-WAN can easily and economically have large bandwidth, because the underlay on which the bandwidth is composed, is managed smoothly by the network. Again, if one compares the price of MB bandwidth on a private network vs that of SD-WAN, the price of the latter will be considerably more economical. Moreover, obtaining the larger bandwidth may not seem to be complicated, considering that the network is based on Internet, what is more complex but can be perfectly achieved, is the effective performance of the broadband.
- Flexibility when building the underlay bandwidth
SD-WAN has flexibility when building the underlay network. ADSL, VDSL, 4G, LTE… there is total flexibility. This, in itself, brings other benefits. The most appropriate or economical bandwidth can be used depending on the location of an office or site. Different traffic can have different types of lines allocated, depending on level of security or other requirements. Backup can be assured if the underlay is made up of both fixed and cellular lines.
However how the underlay network is built and used, is only one point related to flexibility. Indeed, many of the other points mentioned here also imply flexibility. Flexible management and maintence systems, covering peak valley demands, optional security systems, etc.
- Simplicity at office or site via SD-WAN
The installation of edge devices for SD-WAN networks can use zero touch deployment or plug and play devices which do not have to be installed by field team engineers, eliminating all the traditional command line interface installation. So, with little more than connecting the edge devices to the LAN cable, they will be activated. This brings a number of benefits. Firstly, cost reductions because field engineers do not have to accompany the devices sent to the sites. Also, zero touch deployment is an automated installation, which reduces human intervention and decreases the probability of errors. Additionally, the speed at which a network of sites can be installed will be increased.
- Central Site Control Plane for SD-WAN
Apart from the simplicity of the initial zero touch deployment of the devices at the branch or office site, modifications, updating and more, can all be done from the central site software control plane. This simplifies network configuration, provisioning and the settings mentioned. Independently, a control planes enables the whole SD-WAN network to be centrally and easily managed.
- SD-WAN manages the applications
With SD-WAN, IT managers not only mange the level of traffic from each site or office, they can now manage the application level or the 7th OSI layer. Therefore it avoids the IT managers having to go down to the IP level to program the network. It’s all much more simple and considering that all businesses today are built around applications, of which a huge percentage are on the public cloud, this is a huge benefit that SD-WAN brings with it.
- SD-WAN optimizes application performance
Applications no longer have to be backhauled to the central site, as is the case when a private network is in place. Managing the applications directly increases their performance and a QoS can be used, so that priority is given to the most important applications, improving response time.
Overall these can be considered to be the general benefits, however there are various suppliers of SD-WAN products and solutions and obviously not all are the same. Indeed, within Teldat we pride ourselves that our SD-WAN solution is unique and revolutionary for many reasons.