August 16, 2020 | 3 min read
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What’s driving SD-WAN adoption?

Expereo team

To ensure maximum productivity in the digital age, businesses have to manage an increasing number of technologies, platforms, systems, and of course, network models. MPLS still has its place in a connectivity strategy, but SD-WAN adoption is growing fast. This software-defined networking model is becoming a big player in networking for enterprise and government sites alike.

Essentially, SD-WAN acts as an overlay for your existing MPLS network, allowing you to enjoy the spoils of broadband without uprooting everything from the ground. The flexibility of an SD-WAN overlay allows for multiple links and dual providers. This brings with it a nimble network architecture that presents a number of benefits to enterprises.

8 Key factors driving SD-WAN adoption today

We’ve detailed eight of the main benefits of the flexibility SD-WAN brings to your network architecture in the list below which is driving adoption.

#1. SD-WAN optimizes cloud strategies

Everyone’s moving online, simply because it makes day-to-day tasks quicker and easier. Wide area networks (WANs) have evolved to the point that the majority of traffic is directed to the Internet. Even if a company’s infrastructure isn’t in the cloud, chances are they regularly use cloud-based services such as Slack, Office 365, or Google Drive.

As an Internet-centric solution, SD-WAN can steer traffic and adjust bandwidth where it’s needed most. This is useful as it can prevent lagging in a real-time video chat, for example. Traditional WAN architectures are not designed to support the new consumption model of apps in the most efficient way, but SD-WAN is.

The quality of your Internet underlay will define the quality of your overlay; the services you deliver via the Internet—voice, video, data, applications—rely heavily on this dynamic adjustment.

Even if an application is not suitable for public cloud migration, SD-WAN allows for a private or hybrid cloud solution that improves Internet connectivity without having to move entirely to the public sector. With greater network control, segmented security policies, and increased security measures are simple to deploy. That means you can ensure data integrity and compliance with regulatory standards.

#2. SD-WAN provides consistency across global networks

SD-WAN is particularly useful for global corporations with multiple branches and offices in different regions. It uses a centralized control function to securely and intelligently direct traffic across multiple sites. If you’re using a 4G connection or different access technologies in an SD-WAN overlay, a whole new office can be set up in just a few weeks. You can also push policies from the centralized SD-WAN platform to that office in a heartbeat, creating consistency across every new location.

To provide the best connectivity underlay options, SD-WAN solutions should take into account local supplier quality, last-mile access methods, redundancy options, routing, and overall limitations of connectivity in certain geographies. This holistic approach ensures that businesses can maintain high performance and reliability regardless of their global footprint.

#3. Automated application performance enhancement

All in all, employee productivity will see a big boom under SD-WAN network architecture.

By using a policy engine in combination with SD-WAN, network engineers can assign priorities to different applications. For example, important video calls might get significant bandwidth, while social media can be pushed to the lowest priority. Business-critical applications will therefore have minimal latency.

SD-WAN also has an ability to optimize traffic with dynamic protocols, speeding up performance. For instance, a dynamic protocol might automatically intervene when packets are lost or received out of order, correcting the issue in milliseconds without any noticeable drop-off in running applications. Automated performance enhancement is a big part of SD-WAN’s inherent flexibility, ensuring that critical operations run smoothly without manual intervention and a huge driver of SD-WAN adoption.

#4. SD-WAN’s flexibility allows cost-optimization choices

SD-WAN customers are not locked into an overarching network or have to pay for superfluous services, which oftentimes makes SD-WAN a much cheaper option than traditional MPLS.

For instance, both Internet broadband and 4G LTE are relatively cost-effective connectivity options. By choosing those links for certain types of low-priority traffic, instead of the expensive MPLS network, SD-WAN significantly reduces costs.

That’s the flexibility of SD-WAN, allowing companies to pick-and-mix access technologies, carriers, hardware, and other network components to suit specific needs.

After all, a construction site is going to have very different needs from a retail pop-up. This customization extends to the financial aspect as well, enabling companies to allocate their budget more efficiently and invest in areas that will provide the greatest return on investment.

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can provide the expertise and oversight needed to maximize the benefits of SD-WAN. Helping you optimize your connectivity strategy and costs during deployment and ongoing management.

#5. You can plug in visibility and monitoring tools

Performance reporting, monitoring, and visualization capabilities from management tools add a comprehensive visibility layer to your SD-WAN network. They’re easy to deploy with maximum benefits, like expereoOne, for example.

You have complete visibility and control from a single pane of glass. You can take a look at live performance data right from all around the world and troubleshoot accordingly. This real-time insight is invaluable for maintaining network health and performance.

#6. SD-WAN provides security benefits

Security is a paramount concern for any business, and SD-WAN offers significant advantages in this area. With SD-WAN, enhancing security becomes simpler. Enterprises can implement segmented security policies that are easily scalable across multiple sites. This segmentation helps to contain potential breaches and minimize the impact on the overall network.

Additionally, SD-WAN can integrate with existing security measures such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems, providing a layered defense strategy. This integration ensures that data remains secure both in transit and at rest, complying with industry standards and regulations.

#7. You gain improved network agility

We’ve already commented on the agility provided by SD-WAN. But it really is a game-changer for businesses looking to adapt quickly to changing market conditions. With the ability to swiftly deploy new applications, scale operations, and adjust bandwidth as needed, companies can respond to new opportunities and challenges with unprecedented speed.

This agility extends to disaster recovery as well. SD-WAN's dynamic routing capabilities enable quick rerouting of traffic in the event of a network failure, ensuring business continuity. This rapid response capability is crucial for maintaining operations and protecting revenue streams in the face of unexpected disruptions.

#8. Support for remote and hybrid work environments

The rise of remote and hybrid work models has increased the demand for reliable and secure network connectivity. SD-WAN is well-suited to meet these needs by providing flexible and scalable solutions that support remote access. Employees can connect securely to the corporate network from any location, ensuring consistent performance and access to resources.

This flexibility is particularly important, as the ability to support remote work is no longer a luxury but a necessity. SD-WAN enables businesses to provide a seamless and secure remote work experience, enhancing productivity and employee satisfaction.

SD-WAN adoption is being driven by a combination of factors, including the need for better cloud integration, improved global network consistency, enhanced application performance, and cost-effectiveness. Its ability to provide visibility, security, and agility makes it an attractive option for businesses looking to modernize their network infrastructure.

By leveraging the benefits of SD-WAN, companies can position themselves for success in an increasingly competitive and fast-paced market.

Ready to future-proof your business with SD-WAN from Expereo?

The benefits of switching to SD-WAN are endless, and there are a lot of competent service providers available to help you switch from MPLS to SD-WAN.

Whether dealing with complex legacy infrastructure or resolving interactions between underlay and overlay, at Expereo we design, implement, and monitor all aspects that power your SD-WAN. We understand the international regulatory framework, how it relates to SD-WAN and have the knowledge to guide your business in optimizing your network performance.

When you work with Expereo, you gain dedicated project managers, deep experience, and responsive support to make your business transformation to an Internet-based, cloud-centric SD-WAN smooth and pain-free.

Get in touch today to discuss your needs.

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