What is SD-WAN and What is it Used For?

sd-wan

Introduction

Software-defined wide area network is a term that refers to a network that is defined by software (or networking). A wide-area network (WAN) connects two local area networks separated by a significant distance—from a few meters to thousands of meters.

The phrase “software-defined” suggests that the WAN can be configured and operated programmatically. Therefore, it may be swiftly changed to match changing needs. SD-WANs have several properties that are commonly associated with them. This post will lead you through each one and explain how SD-WAN technology works and why consulting SD-WAN providers is a good idea.

Why SD-WAN?

Enterprises are increasingly using the cloud and subscribing to SaaS. Users used to connect to the corporate data center to access business programs, but now they can access the same apps in the cloud.

Therefore, the conventional WAN is no longer suitable, primarily because gathering data headed for the cloud and traffic from different office branches to headquarters, poses a hindrance and lowers the application performance of applications.

SD-WAN lowers costs, simplifies WANs, delivers an effortless on-ramp to the cloud with considerable application speed, and improves the efficiency of the bandwidth, especially for applications that are mission-critical, completely done while maintaining data privacy and security.

Centralized control

In an SD-WAN, the major means of control are centralized. It’s frequently found in a public cloud-based SaaS service. To improve network management and enhance service delivery, control is detached from the hardware.

The main SD-WAN controller issues operating rules to SD-WAN appliances (including virtual appliances). This significantly minimizes or negates the need to manage individual gateways and routers.

Multi-transportation, multi-connection

SD-WAN gateways offer hybrid WAN, which means that each gateway can handle numerous connections over various transports, such as broadband Internet, MPLS, LTE, etc. For security, each WAN link is usually connected to a virtual private network. As a result, SD-WAN technology can be used as an overlay to connect disparate communications infrastructures.

Dynamic path selection

The capacity to automatically and carefully route traffic onto one WAN connection or another based on traffic characteristics or network conditions is another feature of SD-WAN.

Because some other link is unavailable or not operating well, packets may be routed towards that link or regulate network traffic over all available links. Packets can also be identified by the user, application, source/destination, and other attributes and sent down one path based on those qualities.

Management based on policies

SD-WAN technology decides where dynamic path selection will route traffic and supports quality of service (QoS) regulation. The level of priority assigned by SD-WAN policy is also determined.

One can use the central management console to apply business intents as policies. All SD-WAN gateways and routers under management receive updated guidelines, converted into operational rules, and downloaded.

For example, one may devise a strategy to provide the greatest possible efficiency for VoIP and interactive web conferences by providing their packets with priority transmission and routing them via low-latency channels.

By transmitting file backups over a broadband Internet connection, you can save money. WAN traffic requiring a high level of security can be limited to private connections between sites and must pass through a sophisticated security stack before entering the organization.

Service chaining

Another feature of SD-WAN is its ability to be chained along with other network services. To increase network and application performance, WAN optimization (acceleration) is frequently paired with SD-WAN.

Internet traffic entering and leaving a branch office could be routed over a VPN to a cloud-based security solution to strike a balance between security, performance, and cost. It’s not just about picking the right platform when adopting SD-WAN technology.

As you strive to realize the full potential of the networking infrastructure, ensuring that the correct SD-WAN providers are working on the site is equally important. Failure to do so would be like purchasing a Formula One automobile and having your grandmother drive it.

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