Software-defined networking in a wide area network – or SD-WAN – is an IT solution well-suited to enterprise networking that streamlines the management and operation of a WAN by separating the networking hardware from the control mechanism.
“In much the same way virtualization has fundamentally changed the data center for cloud computing, SD-WAN is transforming corporate networks.”
Let’s take a closer look at SD-WAN, what it is, and who can benefit from it.
The difference between SD-WAN and WAN
The key difference between SD-WAN and WAN is this: SD-WA is a virtual network, where WAN requires specialized hardware at every location, as well as manual setup and deployment and individual network management.
SD-WAN works on whatever internet connections are present at a location. It puts a software layer on top of the connections to unify all locations and create what is essentially one network.
Enterprise networking is SD-WAN
The unique demands of enterprise networking make SD-WAN the best available solution. Why? Because it connects all locations seamlessly and behaves as if it is managing one network – all without the significant upfront investment in hardware and setup.
Enterprise-level businesses can take advantage of cut costs, improved scalability, and reduced in-house maintenance burdens – which means more time to allocate to mission-critical tasks and growth-driving activities.
Centralized, simplified management
Network management can be resource-intensive, especially in enterprise environments that demand multiple networks. SD-WAN simplifies management by connecting networks and causing them to behave as one. This enables greater control through a single pane of glass management, as well as control over resource allocation by location and app. Any changes, updates, additions, and removals are made just once but are reflected company-wide.
SD-WAN simplifies management by connecting networks and causing them to behave as one.
Ditch the hardware
Traditionally, enterprises were forced to fork out significant cash on complex hardware arrays of switches, servers, firewalls, and more, all of which had to be housed on-premise. Expenditure then had to be allocated to inevitable hardware failures.
Because SD-WAN virtualizes everything hardware used to do, it removes the costly hardware lifecycle. SD-WAN works on whatever network is already available, even if that’s an old DSL or broadband connection.
Empowering the multi-location enterprise
Many enterprises operate out of more than one location. SD-WAN makes new location network connectivity quick and easy. Since the network is software-defined, new locations can be added to the existing network, which will then reflect all pre-existing security measures and other configurations. This eliminates the need for per-location setup.
A networking solution that empowers business development
Technology is so much more than an expenditure – it’s a strategic tool that businesses of all sizes can use to deliver a superior customer experience and drive expansion. For larger businesses with significant staff members and several locations, SD-WAN networks are one such IT solution that can be leveraged to promote growth.
In short, the larger the company, the better the ROI of SD-WAN. Each location that embraces SD-WAN is one less that demands an upfront hardware and setup investment – as well as ongoing and future management and replacement costs. The network solution helps teams maximize existing network resources while eliminating the need for a costly network buildout.
The result? Optimized network management and allocation streamlines operations, maximizes effectiveness, and ultimately gives teams more resources to dedicate to the tasks that matter most.
Every business benefits from a future-proof SD-WAN networking solution. Find out more.