SD-WAN (software-defined wide area network) is a network architecture approach that enables communication between distant points. In effect, it is virtualization of WAN (wide area network).
The difference is that SD-WAN uses software to manage long-distance connections. Some benefits:
- Exempt the use of dedicated hardware (router) in each branch;
- Manages all locations from a single point;
- Determines the most efficient way to make network resources available;
- Create secure links between endpoints, corporate networks, servers and datacenters.
Many companies will ask “what is SD-WAN?” or “What are the advantages of SD-WAN?” before evaluating this type of approach to distribute network links.
That is why we have come up with some essential reasons:
By centralizing all links, SD-WAN makes bandwidth management simpler. Being defined by software, enables connection to different locations more quickly, since management is central, i.e., from a single administration interface. That means, creating communication between branch offices, datacenters, cloud infrastructures, SaaS application without difficulty.
Another advantage: it avoids the need to configure routing at every point of your network, whether it is the central office, branch offices, end clients or remote user. That’s one of the reasons that makes SD-WAN more cost-effective.
But the main reason for making connections less expensive is that you will rely not as much on Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) connections. This is a legacy type of WAN connection, which can be up to 70% more expensive than Internet connections in some cases. Add to this the fact that its management is more complex and demands more IT staff hours, MPLS makes connections in long distance networks way more expensive.
To the extent that you can choose between different types of connections and decrease management complexity, the cost drops. In summary, within this aspect, SD-WAN:
- Reduces cost with hardware maintenance in each location;
- Reduces service cost to deploy and manage hardware;
- It supports several types of connections (3G, 4G, DSL, cable);
- Decreases team hours in each location, configuring edge equipment;
As a result of the above advantages, SD-WAN service offers better network performance. In addition, being positioned at the edge of your network helps a lot to define the best route from pre-set criteria by IT staff.
It is worth mentioning that software-defined connections offer more stability and also reduce the risk of inactivity, since when administering several links, SD-WAN solves latency problems, packet loss (which results in loss of productivity), etc., offering high availability in an equally simple way.
Beyond cost and performance, SD-WAN enables more security. This is because the service can be integrated with traffic security controls, like those offered by BLOCKBIT UTM. This aspect allows to submit all the requisitions to evaluation of rules of firewall, IPS, ATP etc.
In the security aspect, a clear advantage is that all traffic will be assessed with encryption inspection capability. That is, the requests for communication with your network will be analyzed by SSL inspection capability, and on the other hand, all communication between branches will be protected by the same resource.
In brief, SD-WAN offers better quality network services with a clearer cost-benefit. That’s what companies need, right?
If you want to know more about how to take advantage of these advantages, talk to our experts.