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SD-WAN

SD-WAN Explained

 

Geographically distributed enterprises are embracing Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WANs) at an accelerating pace. Why? Because SD-WANs not only dramatically lower costs, they help businesses become more agile by enhancing business productivity.

 

As applications continue to move to the cloud, networking professionals are quickly realizing that traditional WANs were never architected for a dynamic, internet-based environment. Backhauling traffic from the branch to headquarters to the internet and back again doesn’t make sense. Employees sometimes even find their business apps run faster at home or on their mobile devices than at the office.

 

So why aren’t more internet connections used for enterprise WAN services? Simple. Historically, the internet was a best-effort amalgam of networks. It wasn’t secure or reliable enough to meet business needs. And it certainly didn’t perform well enough to support latency-sensitive or bandwidth-intensive business applications.

 

With internet access redefining the economics of networking, the time is now to revisit the value of deploying broadband in the WAN.

 

SD-WANs are quickly emerging as a preferred solution for leveraging the internet for enterprise connectivity. There are several key foundational components that come with an SD-WAN, including:

 

  • Ability to leverage multiple forms of connectivity including broadband
  • Dynamic path selection
  • Zero-touch provisioning
  • Centralized management
  • Dramatic cost reductions

 

The value of a foundational SD-WAN on its own is clear. Organizations not only save money but benefit from increased business agility and worker productivity. It also enables IT to deploy new applications more quickly and accelerate time-to-value.

 

The speed of business continues to accelerate. Competition is fiercer than ever; customer expectations are higher than ever. Today’s businesses run on applications and rely on connectivity, and when you’re opening up new sites or branches, time is money.

 

Geographically distributed organizations often have hundreds or even thousands of branch offices connected to hub or headquarters’ sites. For security reasons, cloud-based application traffic is often backhauled from the branch across expensive WAN links to a hub site before being handed off to the Internet. Not only is this expensive, but performance is often compromised due to WAN bandwidth constraints at the branch and added latency from backhauling connections.

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