If you’re considering SD-WAN as an option for your business, it’s essential to get to grips with its capabilities. It can help you improve network efficiency and security, allowing your organization to grow nimbly and adapt to changing circumstances.
SD-WAN uses software on centralized consoles to control network connections, application flows, policies, and security mechanisms. This makes it more straightforward, easier to maintain, and prone to fewer errors than traditional networks.
Your network faces new connectivity demands – from cloud-based apps and mobile to BYOD and IoT. Your legacy WAN infrastructure is struggling to keep up, so it’s time to upgrade.
SD-WAN, like in the explanation of what is SD-WAN Cisco, simplifies a complex network infrastructure by decoupling the networking hardware from its control mechanism, enabling a more effortless management experience. This reduces complexity and improves bandwidth and security costs, resulting in greater flexibility and reliability.
Another key benefit of SD-WAN is application optimization, which can help your business avoid downtime caused by packet loss and latency. This ensures your users can connect to essential services no matter where they’re located.
In addition, scalability options are available to accommodate changing traffic patterns as your organization grows. In the long run, this can save your business money because you don’t need to upgrade and maintain multiple WAN connections.
To start with an SD-WAN, your first step is to create a list of applications your business relies on. This is important because it helps you identify the level of bandwidth your applications need and how you plan to use it.
Then, you can create a service-level agreement (SLA) for each application and set clear expectations with your service providers. This can make your network easier to manage and protect your company from security breaches by ensuring that the right people can access the correct data at the right time.
SD-WAN is designed to support a wide range of enterprise use cases, including enabling a hybrid workplace, secure internet access, and cloud migration. It can also help you optimize application performance and increase visibility into your network traffic.
For example, application optimization enables you to ensure applications prone to high latency or packet loss can still run smoothly. This is important when you’re working remotely from home or on a business trip abroad, so you can always have access to the applications you need.
Embedded security helps keep ransomware and other threats from spreading to critical areas of the network, minimizing the impact of data breaches. It also allows you to limit how unfolding exploits affect your operations before they’re detected, blocked, and purged.
Another critical aspect of SD-WAN is that it supports multiple WAN connection types, which is crucial for small businesses. For example, instead of relying on expensive MPLS lines, you can replace them with cheaper Internet connections like LTE.
In addition, Cisco recommends deploying your controllers in the public cloud to improve their availability and redundancy. This is a more cost-effective model than having them all on-premises, and it can reduce your CAPEX and OPEX costs. Alternatively, you can use a managed SD-WAN service provider. These providers provide hardware, deployment, and management services.
Management with SD-WAN simplifies connectivity and security operations by integrating unified control with automated policy-based steering. It improves visibility into applications, devices, and networking, ensuring adherence to business goals and objectives.
An SD-WAN is a network controller that manages and controls all traffic across a branch, data center, or cloud. It can also monitor and analyze WAN performance and proactively failover to better-performing WAN links to mitigate performance degradation.
It can be deployed in many ways, from carrier-managed to overlay and cloud-first. There are different levels of complexity, cost, and scalability, so ensure you understand your needs before choosing a deployment model.
A secure SD-WAN helps prevent hackers from gaining access to sensitive data by using encryption technologies to protect it. It also can help prevent intrusions, detect and block malware, and log events to alert to security breaches.
The technology also integrates a full suite of network and security functions into a single cloud-based service model. This enables enterprises to consume additional network and security capabilities at the edge as they become available without doing so all at once.
Integrated with a SASE deployment, this approach combines a superior branch networking solution with a global private backbone to provide secure, high-performance networking across branch offices worldwide. It also alleviates branch offices’ challenges in running networking and security stacks, creating a thin edge that enables rapid and easy consumption of SASE security capabilities.
Security is a crucial driver for most modern businesses, and SD-WAN offers many ways to secure your business network. One of the essential features is data encryption, preventing third-party access to your network traffic. Another is a robust security policy management system that assigns network traffic to a specific link and helps IT manage application data flow.
Most SD-WAN services include a network management interface to help with policy assignment and device and site configurations. This increases end-to-end visibility and improves the performance of your WAN links.
Some SD-WAN vendors also offer cloud-based security solutions that monitor network activity and protect your data. This can help detect malicious activity and provide alerts to IT staff.
In addition, many SD-WAN vendors incorporate IPSEC technology to authenticate your network traffic. This helps ensure that data is safe even if it’s sent over public internet connections like Wi-Fi.
Security is an essential part of the SD-WAN strategy, and a secure approach to deploying it can make the difference between a successful and a failed deployment. This is particularly true if you’re sending sensitive information over the internet. For example, encryption is crucial to protect the data from being intercepted or modified if you’re using credit card numbers or personal health records over public networks.