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What is SD-WAN?

SD-WAN, or Software-Defined Wide Area Networking, is a network configuration that removes the complexity of wide-area network (WAN) operation and simplifies it by decoupling networking hardware from its control mechanism, offering a range of benefits by centralising WAN management through software.

What Does SD-WAN Do?

Software-Defined Wide-Area Networking (SD-WAN) technology can deliver multiple performance and cost benefits, including end-to-end network visibility and feedback to improve transmission efficiencies on the go.

The technology also creates a painless pathway from proprietary hardware devices to software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WANs) that are agile and programmable, enabling organisations to keep pace with IT innovations. So what are the top 5 benefits of SD-WAN technology?

The top 5 benefits of SD-WAN:

    1. Hybrid Networking for Hybrid IT

      Hybrid networking for Hybrid IT

      At the core of a successful hybrid SD-WAN solution is an intelligent branch device able to identify and securely steer applications down the most optimal network path.

      For instance, mission-critical applications can be given the correct priorities without having to be back-hauled to a centralised data centre.

      The benefits of hybrid SD-WAN become even clearer as the NBN and 5G networks present opportunities for business to dynamically utilise consumer-grade broadband business internet as a low-cost net connectivity, especially for SaaS applications.

    2. Boosts your network, including at the edge

      Boosts your network, including at the edge

      SD-WAN adds bandwidth to your branch sites by utilising the internet to create secure, fast connections, side-stepping the back-haul (transmission of users’ internet traffic to a central data centre before passing it on to the internet) penalties imposed by MPLS networks. This means it can deliver business applications cost-effectively while optimising SaaS and other cloud services. The technology also improves IT efficiency at branch offices by enabling automation and provides reliable, inexpensive links for Internet of Things (IoT) projects.

    3. More cost-effective overall

      SD-WAN is more cost-effective overall

      Adding Internet bandwidth to a branch site directly at the edge can sometimes be more cost-effective than upgrading the MPLS connections (primary and fail-over) along with a corresponding increase in centralised Internet gateway. In these situations, a branch site can receive greater overall bandwidth to the WAN and Internet in a more cost-effective manner even considering the higher cost of SD-WAN edge devices and network visibility relative to a traditional branch router.

    4. Improves security through end-to-end encryption

      SD-WAN improves security through end-to-end encryption

      SD-WAN can easily create pathways for application data to travel along, but it’s also able to quickly and easily shut those routes down.

      Every network is vulnerable to attacks and breaches, and once something is detected, the business needs to be able to respond quickly and efficiently to limit the extent of the damage. By establishing security zones ahead of time administrators using SD-WAN can rapidly isolate security flaws and thereby minimise the damage – reputational and financial – that those flaws threatened to cause.

    5. Helps meet regulatory needs

      SD-WAN helps meet regulatory needs

      Cybersecurity, data breaches, and privacy protection need to be front of mind for any responsible organisation today.

      Added to the costs and reputational damage of cyberattacks, government regulations (e.g. Australia’s NDB and Europe’s GDPR laws) imposing fines and other penalties provide another layer of risk to consider.

      No matter what business you’re in, data and security need to be handled in a measured, professional and compliant manner or else you risk the loss of earnings, or worse.

      SD-WAN provides a centralised point of control for the network activity that radically simplifies the management of layers, which sit on top of the base-level network, such as firewalls and identity management. Policies in these areas, as well as routing, can be disseminated across the network automatically, reducing the risk of oversights and human error.

Brennan IT is one of the most experienced and respected providers of network solutions in Australia, with expert engineers ready to help design, implement and manage the right SD-WAN and wider networking solution for your organisation. Contact us today.