SD-WAN: What is it? How does it benefit your business?


It’s a new year, with new technology, which means we have some new acronyms to learn, SD-WAN. So, what is Sofware Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN)? We’ll dive into this “new kid on the block” WAN technology and go over what it does, the benefits and some of the cost savings that come along with it.

First, let’s define what a Wide Area Network is and why your business may need to implement this technology or evaluate your current WAN setup. As the name implies a WAN is just that, a Wide Area Network that connects physically separated offices together, from a networking standpoint. This can be in another city, state and even internationally. This allows your headquarters to connect to branch offices and share resources, communications, QoS, etc. I know what you’re thinking, can’twe just use VPN tunnels to connect our branch offices, and the short answer is yes. However, WAN technologies give you greater control over your traffic and its basically your own private internet, connecting your branch offices or even cloud services to your network.

One of the very popular WAN technologies that SD-WAN is starting to replace is a technology called Multiprotocol Label Switching, also known as MPLS. MPLS has been out for quite some time now and is what replaced Frame Relay, another WAN technology. As MPLS replaced Frame Relay, SD-WAN is doing the same. The biggest incentive for businesses to look into SD-WAN is the cost savings, and how well SD-WAN works with cloud technologies like SaaS (Software as a Service). MPLS comes with ISP routers, circuits, etc. Which can be very costly. With SD-WAN, the hardware is agnostic and you can use cheaper cable or fiber circuits for this setup.

OK so enough about MPLS, you’re here for SD-WAN. Do you need it? Should you invest in it? We think so. SD-WAN provides network redundancy and diversification when it comes to internet circuits. So how does SD-WAN work? SD-WAN is a virtual WAN technology which allows any combination of transport services – including MPLS, LTE and broadband internet services to securely connect users to applications. You know where this is going, Cloud. SD-WAN uses a centralized control to direct traffic across your WAN intelligently and securely.

If SD-WAN sounds like something, you’re interested in implementing for your business or would like some in-depth information CNG IT can help. We are industry experts when it comes to networking technologies and offer network consultation services as well as many more when it comes to infrastructure, datacenter and managed IT services.

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