How is SD-WAN Beneficial to Businesses?

How is SD-WAN Beneficial to Businesses?

Enterprise Networking Mag | Thursday, November 25, 2021

Global organizations fueled by the cloud require a high-performance, application-agnostic managed network solution, and this instance is where Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) comes in the picture.

FREMONT, CA:Long before the world knew of SD-WANand its benefits, there was the internet. However, it was not until the early 2000s that millions of families and businesses had continuous access to the internet via broadband. Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) solutions have been used by businesses to react to increasing demand for internet connectivity and to ensure stable networks since then.

MPLS allows a router to assign a 'label' to packets of Internet traffic, with each label indicating where the data should travel next. As a result, processing time at each router is reduced, a speed boost that big companies welcomed twenty years ago.

However, the year is 2021, and firms' challenges today are unparalleled, to put it mildly. Digital transformation was unheard of in the early 2000s; corporate apps were not in the cloud, and customers did not access the internet via mobile devices. MPLS was enough for yesterday's problems, but not for today's. Global organizations fueled by the cloud require a high-performance, application-agnostic managed network solution, and this is where SD-WAN comes into the picture.

To comprehend what a SD-WAN is, one must first understand what a Wide Area Network is (WAN).In a word,WANis any type of telecommunications network in which data is transferred between devices in different places via virtual private networks (VPNs), lines, or wireless networks.

For example, if WAN did not exist, enterprise connectivity would be limited to specific areas or geographic regions. WAN allows firms to communicate data between branches and stay connected as they grow and become global corporationsMPLS and broadband internet have traditionally been the two most common WAN connectivity solutions.

MPLS has become popular among businesses since it is essentially a private network that is considered trustworthy and secure.On the other hand, MPLS is not built to handle the enormous levels of WAN traffic generated by SaaS applications and cloud adoption, as previously stated. Furthermore, because of its private nature, it is a costly network solution.

SD-WAN is a more recent WAN approach. It is a product (not a network infrastructure) that acts as an overlay for a company's existing network solution (whether MPLS, broadband internet, or a hybrid model), separating network control and management methods from the underlying hardware and making them available as software, just like any other application, as the name suggests. It safely and intelligently routes traffic across numerous sites utilizing a centralized control function, adjusting bandwidth where it's needed most. This enables businesses to get the benefits of the internet without having to relocate their entire operations.

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