SD-WAN: Your Network Edge Superhero Which Will Transform Your Enterprise
4 min read.
Is there really such a thing as a superhero? Marvel may just be fictional but in the world of technology, there are definitely some super-powered solutions designed to combat the villains which wreak havoc on our networks...
There's a whole host of anomalies that can occur on your network, causing continuous headaches when it's either not safe or correctly configured. From an unstable network connection that keeps glitching when communicating with clients; to your network being so bogged down you aren't able to access all the required applications, what is for sure is that there will be a solution that can fix the problem.
The real world, indeed, has its villains. In the digital world, they are elements that infiltrate our networks and devices and prevent them from performing as expected. We’re talking about latency, delay, jitter, congestion, and, of course, hackers. They are bad guys that keep us from getting our work done or steal valuable information.
The real world – otherwise known as your IT team – needs a superhero to fend off the evil that moves around cyberspace. They need someone (or something) to call on to eliminate the threats to success, which are created by those network villains.
The challenge, though, is the network is so much more complex than it was a few years ago. IT environments have become increasingly distributed, with many more devices attached to the network than ever, and they are accessing resources from beyond the corporate data centre. Ensuring performance, reliability, and security has always been a challenge – in a distributed IT environment where the WAN edge has become the battleground, that challenge is almost impossible.
The WAN Edge is a critical component of today’s enterprise infrastructure. It allows distributed locations – branches, remote workers, etc. – to connect to each other as well as to resources and applications in the corporate data centre or cloud. It’s a hallmark of the Infinite Enterprise that relies increasingly on hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
Here’s the catch: traditional WAN architectures work on a hub and spoke principle, where all traffic goes through the corporate data centre. With a fundamental part of the service delivery, and with so much network activity taking place between two sites outside the data centre, that old model is a recipe for disaster.
However, the modern, cloud-based SD-WAN is built for the Infinite Enterprise and is set up as a mesh network, so users can connect to cloud services or other users directly, without creating unnecessary traffic. It improves operational efficiency, cloud application performance, reduces network traffic to the data centre, and improves on-premises application performance as well.
While traditional WANs typically rely on expensive MPLS circuits to connect remote locations to data centres, SD-WAN can also use other connectivity options (broadband, cellular, satellite, etc.) to route traffic most efficiently based on route optimisation and application prioritisation. Plus, improving traffic flows, which also reduces MPLS costs.
SD-WAN solutions come with a built-in set of security mechanisms to protect network traffic, devices, and users from network villains. Both internal and external traffic is secured by multiple layers of security, including intrusion detection systems, built-in firewalls, malware protection, and other advanced security systems integrated into the solution. Most can also be incorporated with additional third-party security solutions.
Management and Visibility
With so many distributed locations, users, and devices connecting to each other, the cloud, and the data centre - one of the benefits of SD-WAN solutions is the ability to leverage a unified management platform. Instead of relying on multiple disparate management tools, your SD-WAN solution can provide single-pane-of-glass visibility into your entire network – including your SD-WAN, wired, and wireless networks. Unified management enables centralised policy creation, provisioning, and control across the entire Infinite Enterprise. Network performance, security monitoring, and management are exponentially simplified with a cloud-delivered SD-WAN.
We’re in a new world where location is ambiguous, at best, and becoming increasingly irrelevant, meaning the enterprise network extends infinitely. Wherever your workforce or customers are located, they expect the same, high level of network performance. The only way to deliver it cost-effectively and without excessive (and redundant) IT workload, while also protecting users from the network villains, is to call SD-WAN – your modern network Superhero. There’s no need to send out the Bat Signal if your SD-WAN is always on and always protecting your network from bad actors and poor performance.