Ditching networks devoid of flexibility and programmability is one of the key enticements for migrating to a software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) solution. Cloud-based computing has made the prospect even more attractive, as decentralization continues its inexorable march toward becoming the future of business in general.
Moreover, the cost savings achievable are hard to resist. Even better, all of this can be done, even while gaining real-time visibility and control of the entire network — regardless of how remote the user base might be.
These key advantages are amplified with managed SD-Wan.
Overcoming SD-Wan Challenges
Yes, your IT department might be well versed in networking in general, however the move to software defined wide area networking brings some specific challenges they may have had yet to face.
Interoperability standards and internet tunneling overhead can have a detrimental effect on the performance of a network. Managed SD-WAN solutions mitigate this with a full run network fabric featuring centralized orchestration and load balancing, which permits chaining of WAN security services throughout the network.
The potential for lock-in to a single vendor or technology solution is also eliminated; even as the optimal balance of price, performance, and resiliency is achieved. Access strategies can be predicated upon location, as well as the desired joining of applications and users. Moreover, you can still bring your own bandwidth with you, thanks to the embracing of a transport agnostic approach.
Other key advantages include enhanced data security to defend against eavesdropping, application visibility so you can track resource consumption, bandwidth control to ensure the performance of critical applications, and reliably free-flowing traffic with dynamic path selection and application optimization.
Enhanced Data Security
A managed SD-WAN solution enables secure site-to-site connections. Moreover, it permits the automatic encryption and authentication of all traffic, ensuring the potential for internet eavesdropping is mitigated. This keeps your data secure, even as you enjoy flexibility and cost-savings.
Observation of network traffic — including encrypted — is provided on an application-by-application basis, so you can be certain your organization’s most critical functions are prioritized.
Bandwidth can vary from location to location, so you need to have control over its usage from application to application. You’ll also need to exercise control based upon locations and connections to optimize performance across your entire organization.
Dynamic Path Selection
Degraded or dropped connections are the potential Achilles Heels of SD-WAN. Managed platforms provide for the routing of an application along an optimal path — by-passing potential bottlenecks. You can also prioritize traffic based upon the importance of an application to your operational situation.
Better-managed SD-WAN solutions provide specialized application optimization tools with which you can reduce the footprint of an application as it travels along with the network. This lets you move more data — at a higher rate of speed — without implementing changes to your existing IT infrastructure.
Building a high-performance network capable of operating over commercially available internet connections offers an outstanding opportunity for cost savings. However, security, application visibility, bandwidth control, path selection and application optimization protocols must be both accessible and reliable.
Accomplishing all of this in-house is of course absolutely doable. However, while the centralized management and hands-off provisioning SD-WAN provides might make implementation seem easy, it is not. The challenges we noted above must be overcome.
Meanwhile, going with a managed SD-WAN solution accomplishes all of the above, while simultaneously lowering your personnel costs and virtually eliminating the need to be on the constant lookout for networking talent.
A managed solution also frees you of the need to keep abreast of the latest technological developments in the area and relieves you of the stresses associated with managing your networking activities.