In the highly centralised, controlled, and self-contained enterprise IT environments of the past, static hardware-based networking worked for your enterprise. Today, requirements have legacy networks at the breaking point. Apps are both on-premises and in the cloud. Networks are both private and public. Users are mobile as well as remote. IT is more distributed, fragmented, and dynamic than ever.
If your enterprise has adopted a hybrid network – a mix of MPLS, Internet VPN, and public Internet – to keep up with your application and user demands, you’ve seen the benefits of having multiple transport capabilities. However, you’ve also experienced the increasing complexity of managing quality, failover and traffic routing rules for a diverse application portfolio.
Manual configuration of remote resources, especially routers in the branch, is costly and difficult, often requiring expensive IT expertise onsite, difficult CLI-based configuration and the ongoing risk of human error and misconfiguration. As enterprise networks become more complex and unpredictable, IT departments struggle to react. To keep up, IT needs to fundamentally rethink its approach to networking.
Taming this chaos of hybrid apps, hybrid networks, and mobile users demands an innovative approach to networking based on policy automation and real-time orchestration of all components of connectivity and access. Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) offers your enterprise the flexibility to connect all these requirements together with reliability, cost-effectiveness and security.
According to IDC’s Brad Casemore “The need for SD-WAN is not only occasioned by the increased adoption of cloud services but also by the steady migration of enterprise data traffic from the enterprise branch directly to the Internet, and by the requirement to reduce the complexity and cost of WAN provisioning and management.”
SD-WAN offers multiple advantages to your enterprise:
Provision faster: Provision your branch-office networks 50 to 80 percent faster, according to Gartner.
Improve reliability: Automate manual configuration tasks, eliminate error-prone command-line-driven, device-based approaches and reduce your network’s complexity.
Increase performance: Provide faster cloud application performance. With the right SD-WAN solution you can also provide WAN optimisation to improve application performance.
Reduce costs: Leverage zero-touch provisioning and automation to simplify branch office IT. Save on hardware, software and IT resources and embrace hybrid WANs with ease.
Enterprises that delay digital transformation run the risk of putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage. If your enterprise’s productivity depends on cloud-based applications, it is imperative that you rethink your approach to networking to align it to the cloud era. Your network should be a strategic asset ensuring security, digital transformation, and business agility, and it should emulate the cloud – elastic, dynamic and software defined.
Using device-centric and command line-driven networking approaches defeat the advantages of the cloud. Deploying SD-WAN ensures your wide-area network is optimized for cloud computing and can adapt to rapidly changing application and business requirements. With SD-WAN, you can automate cloud connectivity and transparently link your branch offices to your Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure or other public clouds to enable your hybrid cloud strategy.
Fully featured SD-WAN solutions can identify, classify and optimize more than a thousand applications over any network without you having to think about it. Quality of Service (QoS) that is easy to implement can ensure that both inbound and outbound traffic is appropriately prioritized by business criticality. Path control can be automated with the capability to path select based on application type, business priority and path quality as determined by available bandwidth, latency, jitter or packet loss.
Make sure your SD-WAN solution has visibility into network and application performance, including SaaS and IaaS, seamlessly integrated into it. Visibility enables performance monitoring and troubleshooting in SD-WAN environments and provides data on the usage and availability of your overall network, specific sites, servers, applications, and users. The ability to validate policies are working as expected, troubleshoot problems quickly, and plan for changes can help ensure the success of your SD-WAN environment.
With this information, your enterprise network managers can make informed policy and deployment decisions, monitor and troubleshoot performance issues for large-scale software-defined infrastructure using detailed reports, and then plan for changes.
Your digital transformation begins with the network, which can be controlled and managed easily with SD-WAN technology. Unlike traditional WAN technologies, SD-WAN decouples the network and the control plane and utilises a software-defined approach, making it easier to adapt to the changing demands of application delivery and user productivity.