Look for a centralized management interface to ensure your SD-WAN solution is easy to use. It should minimize IT teams’ time to troubleshoot or upgrade firewalls and routers.
Unlike traditional WAN architectures that backhaul data from branches and remote locations to the central network, SD-WAN allows traffic to be routed directly to cloud providers. This helps reduce costs for bandwidth, improves user experience, and boosts security.
Traditionally, enterprise networks require a secure line to connect from each site to the central data center. This is a costly undertaking for enterprises.
With SD-WAN, the same result can be achieved with internet connectivity instead of expensive MPLS circuits. This can save up to $1000 per site per year in infrastructure costs alone.
Another area of cost savings with SD-WAN is in IT management. The centralized management that is possible with a business-driven SD-WAN implementation project plan helps minimize the need for highly specialized network engineers to make system changes across the enterprise manually. This can also reduce the time to deploy new applications or policies. This, in turn, can decrease the overall IT budget. Lastly, a good business-driven SD-WAN can also provide significant savings by reducing the number of redundant and underused internet connections. Implementing an infrastructure audit allows CIOs to identify and disconnect these underused connections to generate notable cost savings.
Migrating to a new network is a significant undertaking for any business. This project must ensure the stability of existing sites and users and enable access to cloud services and other productivity-enhancing applications. If you’re considering moving to an SD-WAN, evaluating the expertise within your IT team is essential before making this crucial change.
A business-driven SD-WAN prioritizes traffic according to application and site criticality. A centralized management portal lets administrators track and manage network performance, ensuring that paths to critical applications are constantly optimized based on availability and bandwidth requirements. This helps to maximize your ROI and reduce the risk of costly downtime for real-time apps like VoIP and UCaaS.
Unlike MPLS, which relies on circuits to connect sites and data centers, an SD-WAN solution provides a more flexible WAN connection that uses multiple routes across the Internet. It may provide direct connections to the public cloud, points of presence in the middle mile, or peering relationships into the public Internet. By providing a more efficient way to communicate with cloud platforms, businesses can achieve cost savings through increased efficiency and reduced IT overhead.
A zero-touch SD-WAN deployment can bring a new site or remote location online quickly and easily without interrupting existing applications or site access. This means you can avoid a “rip and replace” approach to the network that is incredibly expensive and labor-intensive.
SD-WAN enables IT teams to change the network configuration quickly and easily as needs evolve. For example, suppose an enterprise migrates applications from on-premises to the cloud. In that case, it can deploy a zero-touch deployment and move workloads across private connections without manual work or disruption. This makes it easier to shift bandwidth as necessary, improving performance and efficiency.
The SD-WAN should support multiple links to the internet and local networks to improve WAN resilience. In addition, it should offer advanced security and VPN capabilities, as well as traffic prioritization, to ensure business-critical services receive the resources they need. This helps to eliminate costly over- or under-provisioning and ensures that applications receive the best possible performance.
The WAN can also be configured to use a mix of high-quality, low-cost access types. For instance, a company might use broadband to connect its headquarters and cellular to remote locations. This provides a more cost-effective alternative to MPLS circuits. When selecting an SD-WAN, consider a provider with strong peering relationships with large global internet service providers (ISPs). The ability to connect your WAN to a variety of networks reduces the chances of a single point of failure impacting network performance.
Easier to Manage
The rise of distributed workforces has IT teams looking for ways to make it easier for remote workers to access applications and deliver high-performance WAN connections. This is a major reason many are turning to SD-WAN to improve application performance and network visibility across locations.
WAN solutions used a hub-and-spoke model to connect remote locations to data centers and cloud environments. These connections required maintenance of leased lines, MPLS circuits, and expensive routers. This infrastructure could be more efficient and scalable, especially as the need for more data and bandwidth increases.
Modern SD-WANs can provide more redundancy, lower costs, and better user experience by connecting to cloud and data center applications through optimized direct routes over the Internet. These networks also optimize traffic over multiple available links, improving WAN reliability and ensuring quality of service for critical applications like voice and video.
In addition, SD-WANs can be easy to manage from a centralized management interface. Administrators can easily track the performance of applications and sites from a single portal and change policies to meet business needs and improve resiliency across the network.