When Should Your Business Use SD-WAN?

When Should Your Business Use SD-WAN?

Is your Wide Area Network (WAN) running slow?

Maybe you don’t feel your user data and corporate intelligence are safe as they connect to your network from different parts of the world.

One way to speed it up is with Software-defined Wide Area Networks, or SD-WAN.

This networking technology is built differently — it replaces a once entirely physical WAN connection with a virtual, software-defined one.

For modern companies that heavily rely on virtual cloud environments, this technology can make a difference in the performance and cost compared to having WAN only.

What is SD-WAN used for, and could your organization benefit from it?

Scaling Your Company Without Lag

As your business grows and requires a fast network, SD-WAN can help — especially if the expansion occurs globally.

Regular WAN technology can efficiently deliver traffic between locations that are static. However, the reality of most businesses nowadays is that they have cloud-based infrastructures or rely on some type of cloud technology to perform their daily tasks.

The cloud is dynamic.

And most companies rely on cloud services from different providers. The old WAN is simply not designed for the modern cloud or even mobile technology that businesses use day-to-day.

In the past, as companies would adopt different Saas solutions to their multi-cloud infrastructure, users would experience significant lag. For example, that might happen on a video conference call with teams that work remotely from different parts of the world.

The way that SD-WAN speeds up the process is by finding a better route for the traffic that travels from the main network of a company to the branches that are placed all over the world.

As a result, there is no more delay for the network that uses virtual cloud technology or utilizes versatile software as a service (SaaS).

Increasing Security For All Users

Employees and clients who connect to your network want to know that their data is safe.

One of the main objectives of SD-WAN security is to enable any user to connect to the website, network, or application.

However, to reap the benefits of the SD-WAN, you also need security that has at least:

  • Secure web gateway — guards the users against any malicious activity that stems from the web while also applying pre-written security policies
  • Zero trust network access — makes access to the network for remote workers safe with strictly defined access rules
  • Firewall as a service — deployed from the cloud, this service protected users and their data from hacking activity when they connect to the company’s network

SD-WAN security enforces protocols and policies that result in a more protected infrastructure for possible cyber incidents.

For instance, it allows the overview and scanning of possible software updates and alerts that indicate security problems. What’s more, it provides security teams and executives with a comprehensive report about the state of security.

With automation and virtual overlays, security can be scaled with the growth of the company. The automated processes apply security policies and ensure that the entire network is covered from one edge to another.

Migrating to the Cloud Seamlessly

The beginning of the 2020 pandemic started a rapid adaptation of the cloud environments.

By the end of 2022, more than 95% of companies worldwide used some kind of cloud technology on their premises.

Like most businesses, you probably plan to scale with the help of the cloud, while still keeping some traditional structures on your premises.

This means that your infrastructure is about to get more complex, featuring multi-cloud architectures. At the same time, it’s necessary to retain speed because users are used to fast and instantly working applications.

So how can you keep up the speed while migrating part of the architecture or its entirety to the cloud?

With the application-based routing, SD-WAN is equipped to bring wide area service to the cloud-powered architecture.

For a business that transfers applications to the cloud environment, this means that the traffic can take a different, alternative path — the one that makes it faster for the user.

Helping IT Staff With WAN Management

From deployment to regular management, SD-WAN provides an alternative to more challenging WAN for IT teams.

Compared to WAN, which can be difficult and complex to install, SD-WAN was designed to be user-friendly.

Namely, its zero-touch deployment means that teams don’t have to go to the location and physically configure the settings on the premises.

With the SD-WAN, the IT staff gets a single dashboard and centralized controller that offers a birdseye view of the network. This facilitates the process of finding any possible issues and allows them to continually monitor and improve WAN resources.

Furthermore, the controller makes management easier since it grants them remote control. They can program network edge devices without having to go to the physical headquarters of the company.

Many of the processes are automated with SD-WAN to prevent human mistakes that would otherwise endanger the company after the teams make errors during manual configuration of the WAN.

Final Thoughts

SD-WAN, when applied to a network with the proper security measures, can make a growing remote business more secure as well as efficient as it reaches new heights.

For IT teams, replacing the traditional WAN with SD-WAN means that they can rely on technology that is easier to deploy and manage — without having to configure the devices in person.

For an organization that either merges with another company or offers its services remotely, this technology ensures communication and work without lag.

To get the most out of it, it’s important to deploy the best SD-WAN security practices to a network as well.