27 May 2022 | By Chris Thomas
SD-WAN: network essentials for the cloud-first business
Four key benefits of adopting the leading networking technology.
The shift to the cloud and the ever-increasing popularity of SaaS applications continues to power productivity in the workplace — and as a result, high-speed, reliable and quality access to your cloud and communications platforms has become a business essential.
In a post-pandemic business landscape, organisations need long-term solutions to address the constantly changing requirements of the distributed workforce. This includes optimisation of cloud applications, comprehensive visibility and insight of network activity, and the ability to scale quickly and effectively. These things aren’t always typical of a traditional enterprise network, so how should you connect your data and applications?
The traditional WAN wasn’t designed for the way we now consume features and applications, so with today’s unprecedented reliance on internet traffic and the cloud-centric world, the result can often be a poor user experience.
At its core, SD-WAN is a software-defined approach to managing the WAN, improving network efficiencies, enabling more control, and simplifying management — all contributing to greater productivity, lower operating costs and an improved user experience.
With that in mind, here are four ways SD-WAN can benefit your business…
1. Quality of experience
With so many internet-centric applications, it’s essential for your network to be able to identify and prioritise traffic to better improve the overall experience — a significant challenge for the traditional WAN now that most traffic is ‘internet’. SD-WAN recognises applications and dynamically adapts bandwidth and other services, including load sharing across multiple connections and automatic failover should there be a drop in available bandwidth.
2. Stronger security
Networks are often made up of multiple internet connections and firewalls, which increases the attack surface for potential hackers. SD-WAN includes enhanced security solutions such as next-generation firewall and Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), and it encrypts traffic across the WAN — all of which can be controlled centrally for ease of management and visibility.
In addition, SD-WAN equipment updates itself automatically. Because patching remains one of the most effective components of an organisation’s security posture, this is key to ensuring you’re prepared for the latest threats. And for IT teams, it also means no more stressful late nights updating and testing.
3. Ease of management
A single, centralised dashboard enables simplified management and configuration of WAN, cloud and security, with changes rolled out to all devices rather than having to be made to each individually. Combined with automatic updates and enhanced visibility, this significantly reduces management overhead.
4. Cost control
While historically deemed more of an investment, IT teams are now often finding that SD-WAN equipment is more cost effective than its traditional WAN counterparts. And on top of this, the improved management functionality including automatic updates can also free up time for internal IT teams to focus on delivering strategic projects.
Many of the features described above can be achieved with a traditional approach, but SD-WAN does this in a more scalable, cost-effective and easier-to-manage way — making it a networking essential for many businesses. And now that hybrid working is here to stay, SD-WAN dovetails neatly into long-term strategies to support and empower the distributed workforce.
At Bistech, we help you reduce the cost, complexity and headache of managing your infrastructure and connectivity. Call our expert team today on 03330 11 22 55.