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Why SD-WAN Deserves Your Consideration

As discussed previously on No Jitter, software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) technology automates the deployment and management of networks in order to expand the reach of an enterprise's private lines across the wide area. SD-WAN brings advantages to the WAN that typically are associated with software-defined networking in data centers.

Until SD-WAN came along, enterprises that wanted LAN-like performance across the wide area traditionally purchased and operated private networks. These commonly took the shape of T1 access to a Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) network with service-level assurances. A single enterprise might deploy multiple dedicated private networks -- one for every different application or business use.

These private networks can cost upwards of $300 per month for just 1.5 Mbps of capacity. These costs often hinder an enterprise's ability to support real-time applications such as VoIP, video conferencing, collaboration tools and services, and virtual desktops. With SD-WAN, enterprises now have the ability to expand their private networks at a much lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

How SD-WAN Works
SD-WAN abstracts the network into software instead of hardware, creating a network overlay and decoupling network services, such as VPN and firewall, from underlying hardware-attached WAN circuits. With this software abstraction layer, IT managers can control and manage their networks more easily than they are able to do when managing underlying WAN hardware. This network overlay provides a common interface across different physical components to ease the overall network administration and manage the delivery of business-grade applications across the enterprise.

Why Businesses Need SD-WANs
Here are four reasons why enterprises need SD-WANs today.

Enterprises have relied on traditional private networks to provide secure, high-performing, and highly available access to applications that normally reside within the walls of their own headquarters and private data centers. No company can afford to sacrifice the same levels of security, performance, and availability that it gets from a private network.

An Internet and cloud-capable solution such as SD-WAN offers an ideal way to enable direct access to the many application destinations because SD-WAN can use one or more available links/lines of all types. This provides enterprises the means to extend their WANs so users always have private-line experiences to both enterprise and cloud applications, and at much lower costs.

The increasing migration of business applications to the cloud and the performance needs of business-critical applications across the enterprise has changed the traditional WAN paradigm. SD-WAN represents the reinvention of the WAN as we know it.