Does your business have multiple locations, remote sites, or a network of branch offices? Is your company increasingly relying on cloud services? Is your business WiFi simply not doing the job anymore? If so, a technology called software-defined wide area network, or SD-WAN, could improve your business performance and lower your costs. Here’s what you should know about the benefits of SD-WAN and how it works.
To connect their locations, companies have traditionally built their own networks, known as wide area networks (WANs). WAN networking uses a system of routers that are programmed with rules and commands for directing and prioritizing Internet traffic. This approach, using multi-protocol label switching (MPLS), ensures reliable performance for mission-critical applications. It also offers data security by separating traffic from the public Internet.
However, businesses are embracing digital transformation, which means they’re multiplying their network traffic by:
While these shifts make businesses more efficient and productive, they also require more from a company’s network. Managing these bandwidth demands with a traditional router-based WAN is expensive, time-consuming, and difficult to modify as business and technology evolve. That’s where SD-WAN comes in.
Software-defined WAN relies on software — instead of routers and other hardware — to direct and manage network traffic. SD-WAN routes data over multiple types of commercially available Internet connections, including broadband, fiber optic, and LTE. Here are the benefits of an SD-WAN solution:
The implementation of this network solution can make organizations nimbler and provide savings on the cost of IT staff required to manage the network. Businesses can further streamline the IT work associated with SD-WAN by choosing a provider that manages it.
If you’re considering SD-WAN technology for your organization, here are some factors to keep in mind when choosing a provider:
If you’re not ready to completely convert to SD-WAN, not to worry. Businesses with existing WANs composed of MPLS can keep those legacy systems and blend them into a SD-WAN hybrid solution. You can assign applications that require real-time information to MPLS and send other applications to the public Internet, saving money while increasing speed. Learn how Comcast Business can help you implement a total or partial SD-WAN solution to keep your company connected.