The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated digital transformation initiatives to offer an enhanced customer experience and personalized services, while addressing more sophisticated cybersecurity threats.
More than ever, organizations need flexibility to keep up with business change, but they are often hampered by a lazy and tight network infrastructure.
Below I will describe the five main benefits of implementing an advanced SD-WAN solution and how it can accelerate business growth:
1. Improve business agility while reducing the total WAN cost
To connect branch offices to the corporate data center, organizations have traditionally used expensive MPLS lines. Because more bandwidth is needed to support increasing connectivity demands, MPLS lines are becoming expensive, preventing organizations from fully meeting their business needs.
It can take up to four months before new MPLS circuits can be provisioned, which greatly slows down the ability to spin up a new branch. It prevents business changes, agility, and flexibility.
An SD-WAN uses cheaper internet and 5G connections by virtualising and bonding network links, creating secure tunnels from branch offices to the data center and the cloud. .
With SD-WAN, organizations can realize the agility a business needs while reducing costs.
2. Increase security and seamless transition to a SASE architecture
Organizations with MPLS router-based architecture do not easily implement security policies in branches due to the rigidity and complexity of their network, especially in hybrid-cloud environments. The security perimeter is melting as users and devices now connect from anywhere.
Traditional security measures such as VPNs are limited because VPNs do not support the implementation of granular security policies.
In fact, when a user is identified and authenticated using a VPN connection, they can access critical resources within the network even when they shouldn’t.
SD-WAN is the key component to implement a robust SASE architecture. By selecting the best security capabilities with strict SD-WAN integration, organizations ensure maximum protection to their employees and other stakeholders accessing the network.
3. Enable a cloud architecture
Organizations migrate their applications to the cloud and use software as a service (SaaS) cloud-hosted business applications such as Microsoft 365, Salesforce, Box, Dropbox, ServiceNow and more instead of hosting them in the data center.
However, organizations with traditional router-based WAN architectures continue to backhaul cloud-reserved traffic from branch locations to the data center, primarily for security reasons, which greatly affects performance. of cloud applications in the branch.
SD-WAN allows organizations to accept the flexibility of a cloud architecture while enhancing cloud application performance by directing traffic directly to the cloud using local internet breakout.
4. Simplify WAN infrastructure
Over the years, organizations have built their network infrastructure as their business has grown. Branch offices often end up with a stack of appliances in their facilities including routers, firewalls, VPN concentrators, and WAN optimization devices.
Updating a business or security policy such as moving an application to the cloud or improving service quality often requires manually reconfiguring multiple devices.
Not only does the proliferation of equipment require advanced networking skills to maintain and manage, but it also results in multiple maintenance contracts to oversee.
SD-WAN enables organizations to move to a thin-branch model by reducing the amount of equipment at branch locations which streamlines the network architecture and significantly reduces WAN management overhead. .
5. Manage central network operations and gain visibility
Often, organizations must manage their network operations on a local basis resulting in a lack of flexibility. Deploying a network of new remote sites can be tedious and can take weeks to do.
Corporate IT departments often do not have complete network visibility to comprehensively monitor transport throughput, packet loss, latency, and jitter.
An advanced SD-WAN continuously monitors the health of the network and automatically adapts to changing conditions to always deliver optimal application performance.
With SD-WAN, new branch offices are quick and easy, and security policy changes can be automatically distributed to hundreds or thousands of branches in minutes while minimizing errors. Network administrators can monitor network health through a single mirror pane and dashboards.