What Is Software Defined WAN?
What is SD-WAN? This is a common question for business leaders these days. If you’re a business leader who has been paying attention to new, groundbreaking networking technologies, you’ve probably heard of SD-WAN – Software-Defined Wide Area Networks. And while you may know the basics about wide area networks, the concept of a software-defined WAN might be a little bit foreign to you.
That’s okay – we’re here to help you understand the basics about Software-Defined WAN, why it’s different than traditionally defined WAN implementations, and how it can be used to lower your costs, increase your efficiency, and allow for increased redundancy and availability of your network.
The Basics about SD-WAN – SD-WAN Defined
What is SD-WAN? SD-WAN is exactly what it says on the box – a Software-Defined Wide Area Network. So let’s break that down.
Software-Defined Wide Area Networks accomplish the same basic tasks as their traditionally implemented cousins – they allow for rapid transmission of mission-critical data over long distances, usually utilizing multi-client, MPLS lines, fiber, T1’s, Broadband or any other connection with an Ethernet handoff. By doing so, SD-WAN offers more flexibility, greater speed to market, redundancy and higher bandwidth at less cost than MPLS by itself.
The primary difference between an SD-WAN and a traditionally-defined WAN lies within the “Software” part of the term. SD-WAN technology uses proprietary software and routers to bundle together multiple internet connections into one integral whole, whereas a traditional WAN only uses a single connection.
This means that you can utilize your high-speed MPLS line alongside commercial broadband, or even LTE. By combining the bandwidth of each of these connections, and routing traffic to the appropriate network (high-priority data transfers on MPLS rented lines, web traffic on commercial broadband, etc) SD-WAN can allow for massively increased efficiency, reliability, and even lower cost.
How is SD-WAN Better Than Traditional WAN Implementations?
Now that we have gone to the trouble to define SD-WAN, it’s time to look at the advantages that it provides.
While a traditional WAN is composed of a single, high-bandwidth line, software-defined WAN systems use software and specialized routers to combine multiple connections into a single WAN. So why is that better?
- Lower Cost – If your traditional WAN uses a dedicated line rented from a service provider for its data, chances are that you are paying for much more bandwidth than you need. This is called “over-provisioning”, and it’s an age-old method of ensuring that you have all the bandwidth you need during peak loads. However, the fact that you have so much bandwidth lying around dormant 95% of the time means you’re wasting a lot of money. SD-WAN can allow you to downsize your dedicated line, and use it exclusively for mission-critical traffic, decreasing costs massively – up to 50-80% in some cases. In many cases, you may be able to replace a dedicated line altogether and utilize multiple broadband connections… dropping your cost even more.
- Higher Efficiency – The smart traffic routing capabilities of SD-WAN implementations lead to much better network efficiency. If you have three total network lines and two are totally overloaded while one lies barely used, your SD-WAN system will dynamically offload the necessary traffic to the unused line, maximizing the efficiency of your available bandwidth.
- Increased Redundancy and Higher Availability – Emergency outages and ISP maintenance don’t have to be a nightmare where you lose all connectivity with your WAN. The “bundling” achieved by SD-WAN implementations ensures that you always have some kind of active network connections that can begin carrying traffic if one of your other communications lines suddenly goes out. This massively increases redundancy and leads to a system with sky-high availability.
How To Move To SD-WAN? Ask The Experts at Cloudbrij!
If you’re looking for more information on how to move to SD-WAN, get in touch with the experts at Cloudbrij today. We specialize in custom SD-WAN solutions tailor-made for each one of our customers, and we would love to have a conversation with you about the advantages and savings that you can enjoy if you shift to an SD-WAN network solution
Visit our website and schedule a consultation today. You’ve got nothing to lose, and an incredible network to gain.