Software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technology is just beginning to gain traction as a viable way of creating more powerful networks through the strategic use of cost-effective, high-bandwidth WAN connections that promote superior network performance. At its core is a collection of algorithms which calculate the most effective way of routing traffic to locations remote from the hub. It is characterized by the following four principles:
- It must have the mobility to support multiple connection types, e.g. multi-protocol label switching (MPLS), 3G/4G Long-term evolution(LTE), and Internet
- It must be able to support Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), in addition to other 3rd-party services like gateways, firewalls, and WAN optimization controllers
- It must be capable of managing dynamic traffic path selection, so that load-sharing can be implemented across all connections of a WAN
- It must provide an interface which is extremely simple to setup, yet capable of managing complex WAN requirements, both of which contribute greatly to IT efficiency.
Other SD-WAN benefits
Several different connections can be aggregated so that they actually function as a single virtual overlay network, with no pre-defined transport path. This allows any branch or organization, regardless of location, to anticipate the benefits of uninterrupted continuity and connectivity. In this model, outages become a thing of the past, because there is a seamless failover algorithm which avoids all possible disruptions, and prevents costly downtime for mission-critical systems.
How costs are lowered by SD-WANs
Increasing bandwidth at any branch office or location is always a hassle, and always expensive - at least, in the traditional model of a wide area network. Since an SD-WAN can be composed of any combination of 3G/4G LTE, MPLS, serial service, Ethernet, or Internet, it becomes possible to quickly implement and to make use of any variety of bandwidth options.
With all these options available, including inexpensive Internet service, the software can dynamically select the most efficient and cost-effective path for routing traffic. The need for upgrading WANs constantly is thus effectively eliminated in favor of a more economical and efficient model. One of the real benefits of SD-WAN implementation is that almost any organization has the potential to vastly expand its network capability without sacrificing any connections in the process.
Often, it may not be necessary to purchase additional expensive bandwidth, or add layers of complexity to an existing infrastructure. Ideal for multi-site organizations, SD-WAN technology is set to become the wave of the future in connectivity, in large part due to its superior telecom expense management and flexible connection types. Although it currently sports a mere 1% of the total market share, it is estimated by respected industry analysts that within three years, that figure will soar to more than 30%.
How can you easily achieve the benefits of SD-WAN technology? Contact us today to learn how full life cycle SD-WAN services allow clients faster realization of SD-WAN benefits.
With 20+ years of Telecommunications Industry experience, Jason Madison is part of the Renodis Enterprise Account Management Team. Jason earned his MBA in 2007 while working at Sprint and has used his education and experience to consult with Fortune 500 corporations throughout his career. He is a seasoned professional with experience in telecommunication strategy development. Jason has extensive experience in senior sales, management, and strategy roles with AT&T, Eschelon, and Sprint.