When you think about a wide area network (WAN), you likely picture a network covering a large geographic area, connecting smaller local area networks (LANs) at each company location. It follows, then that a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) would function similarly over an expansive, multilocation enterprise network. And, you’d be right, but not completely.
SD-WAN also delivers its signature reliability, redundancy, security and cost savings to single-site businesses. With SD-WAN, size doesn’t matter; it works wonders for every business network.
All businesses – even those with only one location — require Internet connections because their vital systems are no longer all on-premises, but reside in the cloud, including:
- communications with voice or video calling and web collaboration
- computing infrastructure like Microsoft Azure, Google Public Cloud or Amazon Web Services for hosting website, e-commerce sites and other applications
- storage, backup or file-sharing applications like Dropbox or Datto
- software applications like Microsoft Office 365 or Salesforce CRM
That’s where SD-WAN comes in, delivering connections suitable for large enterprises but affordable for agile startups.
SD-WAN offers many benefits to businesses large and small. Here are the top five:
- Cost Savings — SD-WAN creates a single network infrastructure that includes many connection types, such as cable, DSL or wireless LTE. This allows your business to replace (or reduce the use of) expensive private MPLS connections with cost-effective public Internet connections. In addition, expensive routing hardware is replaced with software that provisions connectivity from the cloud.
- Bandwidth Elasticity – SD-WAN also aggregates connections of any type, from any provider to enable you to boost bandwidth more economically, relieving network congestion or improving response times for applications.
- Enhanced Quality of Service (QoS) – Best-of breed SD-WAN provides a software-based overlay on your network to deliver central network management, automation and traffic prioritization. GeoLinks, for example, delivers SD-WAN that ensures optimal application performance with dynamic multipath optimization (DMPO) and routing capabilities, including application-aware packet link steering and on-demand remediation. In other words, GeoLinks’ SD-WAN ensures real-time applications like voice and video during phone calls and web meetings take priority over other less sensitive traffic, such as email.
- Business Continuity – Perhaps the single-most important benefit of SD-WAN is preventing network downtime, which can cost businesses thousands of dollars per minute. By using redundant links – often from diverse providers, SD-WAN can provide constant connections. This can be set up for a primary connection to failover to a backup link, such as LTE Wireless, which is an economical option for point-of-sale (PoS) applications in retail locations. For critical real-time traffic, multiple connections can be active at the same time so that if one fails, there’s no data loss. In an active-active scenario, you won’t even be aware an outage has occurred as your connection will never drop and quality of service is guaranteed.
- Improved Data Security – Many, but not all, SD-WAN solutions can mitigate security threats. GeoLinks’ solution, for example, includes an integrated firewall that provide comprehensive encryption and micro-segmentation to secure the flow of your data. In this case, site-to-site traffic can be encrypted, lowering the volume of traffic that needs to be inspected, making security easier to manage and more cost-effective.
GeoLinks’ SD-WAN solution also can support security features, such as restricting traffic to and from specific sites. Additionally, each SD-WAN implementation has a centralized orchestrator which will monitor your network activity and alert your business to potential problems.
Just from this short list, it’s clear that SD-WAN delivers benefits that are desirable for any size business that depends on Internet connections. And, it will even work alongside an MPLS-based virtual private network (VPN) links, so you get the best of both worlds.
Not sure what you need? GeoLinks’ SD-WAN specialists can engineer an SD-WAN solution that’s right-sized for your business.
Ready to Experience the Benefits of SD-WAN?
Contact Us Today!