Software defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) are perhaps one of the lesser known implementations of cloud computing technology, and yet they are also one of the most significant. SD-WAN is a specialized application of another type of technology which is called software defined networking (SDN).
SD-WAN is a technology perfectly suited to meeting the cloud and networking needs of businesses who are operating across a very wide area. The WAN networks that those businesses would have used in the past usually required proprietary hardware, making it a much more expensive option, and difficult for the average user to manage and maintain.
By applying one (SDN) to the other (WAN), the result is a network which is perfectly suited to handling the cloud computing needs of businesses. Consequently, SD-WAN is mostly used as a way of providing businesses with the kind of enterprise network that they need to be able to connect multiple locations who are a long way from one another.
WANs have been used in the past to connect different branches of a business together so that their network is unified. This is necessary for all branches to maintain accurate and synchronized stock records, for example. These days, SD-WAN is used to expand upon this concept and connect multiple network types together.
SD-WAN is a perfect demonstration of how businesses can benefit from the concept of Network As A Service, see Masergy for more information about the NAAS concept.
Modern businesses are always on the lookout for new ways to improve customer service. Implementing SD-WAN allows businesses to improve the service they offer their customers without significantly adding to their costs. SD-WAN makes it easy to access files and systems across a business’s network from any location.
The more decentralized your business’s operations, the easier it will be for you to provide exceptional customer service to your customers, regardless of where they are located. Businesses are increasingly reliant upon data for their day to day operations, and to allow them to manage customers queries efficiently. SD-WAN makes it quick, easy, and painless to transfer data, allowing regular and persistent backups to be made.
The big advantage that SD-WAN has over older legacy methods is that it provides previously unthinkable flexibility. There has been a trend towards cloud-based services in business contexts for a while now. There are a number of ways that providing access to cloud services for employees can save a business money, but in addition to those benefits, SD-WAN further reduces costs by removing the need for proprietary hardware with expensive maintenance costs.
Because SD-WAN can be used to handle different network types and integrate them seamlessly into a unified system, businesses who are heavily entrenched in outdated, legacy systems will soon start to feel the bite of an obsolete system.
SD-WAN is an elegant cloud-based solution to a number of common problems that businesses face when operating over a wide area. Relying on the open internet raises security concerns; it is much more secure, and much faster, to use a dedicated private network, such as an SD-WAN.