November 26th, 2018 by Pulsar360
At some point, it’s better for any business to scale up operations on the networks that keep things moving - and with the rise of remote workers and cloud-based applications, the need is only going to keep rising in the future.
The solution may require that business simplify operations - and that could mean separating the hardware from its controls.
For businesses looking to scale up their networking capabilities beyond what they can contain on-site, software-defined networking in a wide area network (SD-WAN) may be the ideal solution. Designed to offer higher performance at lower cost, an SD-WAN can help better connect large scale enterprise networks - like data centers or branch offices - over greater distances than a single WAN network.
Here’s a look at just some of the ways an SD-WAN network can benefit a large business or data center compared to a standard WAN network, and why an SD-WAN may be just the change your business needs to meet the demand of an increasingly remote and cloud-based workforce.
1. Optimization Over Single or Multiple WANs
Any business working to increase data-sharing efficiency across private WANs is very likely going to run into problems when it comes to scale. That’s because traditional WAN systems optimize for packet delivery, often using valuable data-sharing power across private leased lines with low efficiency.
An SD-WAN, on the other hand, can significantly increase the efficiency and cost-savings by transferring much of this work to low-cost network lines, optimizing network bandwidth to grow or shrink as needed to maintain optimal efficiency. This means less time and energy spent relying on expensive dedicated network connections on an SD-WAN compared to a single or even multiple connected WANs.
2. Provides QoS for the Internet
Until recently, businesses have been unable to apply Quality of Service (QoS) processes to applications on WAN networks, which made the use of commodity business circuits or consumer broadband in enterprise networks problematic. The result: data congestion and poor quality telephone calls.
SD-WAN technology changes that drastically, offering QoS to help prioritize important traffic across network lines to minimize the impact of otherwise busy bandwidth, helping provide better control of data-flow to maximize the most important processes.
3. Uses Efficient and Direct Routes Between Points
If your business has tried to navigate the confusing and often limiting methods of connecting multiple WAN networks over a large distance, you likely know the pitfalls of having multiple connection points through multiple networks and how that can negatively affect network bandwidth and delivery efficiency.
Because an SD-WAN centralizes operations off-site and directly connects with all points of contact within the network, connections are drastically simplified rather than having to pass through multiple WAN touchpoints during delivery, This removes the roadblocks and potential failures at just one point that can trip up data speeds in traditional WAN networks.
4. Packet & Session Steering
One major benefit of connecting multiple networks with your SD-WAN is that is provides seamless packet and session steering to ensure optimized delivery, even when facing low bandwidth or low speeds.
Unlike a traditional WAN system, which may be limited to only one network or a bidirectional leased lines, an SD-WAn can use the power of Internet connectivity to steer packets and sessions onto the best network available, even in the middle of data transfer.
That allows the packet to “jump” to another network in the event that it runs into a slowdown on one network, allowing for greater transfer speeds by utilizing the most efficient path across networks possible.
5. Will Not Drop Calls in Multi-WAN Failover
In a fast-paced business setting, network slowdowns of even a few seconds can result in dropped calls, lost connections, and other hang ups which can set the course of business back. Even in a Multi-WAN system, the loss of one WAN may be avoidable - but in the case of Multi- WAN failure, the entire system can still come to a halt in the event of a massive power loss or connectivity incident.
By utilizing SD-WAN with Internet network connectivity, businesses can confidently continue business even through large-scale power loss or connection disruptions thanks to the intelligent optimization of connections across the entire system. This means that the loss of one or two endpoints will not affect the entire system, and will not result in lost calls or connections.
6. Dynamic Path Selection
In a traditional WAN system, packets are generally limited to a dedicated bidirectional leased channel, which may limit packet transfer based on the state of connectivity between a WAN’s endpoints. The fewer the options for data flow, the more likely data will be held up by issues along that single network.
One major benefit of SD-WAN over traditional WAN networks is the ability to actively monitor all network paths and dynamically assign the most optimal path across which data can flow. When combined with active link-state monitoring to determine latency, jitter, and other metrics, dynamic path selection can help to optimize packet travel along the most optimal lines to ensure consistent quality and connectivity across great distances.
7. Inexpensive to Deploy & Maintain Compared to MPLS
Too often, businesses trying to keep their existing WAN architecture in place during periods of growth may decide to implement multi-protocol label switching (MPLS), which can identify key identifiers related to specific packets and treat packets with those identifiers consistently. Real- time data, for example - like video and voice calls - can be identified and pushed along low- latency network routes, but this solution is not always reliable and often very costly to deploy and maintain.
The major downside to MPLS is the high cost-per-megabit for bandwidth. This can become especially problematic for bandwidth-heavy uses like video calls, and can quickly make these types of connections less economical at scale. That’s why many businesses instead choose to implement SD-WAN systems, which typically able to operate at just a fraction of cost compared to implementing MPLS. SD-WAN offers similar packet steering and dynamic path selection to ensure those important real-time data packets continue uninterrupted and at no additional cost for high bandwidth, offering significant cost savings to the business itself.
8. Ease of Installation
With an SD-WAN solution, enterprise applications such as voice, video conferencing and productivity can reliably operate over any WAN connection, even existing ones which are being updated for SD-WAN usage. That means there’s there’s no need for expensive dedicated network connections, and minimal costs to add new links or lines with no changes to the framework or network necessary. This helps growing businesses scale up their SD-WAN connections quickly and efficiently regardless of the scale.
Additionally. SD-WAN extends security to branch locations and eliminates additional security hardware needed to keep your network secure, saving costs and ensuring a secure and reliable connection for sensitive and high-bandwidth connections.
Ready To Get Started with SD-WAN?
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your existing WAN network to better cover growing connectivity needs across large areas or are looking to implement a new system for remote workers or new branch locations, SD-WAN can help simplify installation and operation while minimizing costs for businesses.
Pulsar360, Inc. is proud to offer our clients customized and supported SD-WAN solutions for Internet-based businesses or large enterprises with locations throughout the United States and Canada. Providing reliable connectivity, ease of installation, security and protection, and QoS at the WAN level, our SD-WAN solutions may be just what your growing business needs to stay connected and moving forward.
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