Let’s face it—traditional WAN is no longer cutting it. The way businesses are run is changing. Organizations are migrating to the cloud and going global, employees are working from home, and there’s a significant need for increased flexibility and scalability. Plus, modern network architecture is changing as well. A recent study found that almost 50% of organizations are adopting digital tools and processes to support a distributed workforce. As a result, traditional WAN, while evolving, is becoming rapidly outdated, inefficient, and costly.
Traditional WAN vs. SD-WAN
Understanding the differences between traditional WAN and SD-WAN is critical. Here is what you need to know.
Traditional WAN is basically a hard-wired network of devices, which are connected by proprietary circuits that route IP services to the intended clients. For controlling network flow and optimization, it relies on Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS).
SD-WAN is a network controlled by software. While it uses the existing infrastructure, it is a virtual network that uses cloud-based software, centralized control, and encrypted tunneling to optimize traffic and performance.
The Advantages of SD-WAN
The general advantage of SD-WAN is the ease of scalability it provides. That advantage can be broken down into numerous benefits. Here are some of the many advantages to a managed SD-WAN approach:
Simplified management and maintenance
SD-WAN simplifies your infrastructure to make it easier to maintain. It also provides direct cloud access with performance, reliability, and security to enable powerful end-to-end management.
Lower operating costs
Today’s business is done in the cloud. When that volume of cloud traffic goes through a traditional WAN, the price can be astronomical. SD-WAN helps reduce costs by enabling more efficient and cost-effective bandwidth.
Increased security and connectivity
With an increase in cyber threats, greater security within network traffic is critical. SD-WAN provides increased visibility so that you can better detect threats within your network.
Ease of automation
SD-WAN allows you to enable business policy automation and create greater agility within your business. It also simplifies operations and makes deployments easier too.
Three Signs It’s Time to Switch to SD-WAN
The advantages of SD-WAN can be leveraged to solve today’s IT challenges. So how will you know when to switch to SD-WAN?
Sign 1: Your Network Lacks Genuine Agility
You may need to switch to SD-WAN when it’s hard to adapt your network to organizational changes. Switching to SD-WAN means that device configuration, location setup, and policy changes can be implemented from a centralized location in a fraction of the time. Additionally, SD-WAN is designed to fully support and prioritize cloud applications and services.
Sign 2: When You’re Spending Too Much on Your Traditional WAN
You may need to switch to SD-WAN if your existing network is costing you too much to maintain. Hardware purchase and replacement and ISP costs can add up quickly. SD-WAN technology reduces this spending in several ways. MPLS lines can be eliminated, and multiple ISPs can be unified to increase bandwidth and provide uninterrupted service. The network can rapidly grow without investing in hardware, and new locations can be set up and configured remotely from a centralized location.
Sign 3: Deployment, Management, and Control Has Become Time-Consuming
You may need to switch to SD-WAN if growing your network at scale is becoming too time-consuming. Traditional WAN deployments can monopolize resources that could be used elsewhere within the business. With SD-WAN, centralized control of a virtual network greatly eases the process and logistics of scaling up. Maintenance and real-time monitoring by IT staff are simpler and more efficient.
Get the Most Out of Your Network with Managed SD-WAN
Managed SD-WAN brings new agility and speed of provisioning to the WAN while driving down the total cost of the WAN solution. As new technologies emerge, the capabilities and definitions around managed SD-WAN solutions will shift over time. Take advantage of SD-WAN’s potential to positively impact your business.
Learn more about how Managed SD-WAN can enhance application performance, policy automation, and comprehensive management in our latest white paper.