SD-WAN stands for “Software Defined Wide Area Networks” and is a connectivity solution for enterprise networks across large distances. SD-WAN is mainly compared with MPLS connectivity, which is a private network system that separates business data and general internet traffic.
SD-WAN is a newer technology than MPLS, using public networks but offering connectivity with no geographic boundaries and total visibility and control over the connectivity solution. It can provide connectivity between branches, data centres and central networks without the need for specific hardware – instead utilising a software-based ‘cloud’ approach. Hence the ‘SD’ (Software-defined).
This ultimately means a business can enjoy enterprise connectivity that is fast and rapidly scalable without relying on any physical infrastructure.
MPLS networks are affordable in the UK – but not elsewhere. The security they offer is fantastic for a business, but SD-WAN has been developed to offer a resilient and secure solution for a business that offers versatile connection options. By leveraging any and all internet facing connections, an SD-WAN system can identify the most suitable connection type for access and use that. For example, it can identify a sales call and route it through your Ethernet, whilst guest internet browsing in your office is given lower priority.
An SD-WAN system allows a business to access usage statistics and gain insight into not just how much data they are using – but what they are using connectivity for.
SD-WAN uses public internet and not a private network, giving you a lot more flexibility on cost of the services you need to use. With SD_WAN data is encrypted and therefore safe – provided the same SD-WAN is used across all networked sites. The UK benefits from cheap MPLS, which is usually more expensive than SD-WAN in other countries. Here in the UK, cost is less of a determining factor if you’re choosing between SD-WAN and MPLS, however the flexibility will give you cost benefit.
In addition to connection strength and speed, there are elements such as delay, jitter and packet loss to contend with when using business networking. SD-WAN uses real time application control meaning that its making decisions in milliseconds, compared to MPLS that uses fixed rules that can mean wasted bandwidth or delays for changes to be made.
SD-WAN gives the service provider a lot more visibility of the network and changes can be made in hours, not days like MPLS, meaning quicker fault resolution.
Taking the benefits of SD-WAN into account its now the time to move to an affordable and secure SD-WAN solution that will bring your network into the 21st century with complete cloud-readiness built in. Contact us today and we can discuss your business requirements and what solution may be right for you.