WANs enable companies to extend their computer networks over large distances to connect remote offices to data centers and each other, delivering applications and services required to perform business functions.
SD-WAN is particularly well-suited to simplify how financial institutes provision and manage networks across several locations and allows data prioritization. Virtualizing network connections with SD-WAN offers an increase in both the performance and efficiency of a network while providing lowering overall costs. Simultaneously, financial institutions need to remain compliant with a host of regulatory mandates and security requirements, and SD-WAN allows traffic to be backhauled to a single, secure location for review.
Construction and manufacturing companies with temporary work locations are implementing SD-WAN solutions to provide reliable and secure internet connectivity from the field to corporate data centers and the cloud.
Organizations with unified communications (UCaaS) applications are successfully deploying SD-WAN to reduce packet loss and jitter video and voice traffic.
Retail services with numerous locations are adopting SD-WAN architecture to enable direct internet access at these sites for applications such as guest Internet access, corporate communications and secure connections to remain compliant with regulatory mandates such as PCI.
The right SD-WAN solution will help a network keep up with the demands of a growing business.
It can, but more times than not, the cost will be the same or more than your current solution. The benefits of the additional features such as application visibility and control as well as failover/fail-back, add value in areas you may not have previously considered.
Alternatively, the additional features you get from an SD-WAN solution may allow you to cancel other high-priced services, in which case you would be saving money.
One way to overcome a single-point-of-failure is by using dual appliances resulting in high availability. The other option is to have a cold spare, which is a backup appliance that is on-site and ready to go in the event of a failed primary.
No, it is impossible to offer QoS (Quality of Service) over the public internet. However, if one of the connections is MPLS, then you can leverage the QoS from there, although this will, in turn, restrict application performance-based routing.
SD-WAN can mimic QoS with performance-based routing and the ability for customers to specify business-critical applications to ensure the best experience on the most high-priority tasks.
An SD-WAN should offer features such as:
Managed SD-WAN will have the expertise from the providers. They do not just install and maintain the SD-WAN but also provide expertise in optimizing the configurations for the best results possible.
Unmanaged SD-WAN, on the other hand, assumes the end-user has the networking expertise internally be able to properly maintain, program and optimize the network.
It depends on the location size, number of users at that location, and the applications/network being used. Many times, yes, a router is still needed, but for small sites, the solution can potentially be designed without a router.
No, SD-WAN deployments can be designed in a variety of ways, from full mesh to hub and spoke. Traffic can route all traffic to key locations or cloud firewalls, or you can opt for local egress for general web traffic.
The ability to prioritize a specific application over other applications based on its specific metrics and available bandwidth. For example, voice applications take into consideration latency, packet loss, and jitter. Voice traffic would have a higher priority than an email message that doesn’t need to work in real-time.
SD-WAN supports any application that works on public or private networks; the purpose of SD-WAN it to optimize cloud applications, such a voice.
The short answer here is yes.
SD-WAN does not care about the underlying connections/circuits, which provides a tremendous amount of flexibility to a customer when it comes to cost and contracts. Connection types include – fiber, coax, DSL, MPLS, LTE, fixed wireless, ethernet, satellite, etc.
Any connection can be used if there is an IP address available for the SD-WAN device.
Yes, many SD-WAN solutions offer physical appliances or virtual images to be deployed to each site. And depending on the customer needs, it can be deployed as full-mesh (where every site can talk to every site) or hub and spoke (one main location is the hub where a customer can centralize security, applications, and internet access; remote locations are the spokes).
Currently, there are no standards for SD-WAN, making it almost impossible for interoperability. However, there are organizations such as IEEE working toward this for the future.
An example of interoperability would be a customer leveraging VeloCloud and Versa networks in the same network, and the two SD-WAN solutions communicating/working together.
It depends on the security requirements of your organization. Not all SD-WAN vendors offer next-generation firewalls (NGFW), so a conversation is needed to identify the right SD-WAN solution and if it can indeed replace your existing firewall.
While SD-WAN can alleviate a lot of issues, it can also be more expensive, particularly once you add multiple connections. The increased productivity may offset the increased expense; your organization would have to do an ROI analysis to determine if this is a cost-effective solution.
SD-WAN uses encrypted VPN tunnels, so there is a potential for overhead that could cause performance issues; this should be addressed with the provider and/or your technology consultant during the discovery phase.