If you’re reaching the end of your current enterprise network contract, and you’re ready for an upgrade, SD-WAN could be just what you need to cut your costs and improve your network management and security.
What is SD-WAN?
A Software-Defined Wide Area Network is a combination of software, hardware, and network policies that allows the user to extend their local area network (LAN) into the wide area network - whether across the public internet, private MPLS connections, or both.
SD-WAN is carrier agnostic, which means that you can route your network traffic and functions to any endpoint with a reliable internet connection.
Is SD-WAN the Right Choice for My Business?
SD-WAN is quickly becoming the network topology of choice for an ever-increasing range of businesses and industries. It’s particularly relevant to businesses with the following characteristics:
- Multiple locations/branches/offices - particularly if they share a network, online resources, or cloud services.
- A hybrid workforce, or distributed team
- Fragmented or inconsistent cybersecurity provision - adapting to hybrid working has left many organisations with network vulnerabilities or a patchwork of different security products.
How Can SD-WAN Reduce My Costs?
There are two distinct ways in which a consumer can save as a result of SD-WAN’s key features.
- Firstly, they offer immediate savings on your operational costs (in comparison with equivalent services).
- Secondly, they’re more flexible, which saves you time, effort, and costs when you need to make changes to your network. This is a huge benefit during a recession when you may need to make changes fast to keep afloat.
Let’s take a look at the key features of SD-WAN, examining the savings and agility they provide - especially for businesses still adapting to flexible working models like hybrid working.
Simple, Centralised Network Management
Provides immediate savings…for larger enterprise networks with multiple locations that rely on dedicated network technicians at every site.
These IT professionals are often forced to juggle a variety of roles and demands and can struggle to keep up with the demands of network management and maintenance. With SD-WAN, these network-based tasks can be managed across all sites remotely by a much smaller team of centralised network staff, using a ‘single pane of glass’.
And with SD-Branch solutions, practically every detail of network infrastructure and security can be managed remotely.
Increases your agility…by reducing the need for network specialism at every site. This helps avoid personnel issues at the branch level and removes dependency on the IT talent local to each branch area. Given the recent labour shortages in IT and network-related roles, this flexibility can ensure that network functions continue to run smoothly, wherever they’re controlled from.
Built for the Cloud
Provides immediate savings…for businesses currently using a VPN solution to connect to their cloud-based applications.
Creating a secure VPN connection to cloud services that works equally well for remote users can quickly become expensive as you add more cloud apps and bandwidth. SD-WAN scales these connections much more efficiently and securely, with public cloud on-ramps from vendors like Cisco Meraki easily delivering high levels of bandwidth. This service combines the priority routing and security features required for seamlessly connecting remote workers to these business-critical applications.
Increases your agility…by adapting to fit your cloud service needs as they change and evolve. Additional cloud services can be procured or upgraded with ease. Businesses relying on VPN connections to the cloud will be slowed down by the further processes required to either extend existing VPNs or build new VPNs afresh.
Built-in Endpoint Security
Provides immediate savings…by reducing the need for separate cybersecurity provisions.
One of the problems faced by businesses adopting hybrid working is ensuring secure network access for their remote workers. During the pandemic-inspired shift to ‘work from home’, many companies found themselves tied by service agreements to security solutions that were designed with a centralised workforce in mind - leaving them under-protected and saddled with a hefty monthly CS bill.
SD-WAN allows security measures to be tailored to individual endpoints and scaled to fit requirements. Additional security measures like SSE can be added to an existing SD-WAN package to provide a formidable secure network. And with Zero Trust Network architecture often included as standard, your traffic will be monitored and evaluated, user by user, in real-time.
Increases your agility…by keeping workers secure at every endpoint, any security breaches can be quickly isolated, minimising downtime, and allowing the rest of the network to continue functioning with minimal disruption.
Learn more about the opportunities offered by SD-WAN
If you’d like to know more about the opportunities offered by SD-WAN, you can download our eBook, ‘Why Transitioning to SD-WAN Could Protect Your Network - and Your Business’.
Or if you’re ready to transition your network to SD-WAN, get in touch with us here at Backbone Connect and we’ll assess your business needs to find the right vendor for you.