SD What? Getting started with SD-WAN

 SD WAN brings a myriad of benefit by the costs vary widely by provider

The last thing Washington DC needs is another acronym, but here we go...

You've probably heard the buzz about SD-WAN or Software Defined Wide Area Network. But do you know what it is exactly or why you would want it?  It seems everyone has an offer or is developing an offer for the product.  With all the players and delivery methods out there you may not be exactly sure how to get started.  We like to explain SD-WAN as Waze for bandwidth, offering real time intelligent route selection for your traffic.   

The benefits of SD-WAN

SD-WAN technology allows you to take advantage of multiple independent bandwidth connections to:

  • Maximize quality of experience with bandwidth aggregation
  • Optimize performance and uptime with network health and performance reporting
  • Prioritize specific traffic types or destinations

SD-WAN offers centralized, intuitive, policy based management of your aggregate network via a single portal that is easily understood, even for people without a CCNA.  In fact some of the portals come preprogrammed with the top 3000 destinations already loaded for you to select and prioritize.  Want to take priority?  Just select it from the dropdown.  You can use fiber, broadband, MPLS and even 4G connectivity.  Since all the connections are always being used and constantly being tested for availability and performance, it creates a failsafe environment, not a failover environment, drastically improving your disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities.

Agility, flexibility, and scalability

The plug and play and secure tunneling approach of SD-WAN enables you to turn up sites as fast as you can get any connectivity.  You no longer need to wait for fiber or MPLS circuits to be delivered, you can even use 4G until your circuits get installed.  SD-WAN gives you a way to address sites that might be cost prohibitive on your current WAN solution.  You can add or change connections quickly and easily using a portal.  

Networks are no longer closed corporate environments.  With the increased migration of applications to the cloud, users need to connect to many locations.  SD-WAN offers fast connections with control and optimized performance for a fraction of the cost of comparable dedicated bandwidth.

Choosing the right solution:

Not all SD-WAN providers are the same. There are some big platform players as well as proprietary systems.  Some providers focus on their portal, some on security overlays like encryption and firewall services, some on maximizing connections with specific cloud providers, some on corporate WAN replacement, or supporting hosted voice and other applications. ARG is a single stop for all the provider networks that can contribute to your SD-WAN initiative, whether you are using broadband, 4G. MPLS, or Ethernet.  Even better, ARG has the industry leading expertise to help you select the right SD-WAN provider for your organization, to implement the network and to support your organization 24 x 7 to ensure the best experience possible. 

If you have any unanswered questions, email today.