A software-defined wide area network, commonly called an SD-WAN, is an approach to providing network connectivity in cloud-based environments. It allows organizations to tie together dispersed resources as one system. This makes it easier to access files, implement policies, and change configuration.
There are several strong cases for using SD-WAN. Let's look at 6 ways you can put SD-WAN to work for your organization.
Regulatory and Industry Compliance
One of the hardest IT issues to address is achieving full compliance across a massive collection of resources. This is especially the case in industries where regulations mean a lot, such as healthcare, finance, and government. Using software-defined solutions makes it easier to roll out system updates and keep everything in compliance.
Using a cloud-based system makes it simpler to take an optimized configuration and apply it across a network. Within the SD-WAN framework, you'll have a much easier time locating resources. In a traditional model, you might have to hunt these down. That can be a huge problem when a company has resources in multiple locations, especially across several continents.
Businesses with branches can often benefit from offloading internet traffic from their main networks. One solution for offloading the traffic is to move it into SD-WAN. For example, a national fast-food restaurant chain might use such a setup to move customer traffic on its free Wi-Fi to a kiddie pool where they can do no serious damage to the business.
Using multiple WANs and an appropriate load-balancing system, it's possible to spread loads across several cloud systems. This can make the setup more resilient. It's ideal for mission-critical applications that simply can't go down or the business will pay a heavy price. A retailer might configure their cash registers to run on such a setup to ensure transaction data is always preserved.
Especially when you're starting to expand your business across geographic boundaries, SD-WAN can make the process go much more smoothly. With the cloud-based architecture, you'll be able to scale seamlessly and incorporate many new users. If a company is going through the merger and acquisition process, it can use the WAN to make files and resources available to employees from the newly acquired company on Day One, too.
Building a trusted VPN can have immense value, especially if you have a lot of DevOps work to do. Everything will operate securely on a separate WAN, allowing developers and testers to connect as regular users will.