What is SD-WAN and how does it work?

What is SD-WAN and how does it work?

SD-WAN – Software-Defined Wide Area Network – simplifies the management and operation of a WAN. Basically, SD-WAN uses software, either cloud-based or on-premises, that directs traffic to applications in the cloud.

It provides an automated approach to managing corporate network connectivity in an application where you can quickly and intelligently create a hybrid WAN, based on application policies, WAN circuit priority, or network conditions.

This post explains how SD-WAN works and the benefits of adopting this management
model. Check it out!

What are the types of SD-WAN architecture?

Learn below what the main types of SD-WAN architecture are, their characteristics, and the benefits that each one can bring to network performance and protection.

On-premises architecture
The on-premises architecture, as the term suggests, features the presence of an SD-WAN device locally –or the use of a router that can perform real-time traffic shaping from its location. Because it is local, this device does not connect to a cloud gateway, remaining connected only to the enterprise sites.

Cloud-based architecture
Unlike the previous model, the cloud-based architecture features the use of an SD-WAN device that connects to a cloud gateway. From this gateway, you can connect to major cloud service providers such as Microsoft Azure, AWS, and others. All of this helps optimize the performance of the cloud applications used in your enterprise.

Cloud-based architecture – with backbone
The cloud-based architecture with SD-WAN backbone is featured by the presence of a local SD-WAN device. This device connects the enterprise’s local fabric to the SD-WAN provider’s nearest point of network presence.

What are the benefits of adopting an SD-WAN solution?

Now that we understand how SD-WAN works, let’s learn about its benefits and how companies can optimize their processes by adopting this solution. Follow along!

Enhanced performance and availability
SD-WAN provides high availability to access the main applications with several active links for all network scenarios. This happens because the software acquires control over the application traffic, which offers a dynamic control capable of recognizing each application and delivering the best possible result to improve user experience.

In terms of availability, the speed of service delivery to the device plays the role of CPE (customer premises equipment) by deploying the additional services requested by the customer. For instance, in the traditional model (without virtualization resources), the customer needs to wait for the company that hired the services to send a new CPE that is capable of running the desired functionalities, whereas in the SD-WAN model the hired company can deliver the services in a few minutes, through a deployment in the CPE already installed at the customer’s premises.

Enhanced security
With SD-WAN, you get real-time access control and application awareness policies that work with end-to-end segmentation. Another factor that strengthens security and integrated threat protection is keeping traffic secure across all environments, whether on the bandwidth or in the cloud. You get DNS and NGAV security, plus NGFW for remote and branch endpoints, with distributed security.

User-friendly management interface
With a centralized and intuitive management dashboard, management is simplified. Thus, the professional in charge can set up and manage WAN, security and cloud in an unbureaucratic manner. In addition, the manager has access to accurate reports of applications and performance of the WAN itself, and can perform predictive analysis to anticipate the bandwidth needed to ensure good performance, productivity, and business success.

We hope that, after reading this, you have understood what SD-WAN is, how it works, and the benefits of deploying this solution in your company. With corporations increasingly immersed in digital transformation and betting on virtualized systems and infrastructures, working with traditional and anachronistic network management models can hinder growth and security.

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