How Could SD WAN Tech Benefit Your Business?
If your business is dependent on an IT network (as the vast majority are nowadays), utilising SD WAN could offer a whole new level of control for your company, completely changing how your system functions for the better.
Hearing that a simple addition to your IT system can provide greater control of a complex infrastructure without even needing to be physically there may be exciting. But with a lot of inaccurate information on the internet, it’s hard to know exactly what an SD WAN can do for your business.
In this article, we’ll clear up some of the misconceptions, and explain exactly what an SD WAN is and how it can benefit your business by giving you greater control in a range of situations.
The Basics of SD WAN
To begin with, let’s break down the mess of letters making up the SD WAN acronym to understand it on a better level. WAN is the term you’ve most likely heard before, but if not, it stands for Wide Area Network, and literally refers to any devices connected over a geographical distance of any size, from across town to around the globe. If you have any computers or devices in use that are located out of your office, they’re part of a WAN.
The SD section may be a little more unfamiliar to most, but it simply stands for Software Defined, meaning that it isn’t a physical device that you add to your network, but rather a software overlay that you can implement to control your network.
The devices within your wide area network will already have a control system, but it tends to be one that requires hands on maintenance – inconvenient if you’re out of the office or if the device is far away. This is where SD WAN can come in handy, allowing you to control and maintain devices regardless of location by altering a huge range of settings.
The Benefits of SD WAN
Because SD WAN systems can be used with almost any network compatible device imaginable, it can be used as a remote control system for your whole network from any device connected to the internet.
This means that wherever you are, you can ensure your mission critical applications are up and running. You can be at the opposite end of the country, and you’ll still have the ability to support your team and keep your business running.
SD WAN or MPLS?
Because SD WAN can give you a staggering level of control over your IT system, many companies have been hoping to replace their expensive MPLS systems – a large drain on many a business’ budget – with a cheaper SD WAN system.
Alas, this can’t be done quite yet. Because an MPLS system actively integrate with your IT infrastructure rather than simply functioning as an overlay, it is able to more dynamically reroute traffic in your network. However, you can use these two systems in conjunction for an even greater level of control if desired.
New Efficiency Through SD WAN
Another benefit of SD WAN technology you may not have considered is their ability to get new sites up and running fast – a vital part of running a business in an ever-evolving and highly competitive marketplace.
This may not always be an option, but if you have somebody on standby to physically connect the devices up to the existing network of another site, it’s certainly possible (though having a live internet connection already in place is rather unlikely).
In reality, slow internet circuit delivery tends to cut this plan short – no matter what we plan, we can’t control the efficiency of our internet providers, as much as we often wish we could. However, if the connection is in place on time, then an SD WAN system could provide a huge boost in comparison to having to sort out the network in person.
Boosting Application Use Through SD WAN
But if you really want to see some results from implementing an SD WAN system, you need to look to Software as a Service applications and how it can benefit them. A management portal allows you to look at performance across the entirety of your network, which lets you ensure that every location can access the necessary applications quickly with the same level of priority.
Many applications that businesses consider mission critical are now being made available as a service, meaning that networking issues at a single location can see some bigger problems with customer service for your end users. By making sure that all of your applications are running smoothly in every location, you’re not only improving productivity, but also customer satisfaction levels.
The CoS – Class of Service – controls that an SD WAN system can provide make it so that you can maintain your mission critical applications with certainty, knowing that your sites will never suffer the costs associated with downtime.
What You Can Gain from SD WAN
Although we hope that you’ve found this article helpful in clearing up with an SD WAN system is as well as the many benefits of employing one, it’s more than worth exploring them further so that you can be sure they’re right for your business. This is dependent on factors like the applications and processes that already run on your IT system.
As every business is unique with specialised needs, an SD WAN system will have a different level of impact on every business that utilises one, depending on how your network has been maintained previously. If you’re currently working with an MSP (managed service provider) who effectively monitors and maintains your IT systems, you might not be in the market for SD WAN. However, if you have a small IT team who don’t have the time to be constantly keeping an eye on the infrastructure, an SD WAN system could be a Godsend, providing them with the resources they need to transform your network for the better.