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SD-WAN stands for software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN). Before there was SD-WAN, there was WAN (wide-area network) – a traditional model that functions to connect users within an organisation to applications hosted on servers in the data center. Think of it as your dedicated campus or office server.
However, in this cloud-centric world, the traffic becomes too much for the legacy WAN model. This causes management complexity, application-performance unpredictability and data vulnerability. Opening the enterprise to the Internet and cloud also creates major threat and compliance issues, since applications are accessed by employees, partners, contractors, vendors and guests.
That’s where SD-WAN comes in – it answers the current technological challenges SMEs face and more:
#1. SD-WAN Simplifies Management
When expanding, modern organisations would have to deal with large file backups, video streaming, company communications, software-as-a-service (SaaS) and different cloud-based type applications. You’d have to think about how to connect to private data centres and to public cloud providers, not to mention deal with increased bandwidth consumption.
With SD-WAN, you can have a single, centralised, cloud-based management dashboard for configuration and management of WAN, cloud and security. Your IT team can easily set up with one integrated hardware appliance that supports a plug-and-play setup and zero-touch provisioning. They can also create templates to replicate routing policies and other configurations for different locations, such as home offices for remote employees.
Aside from making setup a smooth process, organisations can apply changes and updates across the entire network at once, as well as simplify network automation through web-based consoles. This enables IT administrators to detect network changes and execute new configurations or modifications.
#2 SD-WAN Saves Costs
Traditional networks use only MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) links and the cost of MPLS links is expensive in Asia Pacific. By switching to SD-WAN (technically, SD-WAN will be overlaid over a traditional network), which provides multipath options and supports 4G/LTE, fibre or broadband connections besides using MPLS, SMEs can save cost as it reduces the company’s reliance on those expensive lines.
Additionally, SD-WAN can optimise traffic flow based on protocol, port, source and destination IP and even application type. For example, non-sensitive applications can run on lower priority 4G/LTE or broadband links while higher priority business-critical applications used to connect with partners, suppliers and customers can be put on MPLS links to ensure network reliability.
#3 SD-WAN Increases Security
As mentioned earlier, security for corporate data has become more complicated than before thanks to the rise of cloud-based applications and connections to public clouds.
SD-WAN technology comes with strong data encryption and firewalls to protect your WAN traffic, allowing your organisation to use the Internet securely for most common enterprise applications, for a fraction of the cost.
Since SD-WAN operates on a centralised model, not only does it help SMEs to improve data security, it also makes it easier to automatically implement policies consistently across all sites (e.g. remote employees).
Additionally, SD-WAN solutions are being integrated into Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architectures, which means a unification of remote access, enterprise networking and identity-based controls – simplifying the management of user access to work servers, regardless of where they are.
In conclusion, SD-WAN provides SMEs with more operational flexibility, lower operational cost, better scalability, visibility and network performance, as well as easier management and improved security. To better understand how our Secured SD-WAN services can support you or to get started on growing your business further through SD-WAN, contact EKTECH today.
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