SD-WAN 101: The Basics

In today’s world, everything is continually going toward cloud-centric services. From checking emails to processing credit cards, companies need quick and reliable connections to the services they use to function. As companies expand into new locations they need a network that’ll easily expand with them. QOS wants to help make that growth as easy as possible, so your company can focus on the business aspect instead of worrying how your networks will scale. So let’s go back to SD-WAN 101.

Traditional network solutions have worked in the past, but as technology improves those solutions can’t keep up with our ever-growing networks. Those solutions, such as using MPLS to connect company branches and headquarters, bottleneck growth because they are often slow and expensive to deploy. But your technology should improve as you do, not hold you back.

SD-WAN is here to help propel you further, with many features that’ll save you time and money. Let’s say your business is opening a new branch in a rural area with less connectivity options and slower potential network speeds. With a correctly configured SD-WAN network, you can utilize multiple different connection types, such as broadband, LTE, or MPLS, to create a strong network that your employees can rely on. This technology allows you to install one VeloCloud edge device, which can help stabilize your connection for important conference calls and to process credit cards, even while utilizing cheaper internet connections. This isn’t only useful for companies expanding into remote locations but provides general enterprise improvements for anyone who connects to the internet. SD-WAN can help reduce the load on IT staff, speed up network performance, and minimize internet outages.

SD-WAN, or software defined wide-area network, is the technological implementation of SDN (software-defined networking) concepts on a WAN. The idea is to have software take control of higher level management of a network which simplifies the hardware required and makes configuration easier. A WAN, or Wide Area Network, simply put, is just a network that spans a large geographic area. The internet itself is just one big WAN, and so is a business with a central headquarters, data center, and a few branches connected in separate cities. Traditionally, this can be somewhat expensive to implement, with companies typically using leased lines, MPLS, VPNs, or some sort of combination, but these often have drawbacks, such as lack of scalability.

SD-WAN overlays on top of existing connectivity options, which by themselves might not be reliable or agile enough, and gives companies more control over their network. SD-WAN is compatible with some of the more traditional options such as MPLS but also works with cheaper broadband or LTE services. It works by combining multiple connection paths that augment each other with a central management system in place that controls the flow of traffic.

 

Back to Basics: SD-WAN 101

Photo: SDx Central

Data can be distributed to share the lines, have a main connection with potential backups, or split the lines based on application, such as routing real-time voice and video calls over the lower latency connection. Because this is all managed by software that’s constantly monitoring the network, it’s easy to change the network configuration through an online portal or see when issues arise. Adding a new site to your network is a simple process and doesn’t require a specialized technician for installation.

Getting started with SD-WAN is as easy as reaching out to us. Send us a message today!