Enterprises traditionally pay for secure lines to connect their locations, but SD-WAN enables them to leverage inexpensive broadband internet and cellular connections. It also improves performance by intelligently prioritizing business-critical applications and real-time services.

It creates redundant connections using MPLS, public internet, and wireless (LTE) options. As a result, organizations see significant cost savings.

Cost-Effective Bandwidth

As business demands increase, so too do the network’s bandwidth requirements. Companies must find cost-effective ways to deliver bandwidth to keep up with the demands of employees and customers. This is where Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) comes in.

Software-Defined WAN provides a way to save money on bandwidth costs by replacing expensive private MPLS connections with more affordable last-mile Internet connectivity. This approach can save enterprises significant amounts of money while maintaining high levels of performance and security.

The underlying technology in an SD-WAN is designed to support multiple connections simultaneously, eliminating the single point of failure common in traditional WAN environments. Additionally, the technology can bolster WAN performance by routing traffic over the best possible path.

Businesses can also leverage SD-WAN to improve the use of existing resources through application optimization. For instance, the solution can identify applications sensitive to latency or packet loss and route them over the quickest available paths.

Finally, SD-WAN makes it easier for organizations to get up and running quickly when opening new branch offices. They can set up secure, reliable networks at these locations in a fraction of the time required with traditional WANs. This lets them serve their customers digitally and minimizes downtime and lost revenue. The ability to reduce the need for capital investments and shift IT expenditures to a monthly subscription model further bolsters the cost-saving power of SD-WAN.

Reduced Maintenance Costs

In a world where application performance and downtime can damage reputation and erode bottom-line profitability, enterprises need agile and flexible network solutions. The traditional WAN using private line connectivity fails to meet these demands and is costly.

Software-defined WAN uses commodity broadband connections to provide business applications, cloud services, and remote/home worker access. This eliminates the need for costly MPLS lines and allows companies to automatically provision premium SD-WAN features like WAN optimization, firewalls, VPNs, and more, reducing initial costs.

Typical SD-WAN hardware includes an appliance or customer premise equipment (CPE) at each branch office, an aggregator, and an SD-WAN controller. The aggregator connects to multiple broadband and telco links, including MPLS, cable, DSL, 4G LTE, and Internet connections. The SD-WAN controller pushes new policies and updates to the edge devices to improve WAN performance.

In addition to lowering operational costs, an SD-WAN’s centralized control and management capability can help reduce support costs. IT can use a centralized policy framework and automated provisioning to ensure all branch sites have the same network configuration. This can help simplify troubleshooting and improve productivity. It can also reduce capital expenses by avoiding the need to purchase and deploy additional hardware at remote offices or for expansions into new markets. Moreover, SD-WAN can support a variety of connection types, so you can upgrade or replace expensive MPLS connections with cheaper broadband connections as your requirements change.

Improved Security

Businesses increasingly rely on cloud applications, such as software-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service, to deliver services to customers and manage data. But as the number of these applications grows, WAN connections to branch sites can become clogged with Internet-destined traffic. This degrades application performance and increases transport costs.

SD-WAN is a cost-effective solution to address this issue because it provides a way to prioritize and route network traffic over the best path. This is possible because an SD-WAN creates a logical network over any transport type and implements business-driven policies based on application visibility and control from a central location. IT teams can optimize traffic patterns and scale their connectivity needs without sacrificing connections or paying for extra bandwidth.

Furthermore, an SD-WAN can help keep your network secure by using micro-segmentation to isolate and prioritize traffic based on some characteristics, including source and destination addresses. This helps IT staff prevent malicious threats from entering the network.

Lastly, an SD-WAN can save on maintenance costs because it does not require the purchase of new hardware at each site. Instead, it can be installed as an overlay on top of existing hardware. This also reduces the need for an expensive MPLS connection between each branch site, which can be replaced with a cheaper broadband or wireless WAN (such as 4G or 5G) link.

Greater Flexibility

Achieving business goals in today’s complex and fast-paced environments requires agility. Organizations are trying to manage application performance, increase security, realize cost savings, and support a growing workforce that spans remote locations. Often, legacy WAN architectures need help to keep up with this demand. Flat or declining IT budgets have many organizations looking to secure Internet connectivity to reduce costs and boost network flexibility.

With SD-WAN, companies can replace costly MPLS circuits with broadband connections to connect their branch offices to the data center and cloud. This eliminates unused capacity and reduces network management costs. In addition, virtualized Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) enables network administrators to change configurations and add services to meet their needs remotely.

The greater flexibility SD-WAN offers can also improve application performance and reduce costs. For example, traffic can be automatically and dynamically sent along the most efficient path based on circuit costs, network conditions, and service quality. This can significantly reduce latency and packet loss, improving employee and customer performance.

As technology evolves, IT leaders must find ways to lower costs and provide a more flexible network for employees and customers. SD-WAN is a simple and affordable way to do just that.

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