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SD-WAN makes it easier to move non-critical WAN traffic from private MPLS links onto lower-cost broadband Internet. Centralized, policy-based management lets a network engineer put more (or less) traffic on broadband links at any time without having to reconfigure routers and gateways on an individual basis.
Another area of cost savings is administration—especially network service and ongoing maintenance. Network experts need not travel to remote locations for SD-WAN deployments and they can get more done back in the office by using centralized, policy-based management.
Find out more about SD-WAN cost savings in our white paper, Measuring the ROI (Return on Investment) of SD-WAN >
Business is moving at a faster pace today than ever before. IT teams are being asked to roll out new services to support business initiatives on aggressive schedules. Fortunately, SD-WAN gives network engineers the agility to respond quickly to requests for new WAN services and make changes to existing services. Many tasks that formerly took hours or days to accomplish require only minutes to do with SD-WAN.
A second kind of agility that SD-WAN provides is real-time traffic management. SD-WAN gateways continuously monitor the health of each WAN link connected to them. Traffic is quickly rerouted when a link fails or becomes congested.
Monitoring link health and redirecting traffic as needed improves application availability and performance in a broad sense. SD-WAN can also improve (or reduce) performance on a selective, application-by-application basis.
Deep packet inspection is used to identify the applications associated with WAN traffic. Business-aligned policies implemented by the network engineer determine which applications are given higher priority (QoS) and which paths their packets will flow onto. For example, policies can be implemented to send video traffic over the highest-capacity circuits; send software updates over Internet broadband circuits; or send all business traffic over secure VPNs.
Another way that SD-WAN improves performance for cloud-based applications is by making it easier to set up Internet break-outs at remote offices. Eliminating the need to backhaul traffic through a central point of Internet access can reduce latency and improve the user experience for SaaS and other cloud-based applications.
Speed of deployment
Setting up network technology and equipment at a new branch office is much easier with SD-WAN than with traditional routers and gateways. A network engineer designs the node at a central management console. Then an SD-WAN appliance is then shipped to the branch office and plugged in by someone with little or no IT skills. On power-up, the appliance joins the network and connects to the central SD-WAN controller, which provisions and configures the new equipment and then brings it online.
That’s it! SD-WAN with zero-touch provisioning—an automated workflow executed by the central controller—eliminates the need for an expert to travel to the branch site or set it up remotely via a command line interface.