A Comprehensive Guide to SD-WAN and Why Your Business Needs It
With so many applications being hosted in the cloud, companies are turning to SD-WAN as an effective cloud solution that offers scalability and high levels of security and performance. It is vital for today’s businesses to get a telecommunications solution that keeps their processes running efficiently and seamlessly to provide excellent service to their customers.
VPN Vs. SD-WAN
Two solutions that are often compared are SD-WAN and VPN. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is widely used to protect user connection and privacy while browsing the Internet. When a user establishes a connection through a VPN, the VPN helps protect them against external tracking or surveillance when they are on the Internet.
Additionally, a VPN ensures that your data is transferred to the intended destination via a network of servers maintained by the VPN provider and not your Internet Service Provider. A VPN tunnel securely encrypts data to ensure that any server that intercepts it cannot read or make sense of it.
A Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN), on the other hand, was created due to the rising popularity of cloud computing. SD-WAN is a network that connects enterprises over vast distances through WAN connections such as 4G, LTE, MPLS, and broadband internet. It isolates traffic based on authority, security, and quality of service. Instead of using traditional routers, SD-WAN relies entirely on the cloud, eliminating the need for enterprise data centers and routers. This gives SD-WAN the ability to provide flexible scalability and bandwidth capabilities.
How Does an SD-WAN Work?
SD-WAN enables cloud-first organizations to provide an exceptional app quality of experience (QoEX). It uses intelligence to identify applications, enabling application-aware routing across the WAN. Every class of application receives the correct QoS and security policy enforcement in accordance with your business needs.
Besides, the secure local internet breakout of SaaS and IaaS application traffic from branch offices provides excellent levels of cloud performance while securing the enterprise from all manner of threats. Typically, the conventional router-centric model distributes traffic control function across all computing devices in the network by simply routing traffic based on ACLs and TCP/IP addresses. This model is often rigid, inefficient, and not cloud-friendly, causing a poor user experience. SD-WAN solves all these challenges by providing a highly scalable, secure, and reliable network.
Why Use SD-WAN for Your Business?
Times have changed, and many businesses are using the cloud and subscribing to critical software-as-a-service (SaaS). Traditionally, users connected back to their corporate data centers to access vital business applications. But thanks to cloud computing, you can now access those same applications in the cloud.
The traditional WAN is no longer suitable because backhauling all traffic – including traffic destined to the cloud – from your branch offices to the headquarters results in latency and impedes application performance. SD-WAN provides WAN simplification, improves bandwidth efficiency, lowers costs, and provides a seamless on-ramp to the cloud with exceptional application performance. SD-WAN also enhances the performance of critical applications without sacrificing security and data privacy.
Features of Business-driven SD-WAN Solutions
Not all SD-WAN solutions are created equal. Some SD-WAN solutions are basic SD-WAN networks or “just good enough” networks. They lack the intelligence, performance, reliability, and scale needed to provide a superior network experience. And without a fast, secure, and high-performance network, your enterprise’s digital transformation initiatives may stall because they rely on applications that depend hugely on services that also rely on the network. So, here are some key features of a Business-driven SD-WAN and why getting Basic SD-WAN may not be good enough for your business.
1: Lifecycle Orchestration and Automation
Basic SD-WAN offerings often provide some level of zero-touch provisioning, but they don’t always provide full end-to-end orchestration of WAN edge functions such as security, routing, and service chaining to advanced third-party cybersecurity services and WAN optimization. Always go for a business-driven SD-WAN that supports centralized configuration, enabling your organization to deploy the required security policy changes in just a few minutes instead of several weeks or months.
2: Continuous Self-Learning
A basic SD-WAN solution isolates traffic based on pre-defined rules programmed via templates. With a business-driven SD-WAN, you can achieve optimal application performance under all network conditions or changes, including during congestions or when impairments occur. Through continuous monitoring and self-learning, your SD-WAN will respond automatically in real-time to any swings in the state of the network. For example, if a WAN transport service or cloud security service suffers performance impairment, the network will automatically adapt to keep traffic flowing while remaining compliant with business policies.
3: Consistent Quality of Experience (QoEx)
An SD-WAN solution can actively use multiple forms of WAN transport. It intelligently monitors and manages every underlay transport service, helping overcome the challenges of packet loss, jitter, and latency to deliver the highest levels of performance and QoEX to users regardless of the WAN transport service impairment. Unlike basic SD-WANs, a business-driven SD-WAN seamlessly manages a total transport outage and delivers sub-second failover that doesn’t interrupt business-critical applications like voice and video communications.
4: End-to-end Micro-segmentation
A business-driven SD-WAN provides comprehensive, end-to-end security capabilities. Besides supporting a stateful zone-based firewall, the right SD-WAN platform orchestrates and enforces end-to-end micro-segmentation of the LAN-WAN-Cloud and LAN-WAN-Data center. Any policy changes can also be programmed centrally with your SD-WAN and pushed to thousands of nodes across the network, enhancing operational efficiency and reducing the overall attack surface.
Technijian’s My Private Cloud Solution
My Private Cloud is Technijian’s SD-WAN solution that allows multiple branches to be connected and moves servers into our data center for virtual private server hosting. My Private Cloud expands current public cloud services to offer secure and reliable access to virtual servers as if they were in your office.
Besides, Technijian can seamlessly migrate your operations to My Private Cloud by creating a virtual WAN overlay that won’t require expensive upgrades of existing routers or infrastructure at branch locations. The virtual overlay enables you to mix and match carriers by access technology and geography, centralizing the management and administration of the entire WAN.
By leveraging Technijian’s dedicated network infrastructure, your data will maintain the highest levels of security so you can comply with PCI, HIPAA, or FFEIC regulations, and you will enjoy the ability to dynamically scale up or down based on your business needs. Today’s cloud options leave many businesses struggling with the balance of security and convenience. Technijian’s SD-WAN solution, My Private Cloud, provides the best of both worlds with secure and reliable access to virtual servers as if they were in your office.
To learn more about My Private Cloud and how Technijian can make the seamless transition to SD-WAN for your enterprise, give us a call. If you are in Orange County, call us at (949) 379-8499; in Los Angeles, call us at (213) 218-6337. You can also send an email over to [email protected].