SD-WAN, or software-defined wide-area networking, is one of the hottest technologies in the world. Why? Because it helps businesses and institutions become multi-cloud, without the need for engineering skills, advanced technical design, and expensive network connections.
SD-WAN’s rise alongside the cloud has formed a winning partnership for businesses. One driven by flexibility, speed, and cost saving. We look at this relatively new technology, and how it’s becoming the norm for modern networking and powering cloud connectivity for many organisations.
Cloud and SaaS
Cloud has gone from an alternative way of working to the best way almost overnight, driven by a need to support a remote workforce. Providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), have been adopted by numerous businesses.
With the diversity of needs a business has, it’s also commonly supported by more than one cloud provider. For instance, a business may indeed be using Office 365 for email, Dropbox for file sharing, and AWS to back up servers. These organisations are now what’s called multi-cloud.
The problem with becoming multi-cloud occurs when businesses still rely on legacy methods. These often require expensive and resource-draining high-end engineering, advanced technical design, and direct connections.
Better with SD-WAN
What makes SD-WAN work for these businesses, is that it is software-driven. It sees the whole network as one system, with different nodes representing each cloud provider and SaaS. This makes it easier, faster, and more secure, and often less expensive than the traditional methods.
SD-WAN is much more flexible than legacy WAN. Sites and businesses can be set up quickly with a secure and fast network in place. SD-WAN doesn’t rely on underlying connectivity as it’s all software-based. This can also accommodate rapidly changing needs and situations.
SD-WAN can be built on commodity internet circuits, and networks can be extended for home and remote-working. By combining several links into one connection, it can provide connectivity to a company’s resources much better than simply connecting over a remote access VPN.
A centralised policy
SD-WAN is unique in that it’s governed by a centralised policy. This gives it huge benefits in routing, security, and connectivity. SD-WAN also simplifies intelligent path selection, which means it always chooses the best path for traffic that is destined for a public cloud provider.
SD-WAN vendors created software that provides exceptional connectivity and security to SaaS resources such as WS, Azure or GCP. This is especially important during a time when cybercriminals are taking advantage of so many businesses transferring critical applications to the cloud.
But with a centralised policy in place, you also have a centralised security posture that can be controlled and monitored. This can help secure certificate management, control of access, data loss protection, and advanced firewall services.