SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) is a virtual wide area network that has revolutionised how users connect to their applications, no matter where the application resides. Previously, 80% of applications were located in branch offices or core datacenters, and communication was through a leased line, usually MPLS. This has changed today. With the emergence of the public cloud and the adoption of the public cloud by enterprises, applications can be literally anywhere.
SD-WAN follow the principles of SDN (Software-defined Networking) and applies them to the Wide Area Network. It logically separates the control layer and data layer within the underlying infrastructure abstracting controls, so that the infrastructure can be automated and programmed from a standard controller via software.
SD-WAN is a revolutionary technology designed to streamline processes, save time and money, and turn a network into an intelligent and fully automated software-defined infrastructure. Many organisations have more than one WAN because connectivity will vary based on location and availability. Each site has a combination of MPLS, LTE, or broadband. Each transport is viewed as a separate WAN with a different address, is managed separately, and perhaps even by different providers. SD-WAN simplifies this and makes everything easier to manage. It takes all these different LANs and converts previously separate disparate networks into one standard encrypted network managed by software. It achieves higher network performance, as well as dramatically improves availability and application user experience by intelligently leveraging multiple paths.
The web becomes a single entity, controlled from a single point, increasing agility; this means quickly deploying new site services or just getting more bandwidth with no need for truck rolls or on-site expertise.
Role of SD-WAN in digital transformation
In the early days of virtualisation, it was the server-side that was virtualised early. This appeared to be the right choice at the time as it gave us a lot of flexibility and agility. However, it was neither cost-effective nor easily maintainable. Deploying SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) in organisational networks will offer agility, flexibility, high performance, and cost reduction. There will be very little need invest in MPLS (Multi-protocol Label switching) links. SD-WAN will also route network traffic, thereby improving the performance of your network nodes and application. It can respond to change and dynamically relocate all network resources of your information technology applications.
From 2018 to 2023, the network market will grow annually by 30.8% due to SD-WAN’s increasingly important place in digital transformation.
How SD-WAN helps to achieve digital transformation
SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) is highly beneficial and consistent. It provides the next generation of converged, software-defined and automated networks, resulting in excellent performance network connectivity. This technology will connect everyone in your enterprise, whether working on-site or at home, wherever they are in the world. IT HR services are being transformed due to the powerful connectivity provided by SD-WAN.
There is a subtle skills gap right now with respect to supporting networks. It’s tough to get the right level of IT human resources, which will often be expensive. But with SD-WAN, organisations can leverage greater day-to-day support and have less need for escalation. SD-WAN allows a suitable level of visibility on the traffic. It also helps different organisations build a high-performance network system using WANs using low-cost, private network technologies.
SD-WAN helps to eliminate uncertainties. This technology will help you deliver an effective cloud connection to the network. This advanced networking technology improves your application performance and all network nodes. It will prioritise and identify the network traffic in your application to enable this capability. It will also help you to create policies and rules whenever needed. By enabling this capability, you will be able to use high-quality broadband internet rather than existing MPLS.
How SD-WAN acts as an enabler for cloud connectivity
Cloud providers like AWS, Google and Oracle differ in how they can be used with SD-WAN. SD-WAN logically separates the control layer and the data layer within underlying infrastructure abstracting controls. SD-WAN vendors have some pretty interesting use cases that help them to sell cloud connect. Most service providers sell some form of MPLS-based private cloud connections. SD-WAN vendors are also interested in hybrid use cases using different clouds. China Telecom Global is one company doing cloud-to-cloud use cases. They are taking AWS traffic out of China through their private backbone, MPLS pops, and using SD-WAN in their infrastructure, bringing AWS or traffic out of China. This is being offered as a cloud-to-cloud service. The exclusive use of cloud services and cloud connectivity is going to continue to grow. Multi-cloud is the way of the future, and SD-WAN is going to enable this future.
The main advantage of using SD-WAN advanced networking technology in the cloud-based application is the opportunity to increase network performance and agility at a low cost. High agility and flexibility are key aspects of business growth. SD-WAN cloud-based connectivity enables many organizations to gain more market share and accelerate business growth.
Earlier traditional networking solutions like WAN cannot provide agility, flexibility, and high performance. By providing cloud-delivered applications, SD-WAN is creating more effective networking solutions that can help accelerate growth for any organisation.
The future of SD-WAN in digital transformation
In 2020, numerous prominent organisations invested 10% and spent approximately 1.25 USD trillion on their SD-WAN-based digital transformation program. To successfully accomplishment this kind of program, every enterprise has to analyse its information technology infrastructure deeply. These enterprises have to transform their IT infrastructure to accommodate the technologies and strategies they plan to apply in the future. From 2018 to 2023, the network market will grow annually by 30.8% due to SD-WAN’s increasingly important place in digital transformation. It is expected that these numbers will reach 5.25 billion USD after the year 2023. These changes will ultimately deliver a high quality hybrid network, including public internet, VPN, and mixed MPLS – all at a competitive price.