SD-WAN combines networking and security in one platform. It provides maximum choice and control while minimizing IT costs. It also optimizes cloud application performance with real-time analytics and WAN optimization. It eliminates the need for costly MPLS links between branches and headquarters. Instead, it uses inexpensive internet to connect branch offices.

Software-Defined Network

An SD-WAN uses a centralized management controller to monitor the network and utilizes programmable networking devices to provide agility and ease of deployment. It also supports various networking services, such as load balancing and policy-based routing, to optimize application performance and security. In addition to providing a secure and reliable connection for business-critical applications, SD-WAN simplifies the network infrastructure and reduces operational costs. It allows organizations to leverage existing broadband internet connections for WAN connectivity and provides easy deployment for remote workers. It helps IT teams save time and money on hardware procurement and maintenance.

Next-gen SD-WANs also improve business productivity by automating tedious network configuration tasks using configuration templates. The templates simplify network design and eliminate errors that degrade WAN performance. They also enhance the quality of user experience and support application-aware routing, which ensures that networks follow policies dictated by an organization’s business goals.

One of the top benefits of sd-wan is that it enables enterprises to shift more traffic from expensive leased lines to cheaper broadband Internet connections. Fortinet can help businesses avoid high bandwidth costs, increasing performance by reducing latency, jitter, and packet loss. In addition, an SD-WAN offers features like WAN optimization, which reduces the number of network appliances that need to be installed in branches.

Cloud-Based Network

Unlike traditional WANs, which use hardware-based technologies to handle traffic management and monitoring tasks, next-gen SD-WANs separate the physical and logical networks. This way, the software can drive traffic without being limited by the underlying hardware. It makes it easier for IT to deploy, provision, and monitor cloud platforms and other SaaS and IaaS applications in remote branch offices. It also allows them to prioritize and secure traffic for mission-critical applications.

Compared to traditional hub-and-spoke WAN architectures, SD-WAN is a more cost-effective solution. It uses direct-to-internet (DIA) lines for WAN connectivity, which saves on hardware and installation costs and provides lower bandwidth prices. It also reduces network complexity and improves performance. Moreover, it offers built-in redundancies by aggregating multiple DIA lines and using policy-based routing algorithms.

SD-WANs have embedded security functions that help protect against increasing Internet and branch cyber threats. These functions include firewalls, access control and filtering, anti-virus/malware, and DNS. It also supports centralized provisioning, deployment, and monitoring of firewalls, routers, and virtual private networks (VPN).

A fundamental SD-WAN solution directs traffic by preset rules specified using templates. However, a business-driven SD-WAN uses continuous self-learning to adapt to network conditions and provide optimal application performance. It is especially useful during brownouts and transport outages, avoiding costly service interruptions. It can even avert a total transport outage by providing sub-second failover.

Unified Networking Solution

SD-WAN is an automated, programmable wide-area network that dynamically and securely routes traffic based on application policies, network conditions, or WAN circuit priority. It provides greater agility, security, and performance than traditional MPLS networks. It also reduces costs by offloading non-critical traffic over less expensive broadband links. An SD-WAN solution offers unified control and visibility through a single interface.

It simplifies IT’s ability to manage and correlate data from multiple functions, such as firewall, WAN optimizer, and security. By bringing these capabilities into one software stack, SD-WAN increases performance through service chaining. It also improves management efficiency by eliminating the need for separate UIs to manage each function.

As companies increasingly rely on cloud applications, it becomes crucial to have high-performance WAN connections. SD-WAN enables these connections by providing dynamic routing over broadband internet or cellular connectivity, and it ensures continuous application performance through proactive link monitoring. If a WAN connection experiences degradation, it can redirect traffic to better-performing links without disrupting end-user productivity.

SD-WAN can also help lower infrastructure and telecom costs by offloading WAN traffic to the public internet. It allows businesses to rely on more affordable broadband Internet connections instead of expensive private MPLS lines, and it can free up bandwidth for business-critical applications. Additionally, it can reduce branch office IT workloads by allowing them to access the internet directly from their offices. It also helps them avoid backhaul traffic to a central location, which can introduce latency and impact application performance.

Network Optimization Solution

Unlike traditional MPLS networks that are hardware-bound, SD-WAN is software-based. It utilizes a network functions virtualization (NFV) approach and cloud principles to support programmability, segmentation, scale, and automation. It allows organizations to minimize human errors that can compromise performance and security. An SD-WAN can help improve application performance by providing a variety of optimization techniques.

These techniques can reduce packet loss, jitter, and latency while increasing throughput and reliability. It can also improve network agility by aggregating multiple types of connections and directing traffic based on the best available path. Unlike VPNs, which use tunnels to route traffic, an SD-WAN uses a hub-and-spoke architecture that delivers low costs and high redundancy. It can also offer a range of advanced performance enhancements like quality of service and routing-oriented policies. It can be implemented with a fully meshed topology to support latency-sensitive applications like video and voice.

Another benefit of SD-WAN is its ability to keep employees connected and productive regardless of internet connectivity or location. It is important because many businesses are remote or mobile, and employees must be able to access the company’s data without interruption. Secure SD-WAN provides secure connectivity that encrypts the data as it travels so that no one can eavesdrop. This way, employees can stay focused and productive even when they’re away from the office or on the road.