Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN)
Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) uses any Internet connection available to securely connect the site with other locations and networks.
What is SD-WAN?
SD-WAN refers to Software-Defined Networking (SDN) in a Wide Area Network (WAN).
Management and operation activities of a Wide Area Network is simplified when SD-WAN is utilised as the networking hardware is decoupled from the WAN’s control mechanism.
A major benefit from using SD-WAN is that it allows businesses to have low-cost yet high-performance WANs with the use of their Internet access. With SD-WAN it is possible to partially or wholly replace the more expensive WAN connections like MPLS.
SD-WAN vs MPLS
MPLS or Multiprotocol Label Switching was once the gold standard of wide area networking amongst multi-site and multi-national organisations with centralised infrastructure and resources. Whilst MPLS still has a place within the networking industry it is expensive and requires dedicated infrastructure at the core of the network to maintain the service.
In comparison, Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) leverages any Internet connection available at the location to securely connect the site with other locations. It also provides redundancy when used with multiple WAN services such as FTTC/FTTP, 4/5G and Ethernet services.
In addition to the added redundancy of multiple WAN connections, SD-WAN can provide policy-based routing to automatically move traffic based on link utilisation, quality, and availability metrics configured within the solution.
For example, if you had a leased line service and a DSL based service (such as FTTC) you might want to ensure critical traffic such as RDP/Citrix or voice and video services are preferred across the higher bandwidth fixed link with Quality of Service (QoS) configured to protect certain services. You may then want to force non-critical traffic such as guest wireless over the secondary connection.
In the event of the primary circuit failing, traffic can be moved to the secondary connection and guest traffic deprioritised completely to ensure critical traffic is protected. All this is made possible by configuring rules and metrics on the SD-WAN appliance or controller.
SD-WAN for Remote Work
One of the other benefits of SD-WAN is the speed of deployment. After a major event such as a global pandemic, many businesses were forced to make a transition in the way they conduct business. Many have adopted a work from home policy to safeguard their staff. With an SD-WAN in place, organisations are able to provide hardware and/or software solutions to connect staff over their home Internet connections securely to company resources and cloud-based services.
SD-WAN for Quicker Integrations
As SD-WAN can use any available connectivity method, it can also incorporate MPLS networks allowing you to effectively bridge networks, in the event of mergers or acquisitions, for example. Adopting this model means that incorporating other networks into yours no longer requires you to install expensive temporary MPLS or private interconnects to bridge the networks while you integrate them.
NXTGen can quickly deploy an SD-WAN appliance into the new environment and use static or dynamic routing to make the networks aware of one another.
How NXTGen can Design, Build, and Support your SD-WAN Network
The above examples are just a short and simple view of how SD-WAN works but its real-world applications are almost limitless.
In a time where on-demand access to remote resources is expected, NXTGen can help you quickly deploy and manage reliable and cost-effective solutions.
NXTGen offers a range of software-defined solutions that are tailored to your requirements. The solutions range from simple multipath solutions which include load balancing and failover functionality, to centrally controlled solutions with definable metrics to provide the best Quality of Experience (QoE) for sensitive applications such as voice and video.
Utilising Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) NXTGen incorporates a high level of security into connectivity solutions combining cloud security services with SD-WAN technology.
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