Does your business need SD-WAN?

The first Wide Area Network (WAN), developed in the 1950s by the US Air Force, was revolutionary in changing the way we connect. Back then, it was a unique network of telephones, phone lines, and modems all linked together across multiple sites to provide the Air Force with up to date radar data. Little did they know it would become the golden standard for telecommunication networks up until the early 2000s, allowing people to connect devices and data from locations all across the world. 

Fast forward to 2007 and the traditional WAN was no longer fit for purpose with the introduction of cloud based software and computing. Traditional WAN was too slow for the amount of traffic required across networks; it reduced the performance of applications, bandwidth was wasted and latency was a problem. Simply put, WAN was designed for an era that didn’t cater for the kind of traffic that cloud adoption brings which is why SD-WAN came to be. 

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So what exactly is SD-WAN?

First referenced by Gartner in 2014, SD-WAN or Software Defined Wide Area Network, is a software-defined approach to managing the wide area network. It works to simplify the process of managing a WAN by separating the networking hardware from its control mechanism.

In essence, SD-WAN was developed to allow for a more secure way to distribute network traffic across a network. It allowed internet traffic to be sent directly from locations to verified SaaS and cloud applications – all while maintaining security compliance which is especially important for enterprise businesses.

What’s a real world example of SD-WAN?

To put it in a current scenario faced by many companies, remote access is the perfect use case for SD-WAN. If you have employees who require remote access to business resources, logins, files, software and comms as they’re working partially from home, SD-WAN would integrate well as it securely and efficiently connects users without lag, downtime etc SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) is an example of a cloud-based architecture that would function to deliver those networking capabilities via SD-WAN. (More on this in our blog on SASE)

How does it work?

The SD-WAN architecture creates a network overlay between the hardware and the WAN. It separates the underlying WAN connections such as Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), broadband internet, fibre, wireless or 5G and moves all of the control to a centralised location. This also allows the WAN to use the different connections interchangeably and efficiently.

With a single, centralised SD-WAN location, IT teams can configure and manage the WAN and its traffic remotely and securely, so you don’t need an IT team onsite at each physical site. 

Figure 1: How SD WAN works (Source: Telstra Ultimate SD-Guide)


What are the benefits of SD-WAN?

The benefits of SD-WAN are far reaching. Network security can be better maintained, IT costs are reduced, users can expect a better user experience and overall business productivity is increased. 

Our Insite managed SD-WAN services provide flexible network connectivity options, agility to respond to changing demands, with a rich suite of internet security, remote access VPN, and improved application performance. 


If you’d like information about how we can help your business with Mobile Device Lifecycle Management or any of our other services, get in touch with us today.


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