There’s no doubt that SD-WAN is the biggest leap in the 21st-century networking industry. Features like centralized management, automation, and intent-based networking make SD-WAN the beginning of a whole new world of possibilities. The benefits of SD-WAN not only include cost but the simplification of network complexities as well. With SD-WAN, enterprises can leverage as much bandwidth required meeting critical business goals. IT benefits instant network visibility which in turn helps IT to set up a robust security strategy without compromising network performance. Secure cloud connectivity is one of top most benefits of SD-WAN which allows enterprises to create secure local or regional breakouts to cloud from the edge – branches, devices, etc. It is done by enabling traffic flow to the internet from the closest available link. IT can segment and route sensitive data to cloud security providers for further inspection. Discussed below are the benefits of SD-WAN concerning your business, WAN and IT.
Enterprises relying on MPLS can significantly reduce networking costs by implementing software-defined wide area networks. In addition to cost-saving, the benefits of SD-WAN offer enterprise automation, intelligence, and centralized management which make enterprise networks cloud-ready. Weighing all these factors into consideration, SD-WAN cost savings in enterprises can surge higher than 60%. Cloud has made traditional network infrastructures costly and inefficient. Traditional network architecture like MPLS was not built to support today’s cloud-first strategy. Rigid network infrastructures hence resulted in poor application performance, business agility, and productivity. SD-WAN, in addition to its other direct and indirect network benefits, provides enterprises with indirect cost savings in the form of increased productivity, flexibility, powerful analytics, and other management tools.
Traditional Network infrastructure like MPLS is rigid and poses scaling challenges. With SD-WAN, continuous upgradation of IT bandwidth is not necessary to ensure a reliable connection. It’s a scalable solution that allows network teams to easily add new links without having to change the underlying infrastructure. Lavelle Networks’s ScaleAOn SD-WAN can scale massively. Our SD-WAN platform can scale easily to 5000+ branch locations of an Enterprise, as of today. And we are fast-moving beyond it. In our running deployments, we have a single customer running ScaleAOn SD-WAN over 1200+ sites.
Speed of Delivery (MTTR)
Fast, efficient, cost-effective delivery of services and applications is essential to meet business demands and maintain a high-quality customer and user experience. That’s equally important to enterprise customers and service providers. From enterprise operations to branches to the consumer, SD-WAN (software-defined WAN) ensures seamless network performance delivering advanced services with agility. ScaleAOn SD-WAN provides IT teams the flexibility and scalability to meet changing network and traffic conditions. It enhances network performance to deliver applications and services directly from the cloud, rapidly and securely. Brownouts and blackouts can be easily prevented with real-time network analytics.
Bespoke Network Experience
Digital ecosystem demands seamless experience from networks with a continuous supply of Bandwidth. Not just the functions of your business are network dependent, but employees too. Most importantly customer’s expectations – high speed, instant access, and 24/7 support – also demand a fast, agile and safe new-age network. SD-WAN allows enterprises to believe in the mantra – Adapt, evolve, and be agile, by delivering bespoke user/customer experience through a network. New technologies, cloud, and the internet requires a flexible, agile and safe network for well defined customer-first approach. SD-WAN has already divested legacy network infrastructures. Traditional Network architecture (MPLS) was no match to cater to today’s traffic requirements. Moreover, with the internet and cloud being a quotidian need today, bandwidth, flexibility, and security are primary demands of IT. ScaleAOn SD-WAN allows enterprises to use as much bandwidth as required as per business demands.
Traditional networks were never optimized for Cloud. Today’s applications are enabled by the cloud and include mobile applications, big data analytics, and social business. These new-age applications have significantly different network requirements. As the cloud era gains momentum and hybrid clouds become a new norm, enterprise networks continue to increase in value. ScaleAOn SD-WAN is designed to route network traffic through the fastest and the best available connection. With traditional MPLS, this doesn’t happen. Instead, settings are static. There may be a “failover” connection with an MPLS-based network, but that redundancy usually isn’t as fast or seamless as with SD-WAN. ScaleAOn SD-WAN allows enterprises to accelerate network performance and availability ensuring 99.99% uptime. This allows enterprise branch offices to take the Internet route to cloud hosting critical business applications delivering a consistent level of application performance, even in case of a primary network outage.
Cloud, Internet, and devices have made security a nightmare for enterprise IT teams. Before the cloud, traffic was bypassed and stored in enterprise servers, which was filtered and monitored through firewalls. Later MPLS helped to route traffic across their network without compromising on speed and performance. However, with the evolving traffic pattern, security has become even more challenging, especially for enterprises that leverage the cloud in a distributed network ecosystem. SD-WAN has the ability to make enterprise networks more secure through end-to-end encryption, as well as device and endpoint authentication. SD-WAN is the first step towards a more secure network in the age of the cloud. With SD-WAN, enterprises also have the option to integrate third party security solutions, which ultimately forms a new age security perimeter that saves enterprises from costly information security issues. The answer to how enterprises can seal all possible security gaps is once again in the cloud. The natural strength of an SD-WAN solution is policy based on-the-fly private network overlays being created from any source to any destination. This allows an enterprise to drop in extremely simple policies to redirect the right traffic to the right SDP gateway. It’s an architecture where you can deploy best of breed networking at your edge using next generation SD-WAN, and you can deploy best of breed security at your cloud using SDP
Easy Deployment & Configuration
Traditional network deployments are hardware-centric (which involves costs) and require months to be deployed. Networking traditionally has been a complex and manual for IT. The advent of SDN changed it all. Out of all the benefits of SD-WAN, ZTP is among the top three. With ZTP, networking is automated and an intent driven process. Zero touch provisioning is a switch, that simplifies provisioning and configuration of devices automatically without any manual intervention. The switch (ZTP) downloads and runs the centrally stored configuration, which it acquires by sending a request through DHCP or TFTP. ZTP seamlessly allows IT to update OSs, deploy patches and bug fixes and embed additional features prior to connection. Using Scripts, ZTP can also connect to configuration management platforms or a custom tool. An increasing number of edge devices, the surge of the internet and cloud requires enterprises to rapidly implement and deploy network elements. Zero touch provisioning allows IT to automatically update, pre-configure initial configuration and update scripts. With Zero touch Provisioning, enterprises can cater to new emerging challenges rising due to the high usage of network functions virtualization (NFV). Only with Zero touch provisioning, enterprise ITs can configure new virtual functions.
Enterprises backhaul traffic to Data centers and then connect to the cloud, wherein SD-WAN connects directly to the cloud using DIA. One of the key enablers of digital transformation, cloud computing yields improvements in the enterprise’s ability to deploy and scale-up applications. This, in turn, adds flexibility, responsiveness, and improved delivery times throughout the distributed enterprise. Dependency on Cloud has compelled enterprises to re-innovate their enterprise network. The surge of new age traffic at the edge, branch, and remote locations has increased the number of break-out points to the Internet, other public networks, and private networks. SD-WAN today is one of the key enablers of the cloud. SD-WAN modernizes WAN allowing enterprises the freedom to use public cloud securely over the internet. With traditional WAN becoming a bottleneck to cloud – Public, Private and Hybrid cloud – more enterprises are upgrading to SD-WAN and adopting a cloud first strategy. Enterprises are optimizing SD-WAN to enable cloud networks and in turn their WAN into a powerhouse. SD-WAN allows IT to leverage secure local or regional breakouts to the cloud. Traffic, in this case, flows directly from the internet from the closest available link. If additional security is required, SD-WAN can segment (micro-segmentation) traffic and route the same to the cloud for further inspection.
It is as important as ever for enterprises to keep up with the demanding changes within the IT ecosystem. Hence by connecting directly with cloud ( like Microsoft Azure, Salesforce, Google or IBM cloud, Oracle) using a DC, enterprises ensure flexibility in three prime areas: Usage, Cost and turnaround time to new and emerging markets. From a usage point of view, connecting directly with cloud, in no time IT can create private and direct connections (a.k.a virtual cross connects) between software defined network and cloud service provider, content delivery network (CDN) or a carrier through an internet exchange point. Secondly, when it comes to cost, enterprises pay only for services for which bandwidth is consumed. Cost being flexible not only helps small businesses that are growing but also helps bigger players save a boom out of their IT budget. Thirdly, enterprise branches or business can be extended quickly to any new market. Irrespective of the size and nature of the business, enterprises of all sorts, benefit when connected directly with the cloud. Thanks to forward thinking cloud providers and SD-WAN vendors, using SD-WAN to connect directly with the cloud, enterprises are not only benefiting in terms of IT but also are able to cater to the ever-evolving needs of the customers. Using highly customizable software defined networks, enterprises can easily set up a private connection to cloud achieving a simplified cloud migration along with Always On network with higher performance, security, and scalability. Here are the benefits of connecting directly with the cloud with SD-WAN,
- Private or Public cloud controller with elastic and real-time scalability to consume bandwidth and services to according business needs.
- Public/Private Cloud connectivity. A virtual instance looks like an extended physical branch. All business policies are applicable to the virtual branch in the same fashion. Seamless APIs for managing multiple cloud resources.
- Cut down bandwidth costs further by paying only for services for which bandwidth is consumed.
- The network is Plug and Play and deployment at spoke locations, No Peering protocols on WAN side. IT can concentrate on business-critical goals with easy cloud solutions that you can do yourself.
- Improved application Quality of Experience (QoE) for cloud and SaaS applications leveraging SD-WAN security.
- A private connection to the cloud ensures a reduced risk of a data breach or cyber-attack by limiting public internet usage.
Network Segmentation (Micro-segmentation)
Network segmentation at a granular level using modern era solutions allow IT to scale each segment without compromising on enterprise network security. Enterprise networking teams are challenged to securely connect the modern era business ecosystem – devices, applications, users, and systems. It’s becoming critically important to ensure security between each endpoint. Using a traditional firewall and routing in today’s dynamic cloud ecosystem poses a significant threat to network security. This growing need to secure endpoints necessitates changes in the way we segmented traffic traditionally. Using advanced network segmentation techniques like micro-segmentation, each segment is segregated further down at the application and the user levels. Segmentation extended at the edges of the network and is maintained across enterprise networks securely. ScaleAOn SD-WAN simplifies the configuration and management of network segregation. It helps IT teams to achieve network segmentation for any kind of private network using intent-driven user interface and fast REST API based transactions. It hides all the network protocol complexity from the user, allowing an unprecedented speed of control operations. IT administrators can control to connect/disconnect users, locations, applications within seconds.
Network Analytics may seem like a vicious circle at times. Network managers need a huge amount of data and insights to understand and troubleshoot issues. A true real-time identification to check if a problem is increasing or decreasing is to continuously check the devices in question. However, this may create the issue of over-polling a device aggravating the already congested path. A quintessential network analytics tool ought to have the capacity for the following:
- Analyse network data
- Resolve complex problems with the least TAT
- Provide insights
- Suggest relevant actions to counteract the problem
- Provide feedback
- Augment positive user-experience
- And lastly, be affordable for the enterprises of all sizes
In the age of cloud, most networking teams face the challenge to monitor distributed network ecosystems (on-prem and cloud). Network visibility, performance issue detection, and root cause analysis are few among many challenges, network teams face in their day to day monitoring activities. The challenges for network monitoring are twofold: capturing and storing large amounts of data, and analysing the different types of data that is being transported- this includes instant messaging, email applications, video streaming, and peer-to-peer connectivity. Heterogeneous enterprise network today creates new challenges for network administrators. In the absence of data visibility, it becomes hard for network teams to predict and monitor network issues. ScaleAOn SD-WAN empowers IT with powerful and self-explanatory dashboards. This improves visibility into network traffic. Network administrators have clear insights on network traffic which in turn helps them to optimize performance as per business demands.
Network Management and Monitoring
Managing and monitoring traditional network infrastructure in distributed network ecosystems are challenging as well as cumbersome. SD-WAN provides centralized control to manage and monitor enterprise networks hassle-free. It is quite evident that most traditional forms of network performance monitoring tools have originated from conventional and much simple forms of networks. They have become much complex over the years. With the sheer increase in the size and complexity of the networks, the traditional network monitoring strategies and equipment have to be revisited to keep them relevant and up to the mark. There are quite a few challenges that the team might end up facing. One of the most glaring challenges currently is monitoring the eco-system spread across multiple premises and the Cloud. The ever-evolving network performance monitoring tools are becoming more sophisticated by the day. These tools have become so advanced and intricate that now they have the skill to determine the different types of data flow and treat them accordingly on the network itself. To achieve this complex goal, a variety of QoS and applications are deployed. What today’s network requires is a comprehensive monitoring platform that is cost-effective, reduces Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) and can proactively integrate and analyze data that is collected from network, applications, and infrastructure across vast and intricate environments. End-to-end visibility and real-time performance reports across the environment are imperative for a successful monitoring and management strategy. The networking team should have a clear insight inside all the applications that are run daily like video conferencing tools, Microsoft Office, etc. Modern network monitoring backed with network analytics helps IT, teams, to simplify network and application monitoring, problem Analysis, Data Flow Capture Analysis, Problem detection, Root Cause Analysis.
97% of IT linchpins believe in SD-WAN to overcome current network challenges. At Lavelle Networks our continuous effort is to innovate and reinforce our strategic vision to transform the SDN solutions. ScaleAOn SD-WAN enables secure, simplified, self-learning, context-aware application performance combined with intelligent routing, zero-touch operations, and advanced service insertion. If you want to know how to make your enterprise network simpler, safer and faster visit us at lavellenetworks.com.