Software Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) are one of my favorite things to talk about. I often consider myself an SD-WAN evangelist because I see the huge potential for businesses of all sizes to increase WAN reliability, improve application performance, enhance security, simplify networks, and save money all at the same time. A skeptic would think that such a product is too good to be true but in my 20+ years in technology, SD-WAN is the first product I have seen that lives up to the hype. All SD-WAN solutions are not created equal so it is important to work with a trusted advisor. The confusion arises because SD-WAN is not a standard but simply a term that describes Software Defined Networking (SDN) being applied to a WAN. Each SD-WAN Vendor has their own flavor and way they apply SDN techniques to the WAN. The good news is there are many great SD-WAN products on the market, each with different strengths and abilities. These differences in strengths make some vendors stronger in different verticals than others. Here are a few of the features to look for when selecting an SD-WAN vendor.
- Bonding of multiple links: The solution should be able to use the sum of all of its links. A session should be able to span multiple links for bandwidth intensive tasks such as backups.
- Real Time Link Performance Monitoring: The solution should monitor bandwidth, latency, and jitter for all links.
- QoS and protection of critical applications: The solution should be able to provide QoS for critical applications (Voice, Salesforce, WebEx, etc.) The ability to double packets and perform Forward Error Correction for Voice and Video is highly desirable.
- Reduction of Network Complexity: The solution should be able to simplify network complexity by allowing for centralized management.
- Reduction of Internet expenses: SD-WAN allows locations to augment their connectivity with inexpensive broadband links allowing companies to reduce or eliminate expensive MPLS Circuits (depending on need)
- Improved Security: Many SD-WAN providers have agreements and peering with top cloud applications providing secure transport to many cloud provider networks.
There are other advantages to SD-WAN too numerous to mention. Every business is unique so you should seek consultation from a trusted advisor who offers multiple SD-WAN solutions and can recommend a solution suited to your needs. The correct product varies by branch location, types of applications used, link type available, budget, and other factors. For more information do not hesitate to reach out: email@example.com 2604086601
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