The benefits of SD-WAN over traditional WAN architectures
The traditional hub and spoke model was predominant before the widespread use of SD-WAN. In a traditional model, to move data from the cloud, the data has to move to the data centre and then to the final destination. On the contrary, in the case of SD-WAN, Points of Presence or PoPs are distributed in the data centres across the globe, facilitating the transfer of data without routing through the data centre.
Before discussing whether SD-WAN is beneficial over traditional WAN architecture, let us understand both concepts.
Several LANs located at different geographical locations are connected with one another in traditional networking. Traditional WAN connects branch offices and remote offices to the centralised network to access applications, share data and perform business functions. Conventional WAN was seen as a reliable means to deliver data, but as the business expands across geographical boundaries, the data has to travel through multiple carriers. This could lead to network congestion, packet loss, call drops, etc. Moreover, each and every server and router must be updated every time a change in policy occurs due to its distributed nature. User experience is compromised when streaming HD videos, virtual reality or during video conferencing.
SD-WAN connects hardware from various locations. Different connections are used for transporting data, including private lines, Virtual Private Networks or VPNs, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), broadband and LTE. SD-WAN finds the most efficient route to transport the data, whereas traditional WAN architecture uses corporate data centre connections to route the data.
Types of SD-WAN Architecture
Enterprises can opt for three types of architecture, on-premises SD-WAN, cloud-enabled SD-WAN, and cloud-enabled with backbone SD-WAN.
On-Premises SD-WAN: It is a plug-and-play SD-WAN box that can be installed on your premises or onsite. It does not connect to the cloud gateways but uses company connections.
Cloud-enabled SD-WAN: This configuration uses both software and hardware. It uses an onsite SD-WAN device and connects to the virtual gateway. In turn, the gateways are connected to the cloud providers like Microsoft Office 365, AWS, Azure, DropBox and Salesforce.
Cloud enable plus backbone: Sometimes issues arise while using the internet with SD-WAN, to avoid this snag, backbone is used. It connects the enterprise premises to the cloud PoP and from here the traffic is diverted to the private fibre optic network backbone. The low latency private backbone results in minimum packet loss and jitters.
Why is SD-WAN better than traditional WAN?
Thanks to the internet, businesses are transforming faster as the world is shrinking. The Pandemic has forced us to work from remote locations, and SD-WAN perfectly fits in this space. Let’s see why SD-WAN is better than traditional WAN.
- Traditional WAN allows prioritisation and traffic predictability but at a high cost. On the contrary, SD-WAN cuts down on internet costs, and users must spend big money on bandwidth upgrades. SD-WAN offers flexible network connectivity as it can run both on LTE and broadband. SD-WAN is affordable and allows app prioritisation without any packet loss.
- Traditional WAN is private and allows secure communication. In comparison, SD-WAN offers end-to-end encryption across a VPN connection with an option to add and merge additional security layers, such as firewalls, for unified threat management.
- In traditional WAN, changes must be configured manually due to their distributed nature. In SD-WAN, you can scale as your business grows. Just leave it to your managed service provider, and they will do the rest.
SD-WAN is a reliable way to receive and deliver network services to your organisation. Though, some organisations adopt hybrid WAN. An organisation should select the appropriate network based on the long-term and short-term objectives in mind. Since each organisation has unique requirements, there is no one size fits all concept. You all require a skilled workforce for maintaining and managing network services. If you are ready for a change, then train your network professionals in SD-WAN for a seamless transformation.
SMOAD SD-WAN helps with a smooth transformation with its best-in-class services. Connect with us for more details.
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