How SD-Branch and SD-WAN Improve Efficiency

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How SD-Branch and SD-WAN Improve Efficiency

Jan 22, 2020

Companies with multiple branch offices can gain greater efficiency by applying software-defined solutions to theirinfrastructure. While SD-branch covers a broad area of software-defined principles related to branch networking, SD-WAN is the equipment that runs this system toimprovebandwidth efficiency and network performance through virtualization.

Evolution ofWAN andSD-WAN

SD-WAN grew as a virtualized solution based ontraditional wide area networks.A July 2019 IDC report forecasts the technology’s market value to surpass$5 billion by 2023. With this shiftfrom early adopters to a broader market reach, it’s clear thatthis virtualized solution is more than just a passing trend.

Two key benefits of this emerging technology are simplification and centralized management, as network functions take the shape of remotely controlled software. With SD-WAN, broadband and mobile connections have been integrated with traditional WAN elements such as MPLS circuits, allowing for a backup solution with improved security.

SD-WAN Integration

Branches within a chain have the option of segmenting VLANs for different departmentsthat call for limiting access to certain designatedteam members. Administrators can set policies for each LAN based on different criteria, such as user base, device type, and application. These policies can then be automated for traditionally time-consuming or redundant tasksso that managers can focus on other priorities. Policies may also dictate how data is used, who can use it, and where it can be transmitted.

Thanks to the advent of software-defined branch solutions, devices that connect to the larger network have greater versatility, similar to how centralized SD-WAN works.

Reasons to Switch to SD-Branch

Operational agility is one of the most important advantages of this emerging tech solution. It allows IT teams to fix technical problems and deploy new technology more quickly. Another benefit is its “branch-in-a-box” capability which can be deployed to new branch offices in a timely manner. It’s a turnkey solution for upgrading infrastructure that can easily integrate with newer technology. In a rapidly changing IT environment that is moving increasingly toward IoT sensors and other innovations, this solution is well-suited to prepare for scalable next-gen technology.It allows management to spend more time on company goals and working with customers instead of learning new technology.

Additional benefits to SD-branchsolutions are:

  • More efficient use of supply chains
  • Lower maintenance costs due to using fewer vendors
  • More efficient use of office space and server space due to virtualization
  • Less need for expensive hardware
  • Easy network scalability for growth or contraction
  • Better use of network resources
  • Ability to add new hardware or software when necessary
  • Lower energy costs
  • Virtualization replaces many traditional office machines

Transition to SD-Branch

Any large company with multiple branches will eventually need to replace old network equipment since businesstechnology continues to rapidly change. Hanging on to legacy equipment too long can not only damage data, it can attract cybercriminals, since old hardware and software is easier to breach than more modern solutions. Aging routers, for example, can only take a company so far before they outlive their usefulness and become vulnerable to hackers.

In the next few years, it will become imperative for enterprises that rely on confidential data to upgrade to more modern solutions. Part of the plan should be to phase out old equipment while gradually transitioning to SD-WAN solutions. The key to SD-WAN security is to connect branch IPsec tunnels with central offices or cloud-based data centers.

As businesses rely more on IoT sensors, it will become essential to speed up this transition, since IoT sensors require more robust cybersecurity.

Conclusion

In the future, branch operations will become more efficient and more easily controlled by network administrators, even from remote locations. SD-branch and SD-WAN will be key drivers in this transition to a more versatile infrastructure that allows for faster and more secure data transmission.

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