Sport offers some great examples of innovation through technology. Take the computer systems developed to offer ‘decision support’ for referees and umpires. Solutions initially deployed in cricket to track the trajectory/position of balls in play can now be found in sports ranging from football and tennis, to badminton and Gaelic games.

A perfect example of this is ‘software-defined’ technology, and making apps independent of the underlying infrastructure – a fashion that began with virtual servers, before moving on to storage and networks (see our previous blog on software-defined networks).

Recently, however, there’s been a new addition to those tech areas going ‘virtual’: software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WANs).

SD-WAN has the power to connect

For those of you not in the know, SD-WAN provides organizations with the ability to dynamically connect branch offices and data centers together over large geographic distances.

SD-WAN is a direct response to the demands of cloud-based businesses, where:

  • Traditional WAN networks have failed to maintain the strong speeds and optimized connectivity demanded by users
  • Scaling multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) solutions to correct these issues is both costly and time-consuming
  • Compared to traditional hardware deployments, SD-WAN offers flexibility to control connection efficiency – even during periods of high network demand

Capitalize on the existing momentum

Due to the promise of SD-WAN, many CIOs are sitting up and taking notice. Indeed, spend on the technology continues to grow at a steady pace:

In part such numbers are due to the technology’s ability to align enterprise networks to digital transformation and cloud initiatives, leading to 2019 being labeled ‘the year of SD-WAN’. Hence why many cloud service providers are bundling SD-WAN into their overall service offerings.

SD-WAN: capabilities to grab your attention

As for the high-level benefits of SD-WAN, these are particularly relevant for companies moving workloads into a public cloud – and therefore in need of the necessary bandwidth and reliability, alongside an easy set-up procedure.

Additional benefits include:

  • Resilience: by combining multiple internet lines, SD-WAN can ensure that there is always a working connection, even if a line fails. You can even use 3G connections to provide a backup when everything else fails.
  • Speed: SD-WAN can combine the bandwidth of multiple internet lines to create a high speed tunnel, with speeds that surpass those of MPLS, meaning you get high speed at a lower cost.
  • Quality of Service: with the ability to prioritize those applications that matter most to your business, knowing that these critical applications will still get enough bandwidth even if the overall total drops.
  • Security: SD-WAN communication is performed using encrypted connections, thereby removing the risk of communications occurring in plain text

Putting new technology to work

Finally there are the use cases surrounding SD-WAN that help further boost the attractiveness of the technology. These scenarios feature businesses that:

  • are located in areas where high-quality telecom connections are not always available, but who still need ultrafast connections to their data center.
  • need the flexible arrangement of a standard internet connection, supported by short-term contracts and binding SLAs.
  • have operating units located in countries with poor telecom infrastructures, and who want to elevate the performance of standard internet connections.
  • have moved their workloads to the cloud and demand a firm connection between an on-premise datacenter and the public cloud.
  • operate through multiple branches and want to cut their telecom costs, while still ensuring access to high-end features and flexible T&Cs.

Practical innovation made easy

SD-WAN is built on the premise that infrastructures supported by WANs can often experience issues due to high volumes of traffic – and lead to service outages, traffic congestion, and packet loss.

To prevent this from happening, SD-WAN dynamically routes traffic through a hybrid network to increase its agility and enhance the quality of service for mission-critical apps. In addition, such capabilities help reduce the burden on IT associated with setting up and maintaining telecom connections. It also enables them to better troubleshoot issues, and to ultimately realize cost reductions at scale.

 

Give your IT performance a boost

As with the introduction of decision-review systems, where the watching audience closely scrutinizes every call, deploying SD-WAN can be a high-profile venture. That’s why you’ll need a trusted partner who can help take the biggest workloads off your shoulders. COMPAREX can support you throughout the project – from designing the telecom network, through initial set-up and roll-out of the equipment, to the hosting of the control center.

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Peter Verbeeck

Peter Verbeeck

Solution Advisor

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