Software defined Wide Area Network – Benefits, Installation types & Future Prospects

Software defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) provides a centralized network which can connect multiple data centers and help enterprises to control networks through a remote centralized location. The primary aim of SD-WAN technology is to ensure that a secure and reliable cloud-enabled WAN connection is designed with the right mix of software and applications.

According to Infoholic Research, Software defined Wide Area Network market is estimated to touch $21.76 billion by 2022 during the forecast period 2016–2022.

Interestingly the highest growth in SD-WAN market can be perceived in the retail segment reaching $4.10 billion by 2022.

Let us now understand the benefits, installation ways and future prospects:

[Benefits]

Software defined WAN provides a variety of Benefits for enterprises:

  • Controls exchange of information: The technology enhances bandwidth quality of MPLS links by channeling traffic per requirement. This helps to improve employee productivity in long run by ensuring that the important information is exchanged faster.
  • Increased Flexibility: helps to select the right combination of networks to connect branch offices, remote locations. It can easily support different cloud-based applications and data sources. It gives scope to program applications to suit specific network at specific times depending on the traffic, business and security requirements.
  • Deployment of policy based application: Helps to set up automated policies to ensure data is transported by the most logical way. It can automatically abstract physical network away from the different data & application and helps to setup automated policies which can ensure that data is transported in the most logical manner.
  • Centralized security: Helps to ensure that sensitive data is always transmitted through encrypted networks instead of increasing security across the network connection.
  • Device management: The SD-Wan can be programmed to easily track and monitor application traffic. They can produce data and information which can analyse how and when to best route traffic.

[Installation Types]

Various ways of installing software defined wide area network:

  • Traditional way: The two network are connected by routers. The base remains the same and the software is installed on top to manage that circuit.
  • Appliance-based: The two networks are connected through appliances on either side of the software overlay.
  • Virtualized function: Both the networks are connected through virtualized routing software.
  • Network as a service: Both the networks are connected through cloud-based service. 

[Future Prospects] 

How deploying software defined wide area network helps in long run:

  • Transport protocol options: As WAN services are virtual it can shift to any transport protocol in a short time as per requirement. It can flexibly change between 3G,4G LTE, Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
  • Improved security: All the functions of a SD-WAN device are provided by single in-box. It integrates with the cloud web content filtering service and helps to control malware covering all the branches including remote devices.
  • Mergers and acquisitions: In case of mergers and acquisitions it can integrate different applications and software quickly. It can provide intelligent path control which helps to control traffic based on the application that are more in use.
  • Internet of things: SD-WAN can sustain and support multiple connections and the data flows. It helps in smooth functions of sensors and other devices in recording information from remote locations. 

Provides solutions for next level of operational capabilities:

  • In built software architectures, which can provision initial requirements.
  • Can make changes in application with minimal impact on existing system avoiding repeated rebooting.
  • Can gauge overall network impact in case of any major change in IT infrastructure.
  • Ability to automatically resolve unknown dependencies without human intervention.
  • A complete know how and monitoring the overall configuration of all devices in the network.
  • Can create a verifiable audited interface to restrict manual access to devices.
  • Automatically validates and checks if the necessary changes have been successfully applied and can revert to old configuration depending on the requirement.

A software defined wide area network can simplify and bring more standardization across the network. It can easily customize features as per specific business requirements. It can make fast changes in network to suit market demand. It can easily recover from failures, rapidly recover from negative events or misaligned changes and managing consistency across the network.

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