In recent years, many enterprises have moved to cloud services, and the Internet of Things is connecting more and more devices to enterprise networks. This places new demands on the volume, performance, security and availability of wide area networks (WANs). Conventional WANs based on MPLS technology are increasingly reaching their limits.

Network must grow with the customer

Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) offers more possibilities than MPLS networks and is also generally more cost-effective. It is a relatively new technology that uses software-defined networking (SDN) concepts to route network traffic from different connection types (MPLS, Internet, 3G/4G/5G) over a WAN in a hybrid, policy-based, automated and optimized manner.

This results in several advantages: From a technology perspective, SD-WAN offers more flexibility when different, existing technologies are to be used. In addition, WAN costs can be reduced or bandwidth can be increased cost-effectively and sites can be connected to the WAN more quickly. SD-WAN also enables the implementation of new network architectures to optimize traffic for cloud applications.

Migration should be carefully planned

SD-WAN is now not so new that enterprises are taking a big risk by opting for the more modern technology. However, there are still some issues that need to be considered:

  • Standardization of SD-WAN services is not yet complete. However, this is not an insurmountable obstacle because there are many industry-wide solutions that address technical and regulatory requirements.
  • Standards are also not yet mature in terms of interoperability. Individual virtual network functions may need to be adapted during implementation. Because standards that would greatly simplify implementation are not expected even in the medium term, companies should determine the effort required for adaptation before making the switch.

In addition, uninterrupted operation must be ensured, security standards must be defined and the central infrastructure must be adapted. Most companies hire a service provider to implement the SD-WAN because the implementation is more demanding than that of an MPLS network.

If you are thinking about modernizing your network, you now know the key points. Of course, before you start with the implementation, some questions have to be answered and the right provider has to be found. We will be happy to help you with this and also accompany the implementation. Feel free to contact me if you would like to benefit from the advantages of an SD-WAN for your company.