SD WAN - An Overview
SD wan is the latest trend in area network technology that moves control and admin functions of a network, from individual premises to one master location.
This location can be geographically located anywhere, which gives great flexibility in managing the network.
It could connect many individual locations to one central location, such as a company’s head office.
For it to function, it relies on the following components:
The virtualization of the WAN on 1 screen.
1 centralized area for an administrator.
Management of traffic.
There are 3 components.
The SD WAN edge which could, for example, be a warehouse distribution centre taking online orders.
The SD-WAN controller which allows the admin to overview the system on one 1 screen
The SD-WAN orchestrator is a virtual screen showing traffic and allowing rules and protocols to be set by the administrator.
Because of the separation of these functions, the whole system can be connected to a virtual cloud gateway.
This gives all the advantages of cloud based software and applications.
Alternatively an SD-WAN system can be on-site which allows admins to access the actual hardware directly.
Advantages of SD WAN
You can increase your bandwidth and keep it very affordable due to better prioritized traffic management.
When links go down, the system carries on seamlessly.
Even VoIP will remain connected.
Because of its flexibility, the SD WAN structure and setup can use commercially available hardware. This offers great costs savings.
SD WAN v MPLS
Network security managers usually ask “how secure is SD WAN?”
As installers of SD WAN our task is to minimize its cost compared to MPLS, make it even more secure and give much better performance.
MPLS often involves higher bandwidth costs but SD WAN will offer you protection that MPLS can not.
MPLS connections are rigidly and not easily changed.
Nor can they offer you a high degree of bandwidth management.
A secure installation of SD WAN has to include security and this is achieved through a single management platform.
Where SD WAN is more cost effective.
An example would be where a company’s branches are connected through a hub WAN setup.
In this case all data including cloud activity, has to go through the data center and this is very
SD WAN instead optimizes the process by offering multi-point connections and control points and giving secure access to services.
And that includes the network or the cloud.
On security, although MPLS does also offer this it, does not analyze any of the data it processes.
Traffic still needs to be monitored for malware etc and this requires a firewall.
In the USA, MPLS can be expensive and replacing it with the internet can be very cost-effective.
If you are concerned about security and are happy with your MPLS setup, SD Wan can still be run over MPLS with the end result being to maintain security AND add much more flexibility through SD WAN.
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