Pros and Cons of SD-WAN in Sacramento

For organizations in Sacramento, California, the right networking technology is important for security, administration, cost management, and more. Companies that rely on traditional wide-area networks (WAN) might find that they are unwieldy for today’s environment of remote work and spread out offices. One potential solution is software defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technology. Before deploying SD-WAN across your Sacramento organization, it’s important to understand what this technology involves and its advantages and disadvantages. This article will review the pros and cons of SD-WAN in Sacramento.

What Is SD-WAN, and How Does it Differ From Traditional WAN?

A software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) is a networking technology that relies on software delivered virtually via the cloud to provide intelligent connectivity to remote offices and workers across an enterprise’s entire geography. The software works as an overlay on existing architecture and can handle multiple connection types, including multi-protocol label switching (MPLS), virtual private networks (VPN), and broadband connections, simultaneously. Since it is deployed virtually, it can be used to connect remote offices and workers to the organization’s central data center so that they can easily access applications within the organization’s network.

By contrast, traditional WAN technology has been in place for years. This approach typically relies on MPLS and hardware, including routers, modems, and servers to create private networks. This approach can be unwieldy for large organizations with multiple sites and large remote workforces. Companies that require frequent access to the cloud also might find their existing WANs do not have the agility and flexibility required.

A software defined wide area network allows the simultaneous management of all WAN connections and related devices across the enterprise. All connections can be managed from a single dashboard or controller, which can help to streamline the organization’s operations and consolidate the management of many types of connections.

Advantages of SD-WAN for Sacramento Organizations

Software defined wide area networks offer the following advantages to businesses in Sacramento:

Ability to Consolidate Numerous Connections

A software-defined wide-area network can consolidate numerous types of connections, leading to improvements in the network’s resiliency, efficiency, and quality of service (QoS). This capability leads to the following benefits:

  • Reduced costs
  • Increased throughput
  • Increased availability and redundancy
  • Dynamic traffic management based on continuous changes in parameters and patterns

Easier Management and Administration

Network administrators can manage all connections across the network from a dashboard or controller. These controllers allow the parameters to be defined and provide a high-quality configuration environment. Individual commands can be sent to target network devices to receive desired outcomes. Instead of taking days to design and implement, administrators can achieve the desired outcomes from a dashboard with a few clicks. instead of needing on-site IT staff, the network can be managed from a central location because of the decoupling of the control plane from the data plane.

Better Security

Security is enhanced with software defined wide area networks. Multiple security layers can be employed with the controller on the managed connections even if those connections are not inherently highly secure. Suspicious activity can be quickly identified and isolated, and the company’s sensitive information can be diverted through secure tunnels.

Optimization of Applications

Software-defined wide-area networks can use caching to enhance the delivery of applications so that recently accessed information can be stored locally to speed up future access. This can be particularly helpful with the delivery of applications based in the cloud.

Disadvantages of SD-WAN for Sacramento Businesses

It’s important to consider the following potential disadvantages of deployment of SD-WAN for your Sacramento, California business:

Greater Complexity

To function correctly, a software-defined wide-area network will require the following steps to ensure its safety and security:

  • The setup must be implemented correctly
  • The security and quality of service policies must be applied correctly
  • Any infrastructure changes must account for the configuration of the software-defined wide-area network

Training Requirements

The implementation of software-defined WAN will require your IT team to develop a new skill set. This means that you might need to expend more costs on training or retraining so that your team can obtain the right competencies.

Internet Connectivity Issues

Since a software-defined wide-area network relies on the internet, connectivity issues with the internet can bring the network down. Because of this, a backup connection might be necessary to keep your business operations running in an emergency.

Considerations

When your organization is deciding whether to implement a software defined wide area network, consider the following things:

  • Size of your organization- This networking technology makes more sense for mid-to large-size organizations with large remote workforces and remote sites than for small companies with one location and few employees.
  • Your organization’s short and long-term costs – Software-defined wide-area networks come with a fairly high initial investment cost, but they offer cost reductions over the long term.
  • Complexity and scope of the deployment – Deploying a software-defined wide-area network across numerous locations might require additional devices and integrations with existing network solutions such as firewalls or VPNs.

Software-defined WAN technology can improve the agility and flexibility of your organization’s network, handle multiple types of connections simultaneously, and provide enhanced security. However, your company should also consider the potential drawbacks of implementing this solution. For more information about the pros and cons of SD-WAN for your Sacramento, California company, contact us today.