Software Defined Wide Area Network is the buzz word on every marketing team’s mind at hardware providers at the moment.

SD‐WAN uses software and cloud‐based technologies to simplify delivery of WAN services to branch offices through virtualisation. SD‐WAN enables the deployment Internet‐based connectivity rather than more expensive private connections. It also enables deployment of new connections to be rapid and means changes are executed quickly.

SD-WAN also provides application awareness to gain detailed understanding of what is happening on your network, including the applications, the link performance and availability of the network, allowing the latest generation network devices to use that information to dynamically adapt. The techy term for this is Dynamic Multipath Optimisation.

For example, many of our customers have been making a shift towards the cloud with applications like Office 365 Skype for Business which is an instant messaging, telecommunication and video conferencing platform that is driving great improvements in business collaboration. Let’s say a Skype for Business Video Conference is happening at a branch site and the network traffic for the video conference is causing a link to become congested. The SD-WAN solution can dynamically start sending the Skype for Business traffic out another available connection.

We’re particularly seeing rapid growth of the technology in Australia due to changes in the commercial landscape of Australia’s telecommunications industry. NBNCo have release high bandwidth and low cost internet into the market and other carriers have responded releasing offerings leveraging NBN but also on their on infrastructure meaning lower price public internet services are becoming more readily available and the 4G/4Gx and soon coming 5G speeds are ever increasing and becoming more viable options as permanent solutions for branch offices.

Benefits of SD-WAN

  1. Lower total cost by reducing or removing the requirement for expensive MPLS networks
  2. Better performance from applications due to the network devices adapting to deliver the best experience possible
  3. More suited architecture to accesses cloud based apps, with less dependence on internally held resources
  4. Application awareness allows data driven decisions with respect to decisions on adding more bandwidth
  5. Quickly deploy new sites/branches by allowing the use of connectivity that is more rapidly provisioned i.e. NBN, TID or 4G

For many years multi-site/branch businesses have invested heavily into traditional MPLS networks. Centered around typically the head office / data centre where all the networked resources were housed on in-house server farms. Many have tried using lower cost connections but reliable access to applications has typically dictated the requirement to pay for high quality links back by service level agreements. But can all that change with SD-WAN?

SD-WAN’s primary benefit to the end user is that it can leverage multiple internet services dynamically to ensure that applications are available and performing at their best. To find out more about SD-WAN get in touch with our team.