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Understanding SD-WAN: the Truth & the Myth

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SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide-Area Networking) offers many straightforward benefits, such as centralized visibility and control, as well as the ability to scale up as business needs grow. It also offers advanced security and traffic segmentation and prioritization. However, among these advantages, plenty of SD-WAN confusion and misconceptions have spread. Many enterprises haven’t updated their network infrastructure in a significant way for years. As cloud solutions and smart devices make their way into business networks, there’s a lot of uncertainty around upgrading network management tools. SD-WAN has emerged as a solution to some of the challenges of modern-day network management, but with a flood of providers promising outsized results, there are also a lot of misconceptions about the technology. The truth is that SD-WAN can solve a lot of problems – Consider:

#1: SD-WAN can handle global networks

With SD-WAN revenues projected to reach more than $8 billion by 2021, according to the IDC – it’s not just a small-scale, regional solution. The truth is that SD-WAN can be reliably used for global networks to optimize traffic and secure connections around the world. Users from all over the world can securely and safely access cloud applications and other resources with global SD-WAN behind your business,

#2: SD-WAN is highly secure

Many current MPLS customers still have to implement VPN encryption to secure their networks because they are vulnerable to wiretapping, and won’t protect against malware. On the other hand, many SD-WAN solutions have intelligent, unified threat management that can prevent such malicious activity.

#3: SD-WAN is NOT the same as WAN optimization

It can be easy to confuse SD-WAN and WAN due to the similarity of their names. However, they serve different purposes. WAN optimization helps businesses address congestion, packet loss, latency, and other issues by using their bandwidth wisely. SD-WAN solutions are used both to deploy a network and provide ongoing management.

#4: SD-WAN vendors aren’t always WAN providers.

Did you know some SD-WAN vendors don’t always deploy physical networks? In fact, to ensure enterprise connectivity, businesses must often still invest in traditional network infrastructures. This is often because SD-WAN vendors may be limited to delivering edge appliances that implement some network segmentation via policy-based routing functions.

The Bottom Line:

With more cloud solutions and IoT devices adding to the overall demand on networks, SD-WAN can be a tempting upgrade. The truth is that SD-WAN will provide the most opportunities to innovative businesses looking for growth opportunities – so you will need to consider what your objectives are before you invest. If you have more questions about what SD-WAN can do for you or what kind of provider would be best, you’re ready for the next step. Contact us at iTel to learn more about SD-WAN solutions – or just get further clarity on what this technology can and can’t do. Our team is here to provide a consultative approach to all your networking questions!

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Please contact us for any additional information. We would be more than happy to direct you to the resources you need, or to put you in touch with an iTel Associate who will be able to answer all of your questions.