Many enterprises haven’t updated their network infrastructure in any significant way in years, so as cloud solutions and fleets of smart devices make their way into the network, there’s a lot of uncertainty around network management. Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) has emerged as a solution to some of the challenges of modern-day network management, but a flood of providers promising outsized results has led to a proliferation of myths about the technology.
SD-WAN offers some clear benefits, such as centralized visibility and control and the ability to scale up to meet business needs. It also offers advanced security and traffic segmentation and prioritization. Along with these advantages to upgrading the network infrastructure, there is plenty of SD-WAN confusion. Here are four of the most common myths:
SD-WAN can’t handle global networks the way MPLS can. SD-WAN revenues are going to reach more than $8 billion by 2021, according to the IDC. (1) It is not just a regional solution. SD-WAN can be reliably used for global networks that want to optimize traffic and secure their connections around the world. With global SD-WAN behind your business, users from all over the world can access cloud applications and other resources while assured of their secure connections.
SD-WAN isn’t secure. On the contrary, many MPLS customers today have to implement VPN encryption to secure their networks because they are vulnerable to wire tapping. SD-WAN is seen as insecure because it uses the public internet, but MPLS does not prevent malware from spreading throughout sites. Certain SD-WAN solutions have unified threat intelligence that can prevent such malicious activity.
SD-WAN is 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 is used to help businesses address issues that are most prevalent – such as congestion, packet loss, and latency – by using their bandwidth wisely, and SD-WAN is a solution that’s used to both deploy and manage a network.
SD-WAN vendors are WAN providers. Did you know SD-WAN vendors don’t always deploy physical networks? In fact, to ensure enterprise connectivity, businesses must still invest in traditional network infrastructures. This comes as a result of SD-WAN vendors who are limited to delivering edge appliances that implement some network segmentation via policy-based routing functions.
With bandwidth-hungry cloud solutions and Internet of Things (IoT) devices adding to the overall demand on a network, the switch to SD-WAN can be highly beneficial for certain businesses. But overall, the switch to SD-WAN should be one focused on soft cost savings and opportunities to innovate and drive business objectives, rather than focusing on trimming expenses.
These common SD-WAN myths shouldn’t discourage you from implementing the technology, and 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. You need a provider that understands the impact of SD-WAN on your business rather than one that’s peddling pie-in-the-sky expectations surrounding a network upgrade.
Contact us at iTel to learn more about the specific benefits you can expect from this technology, as well as more SD-WAN myths you may believe to be true.