Tuesday, December 01, 2015

What is an SD-WAN?

There are very few technologies out there that have the potential to change the way we work and make indelible impacts on businesses in significant ways. SD-WAN or Software Defined Networking is one of them. This technology is basically the entire intelligence behind routing and switching. In addition data movements and digital voice traffic is confined within the software but removed from hardware that is responsible for controlling network traffic.
What does Software Defined Network have to do with it?
This might seem like a very small change; all you have to do is move the entire routing and switching system from its original position. In other words, you are altering the intelligence as such, just relocating it. However, this small difference has massive consequences; it allows you to virtualize the functions of the network intelligence which in turn allows you to achieve a number of things. For one thing, you can swap intelligent routers and switches across your network with simpler ones that are easier to operate and without the need of other functions that are present in the devices.
Doing this can simplify configuration which basically means that it will allow you to use cost effective devices. One other advantage of software defined networking is that it can also provide a centralized location for:
ü  Switching tables and intelligence
ü  Routing
ü  Easing administration overhead
ü  Move network intelligence from hardware to software
Besides ease of access, the switching networks this way allows more flexibility as well as consolidation. All alterations are applied in a single central location but perhaps the best benefit of this is the way it supports virtual environments and businesses. With cloud based technology, private and public, enterprises could transform the way they operate by creating flexible solutions to meet their requirements and can even add, remove and adjust new elements in their infrastructure without disruption and according to demand.
Software defined networking allowed network and virtual environments to integrate with each other which was not possible before. Doing this allows the network to adjust according to demands as and when they crop up.
However, the software benefits more than just the environment it is in. It also has significant value when it comes to networking in wider networking. SD-WAN provides businesses more configuration options for not only the devices utilized in their network, but the entire network itself. In other words, using SD-WAN businesses can use different networks that they did not have access to before. For instance, in a traditional network, users could forward traffic over a number of different networks. In short, they can send important traffic over a MPLS network and less important traffic over a wireless one which is comparatively inexpensive.
Some technologies based on SD-WAN can take this on a whole different level via algorithmic nodes which can be integrated as an application type function. If these can be integrated into software, the benefits will literally be endless.
Besides small businesses, SD-WAN setups are also highly beneficial for medium sized businesses which more often than not lack the in-house IT networking that could manage their infrastructure.


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