How to know when it’s time for SD-WAN

For the majority of businesses, digital transformations have rapidly increased in speed and urgency over the last few years, allowing organisations to keep pace with emerging market trends – and of course, the global pandemic that seems to have influenced change in every aspect of our working lives.

Although digital transformations are without a doubt a positive change for business innovation and future-proofing, they can also introduce some troubling network challenges. This is because traditional network architectures simply weren’t built to handle the workloads and complexities of most digital transformation initiatives. Additionally, business critical services are often distributed across multiple cloud environments, which can lead to even further performance issues – especially at branch locations.

 

Why Businesses Should Consider SD-WAN

There are various ways in which SD-WAN (short for Software-Defined Wide Area Network) can benefit businesses, allowing them to fearlessly expand their use of modern technologies, as well as the actual size of their business and the number of connected locations.

Firstly, SD-WAN can significantly improve the performance of business applications. This is a very notable benefit when you consider the volume of critical applications that are now operating on hybrid or multi-cloud environments. Not to mention the increased adoption of SaaS applications and collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams. These fast-changing trends can be detrimental to application performance, impacting the overall productivity of a company over time. With SD-WAN, however, businesses are supported with the network resources required to run such applications reliably and consistently.

SD-WANs also work to reduce network downtime through two key techniques: load balancing and traffic failover. Load balancing refers to the spreading of traffic to allow for enhanced performance, and can even adapt to changing conditions and move information away from specific links when drops in quality are identified. This intelligent technique allows end-users to make use of all of the bandwidth available to the business, resulting in reduced network congestion. Failover works by providing backup links to prepare for any cases where the primary link fails to work appropriately. SD-WAN infrastructures are able to detect the failure of a link within seconds, and subsequently move traffic over to the backup link without affecting the performance of any active sessions.

 

When Businesses Should Consider SD-WAN

Now that we’ve outlined the key benefits, you might be asking yourself when is the right time to adopt SD-WAN? Simply put, if you’re noticing issues with your organisation’s WAN speed or bandwidth, or you’re struggling with scalability due to traditional MPLS/VPNs holding you back, it’s likely the right time.

However, for those still feeling unsure and wanting a more detailed breakdown of whether it’s an appropriate time to consider SD-WAN adoption, take a look at our insightful SD-WAN Checklist.

This checklist is based on some of the common issues, challenges, and sentiment that can appear within organisations prior to SD-WAN implementation. Particularly those where rip-and-replace isn’t a viable strategy.

 

Download your copy of the checklist today!

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