As previously discussed, software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is a software approach in managing wide area networks (WAN). Using such software will have numerous benefits for businesses, one of which is reduced costs. The apparent benefits surely enticed businesses to deploy SD-WAN. In fact, a 2017 IDC survey predicted that the growth for SD-WAN is exploding for at least the next five years at a 69% compound annual growth rate, hitting $8.05 billion in 2021.
However, before deploying SD-WAN, businesses should know that there are different types of architecture available, so that they can properly decide which kind of architecture suits their needs. The first option is the on-premise only architecture, an architecture equipped with failover capabilities and the ability to perform real-time traffic shaping at each site. As the name has suggested, this architecture is unable to connect to a cloud gateway. Thus, this architecture is ideal for companies that host all their applications in-house, without any cloud applications.
The second option is the cloud-enabled architecture, where businesses benefit from on-premise only architecture with the added benefits of increased performance and reliability of their cloud applications. This can happen because the cloud gateway is networked directly to the major cloud providers, therefore when an internet circuit fails while using a cloud application, the gateway can keep a session active. However, the cloud session that happens may be interrupted; this can be avoided by rerouting cloud applications to an alternate internet circuit with SD-WAN.
The third and last option is the cloud-enabled architecture with a backbone network, which is ideal for companies running numerous real-time network applications. It offers an on-site SD-WAN box connecting one’s site to the SD-WAN provider’s nearest network point of presence (POP), where your traffic hops on the SD-WAN provider’s private network backbone. With this method, latency, packet loss, and jitter will decrease and improve the performance and reliability of all applications and network traffic, particularly real-time traffic like voice, video, and virtual desktop.
SD-WAN has the capabilities to help businesses be more efficient. With the three architecture options available, a careful and thorough evaluation of the current state of your business and goals is crucial to avoid possible loss from incorrect investment and to help you draw maximum benefits of the solution.