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Leveraging Software-Defined Technology to Drive a Successful Infrastructure Refresh

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The race toward greater business agility means that organizations from all markets are rapidly undergoing some sort of re-architecture of their network. This re-achitecture, or digital transformation, will help businesses innovate faster, become more agile and will enable them to gain competitive advantages.

SD-WAN Technology

By leveraging SD-WAN (software-defined wide area networking) technology, IT is able to be far more efficient in network management, and have a more expedient support.

You might be asking yourself, what does this re-architecture exactly mean? This can mean anything from moving segments of a business’s network to the cloud, to implementing a set of compliance criteria, to provisioning a new experimentation framework. All of these tasks offer the promise of cost savings and lower management overhead, which sounds like a no brainer. But how you handle this kind of infrastructure refresh is critical, as IT departments are already stretched, and with the wrong technology, these projects can involve additional operational and network related responsibilities. Legacy networks and approaches are not the answer. It’s time to move to a next-generation, software-defined architecture.

By leveraging SD-WAN (software-defined wide area networking) technology, IT is able to be far more efficient in network management, and have a more expedient support—cost savings any business welcomes. That is why SD-WAN is expected to grow to more than $8 billion by 2021 according to IDC’s Worldwide SD-WAN Forecast, 2017-2021.

What is SD-WAN?

SD-WAN uses a software layer of technology to centralize both the management and operation of a network. This is an ideal choice for businesses that are hoping to take advantage of a more cloud-based infrastructure, deploy an immediate application policy change across the entire network, or more rapidly roll out digital services.

Truth be told, any network focused initiative is a good reason to consider the adoption of SD-WAN technology, because it’s becoming more and more clear that the traditional legacy network has become a barrier for business agility. Managing network traffic, ensuring bandwidth availability and maintaining performance are demanding on resources, and also add to the overall complexity of a traditional network. When you factor in the additional time and resources required to do the heavy lifting when undergoing a cloud migration, or any new change to the network, considering the use of SD-WAN technology becomes a critical component of your infrastructure refresh, because it becomes much easier to use and manage.

Why SD-WAN?

Typically, when a business decides to deploy SD-WAN technology, two of the main reasons for doing so are to save money and maximize resources. This may seem simplistic, but breaking it down to these two drivers is a great way to get the attention of business owners. Also, they go hand in hand when viewing the benefits of SD-WAN technology for IT teams.

As business operations become more distributed, and as applications and their workloads move to the cloud, connectivity becomes another high priority for IT, as well as ensuring efficiency of the network. An SD-WAN can manage this by taking advantage of additional sources of bandwidth, including broadband internet, which are less expensive than relying on traditional MLPS (multi-protocol label switching) for connectivity. All of this, while also providing clear visibility to IT personnel across the WAN. For that organization—a wide compliance push, and a centralized management console of an SD-WAN solution enables a task that was once very time consuming to everything being implemented with just a few clicks.

And finally, for that network provisioning need, again, the centralized management capability of SD-WAN makes this task incredibly fast with the additional ability to monitor all network resources to ensure that the impact on overall network performance is not jeopardized.

By leveraging SD-WAN as part of any infrastructure initiatives, not only can you reduce the expenses associated with the traditional network, but you will be also able to deliver greater flexibility and operational efficiency to the IT organization. This newfound efficiency and effectiveness of IT with the use of SD-WAN technology provides an unbeatable value to any business in the today’s cloud and digital world.

Originally posted on Forbes.com.

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