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Considerable savings can be realized by moving some or all traffic from MPLS to cost-effective broadband alternatives in a hybrid WAN configuration. SD-WAN makes it easy to achieve cost savings by automatically splitting traffic between low-cost and highly-available WAN links based on business criticality. This is possible when the SD-WAN solution can identify traffic by application and steer it according to policy-based rules. While there is no doubt that cost savings is a key benefit of SD-WAN adoption, it’s not always easy to understand how much can you save and what is your true return on investment (ROI). Our infographic explains where the savings come from and quantifies the ROI you can expect.
Software-defined WAN is making it simpler to set up and manage networks at branch offices despite their growing complexity and a lack of onsite IT staff. With zero-touch, rapid deployment, almost anyone can plug in an SD-WAN gateway and watch as it is discovered, provisioned, and brought online. GHD brought 50 small offices into its corporate network in just 4 weeks with Riverbed SteelConnect SD-WAN, resulting in cost savings and greater business agility. One network engineer can administer dozens, maybe hundreds, of SD-WAN devices on an ongoing basis. This is made possible by policy-driven management, which translates business requirements into operational rules that are transmitted to all SD-WAN devices across the enterprise network.
Network performance is important for business-critical applications and unified communications–especially when applications run in the cloud. But not all network traffic needs to move quickly. Software-defined WAN combines traditional quality-of-service with the ability to steer the traffic of different applications and users onto appropriate paths. SD-WAN can also monitor the health of WAN links and automatically route traffic onto an alternate path when the primary path becomes congested. But that doesn’t help if all available paths are bad. WAN optimization can be used together with SD-WAN to improve performance across congested links and high-latency connections.
Software-defined WAN enhances security in several ways. SD-WAN can identify network traffic by source/destination, application, and users. Then it routes the traffic according to centrally-defined security policies that control access to zones and the Internet. SD-WAN gateways form connections between sites using VPN tunnels with advanced encryption. Many gateways come with a robust perimeter firewall that meets most security needs. Internet traffic that requires a firewall with advanced features can be backhauled through a central access point with stronger security or sent through cloud security provider.