It’s a WANderful Life: Rekindle the Joy in Your Network with SD-WAN

Being a network administrator can feel like a thankless job these days. When things go right with the network, nobody notices. When things go wrong, your inbox gets inundated with complaints. If that sounds familiar, take heart: SD-WAN technology can change your life for the better, turning you from underappreciated to indispensable. Here’s how:

1. More time to do the things that matter most

Even before Covid, networks were under growing pressure to balance a myriad of on-site and remote workers, clouds and data centers, legacy business applications and “rogue” mobile apps. Covid accelerated the migration to a mobile, remote workforce, placing even more pressure on the network to adapt. Network administrators scrambled to meet shifting demand, often through manual intervention using less-than-ideal MPLS network technology. The result was compromised quality of experience (QoE) amid higher costs. SD-WAN solutions allow network administrators to strategically upgrade their legacy network and manage a hybrid network through a single interface and orchestration tool. That means lower costs, less manual intervention, more control over QoE, and presumably more high-fives from your coworkers. Depending on the SD-WAN solution you choose, it can also give you more time back to focus on other projects. The right SD-WAN solution, for example, can be dropped right into the network without complex reconfigurations to start delivering immediate value.

2. Look like a financial genius

It costs about one-third less to deploy SD-WAN circuits versus MPLS, which can add up to a significant chunk of money across an enterprise. But circuits aren’t the only savings to be found with SD-WAN solutions. There are also fewer appliances needed, less management overhead, and more efficient scalability available with SD-WAN solutions. Better network performance at a lower cost is bound to earn you some accolades.

3. Embrace the future while sailing around risk

Nothing takes the air out of your sails faster than a new project that hits an unexpected snag. Adding SD-WAN circuits to an existing MPLS network doesn’t always go smoothly, especially if you’re not working with the right partner. There are performance and security issues that can arise with SD-WAN that may not have been a problem with MPLS. And nobody wants less performance and less security in their network, even if they’re saving money. To avoid these snags, a solid SD-WAN “mimics” the MPLS-based WAN to support visibility and manageability across the entire network. No reconfiguration of the legacy network is required to support the additional SD-WAN circuits, which are incorporated into the existing network infrastructure through a simple edge-based appliance. The result is a smooth migration path with no negative impact to network performance or security.

4. Be a hero to network users

Users just want a network that works—whenever they need it, wherever they are. It’s a pretty tall order when you remember that “the network” is really a combination of many different networks including the cloud, MPLS, Wi-Fi, 4G/5G, etc. An SD-WAN solution can make you a hybrid network hero by seamlessly connecting users across all these different technologies while ensuring that the most important applications have the best performance levels. With the right SD-WAN, you can easily assign network bandwidth to specific applications based on their priority by centralizing and automating network resource management. Think of it as service level agreements (SLAs) for your applications. Users will be reassured that you’re always there for them.

5. Show that you’re tough on security

Because SD-WAN networks connect to non-secure networks like the Internet, they require some additional security mechanisms. Encrypted virtual private network (VPN) connections, secure gateways, and security policy automation are some of the ways that Extreme ensures your network remains tough on security. In addition, we give you the visibility you need across your network to detect and block threats, whether they’re being targeted at the corporate level or the local branch level. And there you have it: five ways that SD-WAN technology can improve the quality of your network and, just as importantly, the quality of your life as a network administrator.
About the Author
Extreme Networks
Extreme Marketing Team

Our global marketing team is made up of knowledgeable, passionate, and creative individuals. They promote the advances – and the momentum – of the world’s most exciting networking company through best-in-class events and communications.

Full Bio