SD-WAN: Your Network Edge Superhero


Riddle me this: Does the real world have superheroes? Maybe not in the Marvel and DC sense, but there are some super-powered solutions out there – and we know there are villains that wreak havoc on our networks.

It might be an unstable network connection that keeps dropping your calls while speaking with clients. It might be network congestion causing your audio or video streams to be unbearably poor during video conferences. Or your network may be so bogged down you aren’t even able to access all your network applications. The truth is there are countless potential issues that can arise with an unsafe network.

The real world, indeed, has its villains. In the digital world, they are elements that infiltrate our networks and devices and prevent them from performing as expected. We’re talking about latency, delay, jitter, congestion, and, of course, hackers. They are bad guys that keep us from getting our work done or steal valuable information.

The real world – specifically, your IT team – needs a superhero to fend off the evil that moves around cyberspace. They need someone (or something) to call on to eliminate the threats to success created by those network villains.

The challenge, though, is the network is so much more complex than it was a few years ago. IT environments have become increasingly distributed, with many more devices attached to the network than ever, and they are accessing resources from beyond the corporate data center. Ensuring performance, reliability, and security has always been a challenge – in a distributed IT environment where the WAN edge has become the battleground, that challenge is almost impossible.

The WAN Edge is a critical component of today’s enterprise infrastructure. It allows distributed locations – branches, remote workers, etc. – to connect to each other as well as to resources and applications in the corporate data center or cloud. It’s a hallmark of the Infinite Enterprise that relies increasingly on hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

Here’s the catch: traditional WAN architectures work on a hub and spoke principle, where all traffic goes through the corporate data center. With a fundamental part of the service delivery, and with so much network activity taking place between two sites outside the data center, that old model is a recipe for disaster.

Application Performance

However, the modern, cloud-based SD-WAN is built for the Infinite Enterprise and is set up as a mesh network, so users can connect to cloud services or other users directly, without creating unnecessary traffic. It improves operational efficiency, cloud application performance, reduces network traffic to the data center, and improves on-premises application performance as well.

Flexible Connectivity

While traditional WANs typically rely on expensive MPLS circuits to connect remote locations to data centers, SD-WAN can also use other connectivity options (broadband, cellular, satellite, etc.) to route traffic most efficiently based on route optimization and application prioritization. Plus, improving traffic flows, which also reduces MPLS costs.

Next-Gen Security

SD-WAN solutions come with a built-in set of security mechanisms to protect network traffic, devices, and users from network villains. Both internal and external traffic is secured by multiple layers of security, including intrusion detection systems, built-in firewalls, malware protection, and other advanced security systems integrated into the solution. Most can also be incorporated with additional third-party security solutions.

Management and Visibility

With so many distributed locations, users, and devices connecting to each other, the cloud, and the data center. One of the benefits of SD-WAN solutions is the ability to leverage a unified management platform. Instead of relying on multiple disparate management tools, your SD-WAN solution can provide single-pane-of-glass visibility into your entire network – including your SD-WAN, wired, and wireless networks. Unified management enables centralized policy creation, provisioning, and control across the entire Infinite Enterprise. Network performance, security monitoring, and management are exponentially simplified with a cloud-delivered SD-WAN.

We’re in a new world where location is ambiguous, at best, and probably irrelevant, and the enterprise network extends infinitely. Wherever your workforce or customers are located, they expect the same, high level of network performance. The only way to deliver it cost-effectively and without excessive (and redundant) IT workload while also protecting users from the network villains, is to call SD-WAN – your modern network Superhero. There’s no need to send out the Bat Signal – your SD-WAN is always on and always protecting your network from bad actors and poor performance.

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Extreme Networks
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