What is SD-WAN?

SD-WAN stands for Software-Defined Wide Area Network. But what does that mean? It means that SD-WAN uses software to make it easier for companies to connect their remote sites, branch offices, and data centers.

Before SD-WAN, companies typically used Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) to connect their sites. MPLS works by creating a private network that uses labels to route traffic between different sites. While MPLS is secure and reliable, it can also be expensive and inflexible.

That's where SD-WAN comes in. Using SD-WAN, companies can connect their sites using a mix of different types of connections, such as broadband internet, 4G LTE, 5G, and even satellite. This makes it much easier for companies to connect their remote sites reliably, especially in areas where traditional connections like MPLS might not be available or cost-effective.

How does SD-WAN work? 

First, a company needs to install an SD-WAN device (such as a router or a gateway) at each of their remote sites. These devices are configured with software that allows them to communicate with the company's SD-WAN orchestrator - a controller for SD-WAN.

The SD-WAN orchestrator is where the magic happens. It's a central management system that allows companies to configure and manage their SD-WAN devices from a single interface. Using the orchestrator, companies can set up policies that determine how traffic should be routed between different sites, as well as how much bandwidth each site should be allocated. The Allied Telesis network management tool, Vista Manager EX, is an example of an SD-WAN orchestrator.

What are the benefits of SD-WAN?

Centralized control:  When a device at a remote site wants to send traffic to another site, it sends a request to the SD-WAN orchestrator. The orchestrator then determines the best path for the traffic based on the company's policies and the current network conditions.

Maximized performance:  If a site wants to send traffic to a data center using a broadband connection, the SD-WAN orchestrator might determine that the traffic should be sent over a 5G connection instead if the broadband connection is congested. This ensures that the traffic gets to its destination quickly and efficiently, without being slowed down by congestion on the network.

Companies can set up policies that determine which applications should be given priority on the network, so that critical applications like VoIP and video conferencing get the bandwidth they need to function properly.  

Increased security:  Using SD-WAN, companies can encrypt their traffic to ensure it's security as it travels over the internet. Encryption protects important business data, while allowing it to be accessed and used from multiple company locations.

In conclusion.

By using software to make it easier to connect remote sites, SD-WAN is revolutionizing the world of networking. Whether you're a small business with a few branch offices or a large enterprise with sites all over the world, SD-WAN can help you connect your sites more efficiently and securely than ever before.

As SD-WAN technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more advanced features and capabilities being added. From artificial intelligence that can predict network congestion to machine learning that can optimize traffic routing, the future of SD-WAN is looking very bright indeed.

What does Allied Telesis offer?

Our portfolio of security products offer SD-WAN, with easy web-based configuration by using Vista Manager EX as your SD-WAN orchestrator. You can install our reliable hardware onsite or choose cloud-based hosting with AR4000S-Cloud.