What Are The Advantages of SD-WAN 

sd-wan changing wan infrastructure

SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide-Area Network) is a virtual wide-area network architecture that enables businesses to securely and efficiently connect users to applications. This networking technology solution provides unrivaled flexibility and cost benefits. 

 Businesses can deliver more responsive, more predictable applications at a cheaper cost and less time with SD-WAN than they can with managed MPLS services. IT becomes significantly more agile, launching sites in minutes, leveraging any available data service such as MPLS, dedicated Internet access (DIA), broadband, or wireless, quickly reconfiguring areas, and allowing hybrid cloud migration. 

What’s the big deal with SD-WAN these days? It boils down to this: SD-WAN is less expensive and more operationally flexible than MPLS. SD-WAN lowers Capex and Opex while also making WAN maintenance and scalability easier.  

However, it might be challenging to quantify how SD-WAN will affect your organisation if you don’t go beyond high-level judgments. We’ll go through the list of SD-WAN advantages and why IT pros and industry experts see SD-WAN as the way forward for businesses. 


SD-WAN Improves WAN Performance 

Before introducing cloud computing and mobile smart devices, MPLS was the king of enterprise WAN. A fundamental issue in MPLS was exposed as cloud and mobile became popular. MPLS is excellent at securely routing traffic between two fixed locations, but it fails to fulfill the demands of cloud and mobile computing. 

With MPLS, businesses must contend with the “trombone effect.” Essentially, an MPLS-based WAN must backhaul Internet-bound traffic to a corporate datacenter inefficiently. The identical Internet-bound traffic is then sent to the corporate data center. This degrades network performance and can be detrimental to current UCaaS and video conferencing services. SD-WAN offers policy-based routing (PBR) and allows businesses to utilise the appropriate transport technology. So mobile users have no trombone effect, and cloud services see increased performance. 

SD-WAN is a game-changer when it comes to last-mile performance, in addition to eliminating the trombone routing dilemma. The same capacity to combine diverse modes of transportation allows for a more advanced approach to link-bonding, enhancing last-mile resilience and availability dramatically. 


Improved Wide Area Network (WAN) Availability 

Redundancy and failover are the game’s name when it comes to uptime. While MPLS has a good track record for reliability, it isn’t without flaws and can fail. At the MPLS provider level, redundancy is costly and challenging to deploy. SD-WAN simplifies the use of various transport technologies, allowing for high-availability designs that decrease single points of failure. You can failover to a link from a different provider if your fiber link from one ISP goes down. Furthermore, cloud-based SD-self-healing WAN’s capabilities make attaining high-availability (HA) more accessible. 


SD-WAN Costs are Lower 

The cost of MPLS bandwidth is high. MPLS is much more expensive than public Internet capacity in terms of “dollars per bit.” The exact amount of cost increase will be determined by various factors, not the least of which is geography. On the other hand, the prices of MPLS aren’t just due to the much higher bandwidth charges. The MPLS link can take an average of weeks or months to set up, whereas an SD-WAN deployment can be done in days. Time is business money, and eliminating the WAN as a bottleneck can provide a significant competitive edge. 


The agility of the Wide Area Network (WAN) has improved 

MPLS wasn’t built with flexibility in mind. On the other hand, SD-WAN is intended to provide maximum flexibility and agility. SD-WAN enables organisations to manage the diverse demands of cloud workloads and scale up and down with ease by abstracting away the underlying difficulties of different transport modalities and allowing PbR. 

 Increasing bandwidth can take over a month in many MPLS applications, but SD-WAN allows for quick bandwidth provisioning at existing sites. 


WAN Management Made Simple 

Long provisioning periods with MPLS can cause substantial bottlenecks, as we’ve already noted, but MPLS management concerns extend far beyond that. The more a company grows, the more complicated WAN management gets. Several security and WAN optimisation appliances become a maintenance and management headache as an organisation grows. Furthermore, obtaining granular insight into the network might be difficult, resulting in challenges with monitoring and mean time to recover. SD-WAN on the cloud offers value by providing a consolidated, integrated view of the network that can be easily managed at scale. 

Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution to every WAN problem, SD-WAN is clearly beneficial to the vast majority of modern businesses. MPLS will continue to have a place in the market for a long time, although SD-WAN is better suited to most modern use-cases. Cloud-based SD-WAN, in particular, provides enterprises with a reliable, secure, and modern MPLS option that combines the agility of SD-WAN with the assurance of SLAs.