Many organisations embrace digital transformations due to the fluctuating customer demands, emerging market trends and increasing competition. Organisations and businesses are looking for methods to increase efficiency and network performance with the help of technology. Well, the network performance at branch locations can be compromised if the business-critical services are distributed across multiple clouds. Hence, the network operation teams prefer installing SD-WAN or software-defined wide area networks. This wide area network utilises software to control the services and connectivity between data centres and cloud instances. It creates a virtualized network overlay that spans over large distances. In a nutshell, it can connect several branch locations to a central hub or cover them in a large campus. It is more flexible than a standard WAN. There are several software-defined wide area network features that you can use for your business. Read on to know about them.
- Multiplexed VPNs: In many companies, they prefer keeping different types of traffic separate. For instance, if two companies had a merger, they might want to operate separately. To keep your network independent, you might need security and compliance requirements. You might have to purchase multiple sets of hardware if the company upgrades to a software-defined wide area network. This technology can manage VPN links along with multiple virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) links. The VRF and VPN can multiplex with one overlay. The preceding VPN technologies were unable to perform such functions. Currently, you can create 16 virtual VPNs and allow them to run on the same WAN links. You can set basic policies and isolate traffic if your organisation is complex with many business units.
- Optimised cloud connectivity: One of the benefits of this wide area network is cloud breakout. It can connect your branch office traffic to the cloud rather than connecting back to the data centre. Well, many administrators cannot monitor the network performance between the cloud Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) and the end-user. Hence, they utilise programmatic APIs, which can compute the performance of Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) services and Software-As-A-Service applications. Utilising IaaS allows you to configure a virtual instance of the software-defined wide area network router within the domain of the cloud service providers. After the configuration, the administrators get an overview of the application’s performance. When the software-defined WAN device connects to an accessible SaaS point, it selects the best path and makes real-time decisions. In a few cases, the performance is improved tremendously for standard applications such as Office 365.
- Data Analytics: If you face any network performance issues, you can utilise data analytics as a troubleshooting tool for the software-defined WAN systems. Executing long-range network capacity planning becomes easier with the data analytics feature. It can remove parties like enterprise customers, the IPS, the cloud service provider and the last mile provider if they finger-point and speculate.
- Encryption key rotation: It is a must for the encryption keys to be rotated every 90 days, which can be a tedious and manual process. It requires scheduled downtime and involves set change control policies. When it comes to companies that work with the federal government, these keys are crucial for them, especially in aerospace and defence. Additionally, it is recommended to rotate the keys for practising the best security. If you rotate them regularly, it means that you are adhering to the cryptographic best practises and meeting industry standards. With the help of the software-defined WAN platform, automated systems replace traditional and manual VPN for key rotations. This system can be programmed to make rotations every minute without interrupting data plane traffic. Your company or organisation will have better security without any downtime as compared to VPNs.
- Flexible connection options: The SD-WAN can route traffic over multiple channels such as the existing MPLS circuit and the internet through LTE and broadband. It can help you efficiently manage both overhead and WAN connectivity and leverage lower-cost and flexible broadband options.
Author: Alison Lurie