How SD-WAN Impacts Cloud Services and Connectivity As SD-WAN adoption grows, so does its impact on how organizations conduct business. So far, there are some clear benefits, including simpler cloud integration and connectivity and enhanced application performance. First, let’s define SD-WAN. Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is a unique approach to wide area networking (WAN) that can combine traditional WAN technologies and broadband connections. This allows organizations to route traffic to remote locations and multiple offices, while reducing network costs. SD-WAN measures the traffic and selects the best route for each data packet in real-time. SD-WAN technology is becoming a popular choice among organizations worldwide. In fact, the International Data Corporation predicts that the SD-WAN market will reach $8 billion by 2021. With SD-WAN, organizations can connect all of their offices to a central network in the cloud, which gives them more control and flexibility. Let’s take a closer look… Simpler Cloud Integration Research from Fortinet reveals that 95 percent of all enterprises use the cloud, and 71 percent use a hybrid cloud, proving that the cloud is being widely implemented throughout the country. With SD-WAN, your access to cloud applications can be enhanced. The central SD-WAN cloud network allows your existing cloud applications to be integrated and accessed whenever you need them. Think about it this way: Efficient application performance is an essential part of doing business. You want to be able to access your applications quickly and consistently without any issues. Access to software and systems requires the right amount of bandwidth coupled with reliable internet connectivity. SD-WAN solutions allow prioritization of your data traffic, so your business-critical applications receive priority over others. This ensures Quality of Service (QoS) and allows your employees to stay productive, without interruptions or delays. This also makes integrating new cloud applications and platforms easier. SD-WAN bookends your cloud applications with gateways that funnel traffic from the cloud-hosted applications to your network. The data being accessed over your network can also be secured. Many SD-WAN solutions provide encryption, which reduces risks associated with data transfers and breaches. When choosing an SD-WAN provider, ask about additional security, including advanced firewall protection. Redundant Connections SD-WAN technology allows for bandwidth independence and can lower costs and increase speeds by combining multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) WAN connections with low-cost broadband internet connections. By combining these connections, SD-WAN technology gives the organization the ability to use their connections at their full capacity. Put a different way, traditional WAN technology has a single transport methodology for its primary connection and typically a failsafe backup connection, used only if the primary connection goes down. So, while an organization may not use the backup connection, they still pay for it each month. With SD-WAN, you can use both of those transport carriers simultaneously, making your backup source useful, which gives you additional bandwidth, resiliency, and redundancy if you were to experience an outage. This can also lower costs associated with carrier-grade connections, and enhance network performance. A SD-WAN infrastructure not only connects your offices and allows you to grow and scale them with ease, it also gives you key benefits, like cloud integration and redundant connections, which keep your employees working efficiently. Would a switch to SD-WAN infrastructure improve your network? Steve Simpson Steve Simpson is an experienced Account Executive at Aureon, where he works with business leaders and technical resources to explore new ideas. For the last 30 years, his efforts have been focused on providing technology services in healthcare, manufacturing, banking, state/local government, and senior living communities.