What is SD-WAN, and How Can it Connect Small Business Branches?

Posted on Dec 22, 2020 8:15:00 AM

Small and medium-sized businesses continue to transform the way they do business through advanced technologies, new connectivity options, and improved IT infrastructures that promote productivity and efficiency among their employees.

But as your company starts to grow, managing these technologies across multiple locations and branch offices can become increasingly difficult. 

To ensure your employees are productive, it’s important that your branches (whether they are located in the next town or halfway across the globe) have reliable and secure access to your company’s network. 

So, how exactly can your business connect all of its branches with your existing IT infrastructure? SD-WAN can help. 

Before we get into SD-WAN, what is a traditional WAN?

Traditional WAN (wide-area network) is an IP-based network that is used to connect two or more business locations to applications hosted on servers in a data center. It was designed to support everything your various teams might need, such as internal communications, computer systems and intranet.

The use of WAN improved the security of an organization's data and increased how reliable connectivity was for employees across different branches. However, many companies are now discovering the disadvantages of traditional WAN architecture.

Traditional WAN, which is MPLS-based, is no longer effective due to the increased adoption of cloud technology. Using cloud technology in a traditional WAN environment can lead to time-consuming changes, costly expenses and latency for your employees. 

So, what is SD-WAN?

SD-Wan (software-defined wide area network) represents a shift in the way that a wide area network is deployed and managed. SD-WAN addresses the IT challenges of traditional WAN by shifting its focus toward the actual software.

An SD-WAN architecture allows IT teams to seamlessly deliver cloud-based technologies such as video conferencing, unified communications (UC) and other applications through internet connections rather than having to route it through an MPLS or other private IP network. 

As a result, many small and medium-sized businesses are switching their IT infrastructure over to SD-WAN. That’s because making the change offers their organizations a huge number of benefits which promote new growth.

What are the benefits of SD-WAN?

SD-WAN has been specifically designed with a cloud-centric world in mind. SD-WAN can lower costs, improve worker efficiency, make IT management far easier, strengthen your security measures and much more.

Here are just a few of the top benefits that your organization can realize from using an SD-WAN IT infrastructure.

Seamless management: SD-WAN has a centralized and cloud-delivered management dashboard. This allows IT teams to easily see the state of their IT infrastructure, seamlessly manage deployments, update software and push changes out in real-time across the entire network. This helps to ensure employee productivity and increase cybersecurity efforts.

Reduced costs: SD-WAN technology allows your company to remove costly MPLS infrastructure. Using lower cost but higher-speed connectivity such as broadband, your company will be improving performance while at the same time reducing spend.

Improved security: SD-WAN solutions typically offer built-in and integrated security measures. These features - such as encryption, VPNs and firewalls - will help prevent your business from falling prey to downtime, regulatory violations, data loss and other security risks. 

Improved performance: SD-WAN uses reliable, high-performance connections to ensure your branches continue to run smoothly and efficiently. This significantly reduces latency issues for softwares and, as a result, improves employee productivity, creates a superior employee experience and enables staff members to deliver better-quality work in the long run. 

Are you interested in learning more about SD-WAN and how it can improve your multi-branch business? Contact OT Group today. Our team of technology experts in Ontario are highly-skilled and have years’ of experience in finding the right IT solutions for your specific business needs.

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Topics: IT Infrastructure, Network Security