SD-WAN stands for Software-Defined Wide Area Network and is a solution that enables businesses to bond (aggregate) multiple connectivity mediums together, and prioritize the traffic that moves across a businesses network.

This means businesses can run a virtual “single connection” to each of the businesses branches/sites, which is made up of 2 or more connections, and dynamically route traffic via the fastest path… all according to the priority of the data.

Your most important network traffic gets preference, your less important traffic must make way. SD-WAN is often a replacement technology for MPLS and offers far higher capacity for your spend, whilst retaining a high level of service quality and data classification. Talk to our specialist SD-WAN team about your network

Software-defined Networking addresses several common problems that enterprise network managers face:

  • Managing costs
  • Decreasing network complexity
  • Increasing flexibility and performance
  • The primary driver for most enterprises adopting Software-Defined Networking technology is price

Let’s take a step back and discuss SD-WAN and its purpose from a South African context. The Telecoms market has evolved drastically were best of breed architecture such as MPLS is now becoming redundant due to cost reductions in last-mile links. A couple of years ago, bandwidth was quite expensive, and customers wanting to adopt a Software-Defined Topology could not due to the cost to deploy large Internet pipes. The ISP market has also become extremely competitive where bandwidth costs have dropped by 40% over the last couple of years making bandwidth affordable for customers to look at alternative architectures such as SD-WAN. 

There is a notion in the market that SD-WAN is a cheaper technology than existing MPLS networks. This is not the case, as Software-Defined architectures cost the same as an existing MPLS network, however, clients are able to get much larger bandwidth on the SD-WAN topologies. Bandwidth is one of the main drivers why clients look at SD-WAN topologies as clients have the ability to get route internet-based traffic over these large bandwidth pipes instead of expensive MPLS links. 

Another reason why clients look at SD-WAN Topologies is the manageability of their own WAN architecture. With a central provisioning system, clients have the ability to make critical changes to multiple devices in a single instance through this interface. In the past with MPLS architectures, clients did not have much control in managing their WAN where ISP’s would lock routers down and clients did not have the ability to make changes. With SD-WAN Architectures client have the ability to make changes and prioritize applications over their SD-WAN devices. It also gives clients visibility where they are able to see application performance, bandwidth consumption in real-time. 

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