Organizations are using software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) as a way to meet bandwidth requirements of cloud solutions, ensure reliable and cost-efficient connectivity, and offer network teams a more effective way to manage resources. SD-WAN delivers a dizzying set of benefits rarely seen in a single infrastructure upgrade.
In a rush to reap those benefits, enterprises sometimes choose the wrong SD-WAN solution and create a web of complexity and headaches for network administrators. Here are five features you should prioritize when looking for an SD-WAN solution:
Network Edge Support: Enterprises turn to SD-WAN to solve complex branch connectivity needs and replace routers at those locations, but the SD-WAN solution must also be extensive enough to cover all network edges. This includes remote workers and distributed cloud environments. In order for on-ramping to be adequately supported, SD-WAN should also offer virtual versions that align well with major cloud providers.
Orchestration and Zero-Touch Deployment: In order to achieve at-scale rapid configuration rollouts, enterprises need an SD-WAN solution that offers intuitive orchestration, as well as zero-touch deployment. This allows for the performance requirements that come with more collaborative solutions such as voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and video conferencing.
Application Awareness and Self-Healing Properties: One of the benefits of SD-WAN over traditional WAN is its ability to support bandwidth-hungry, critical applications that might otherwise struggle with latency and congestion issues. Your SD-WAN solution must offer dynamic path selection to prioritize mission-critical business applications, no matter whether it’s an employee working from home or the CEO at headquarters. The solution must apply business policy to automatically prioritize tools like video conferencing over email transmissions for instance.
When an outage or congestion occurs, SD-WAN should also offer self-healing features that allow it to re-route prioritized traffic to the next-best link and preserve the user experience.
Integrated Security: SD-WAN is ideal for equipping enterprises for connectivity as they pursue digital transformation, but many lack the necessary security for this type of environment. Some enterprises have been forced to tack security on using costly overlays, but it is far better to choose an SD-WAN solution that has been built with security features integrated into the technology.
Analytics and Reporting: An SD-WAN solution should provide comprehensive reporting and analytics within a single dashboard or console that allows for real-time insights into application and network performance. This equips IT to identify and resolve any security or network issues and ensure that these two aspects of networking are working as a single system.
As enterprises expand their remote workforces, the importance of a secure and high-performing SD-WAN solution becomes more critical. There are a lot of options available, and your enterprise may require some guidance to achieve a successful infrastructure upgrade. Contact us at eXemplify to begin assessing SD-WAN for your enterprise network.