A transition to software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) is often initiated to simplify the management of a complex cloud environment with bandwidth-hungry solutions, or as a way to reduce the overall cost of WAN. While SD-WAN features like enhanced application performance and improved visibility are regularly discussed, there are a few benefits that operate as sort of the unsung heroes of the SD-WAN migration.
SD-WAN makes voice over internet protocol (VoIP) run more smoothly, it allows network engineers to stop traveling to branch offices every time they need to troubleshoot, and it equips enterprises to advance more quickly through their digital transformation strategies. If this were an infomercial, you should expect a boisterous, “But wait, there’s more!”
Take a look at five of the lesser-known SD-WAN features that make the investment a good move for your enterprise:
Multiplexing VPNs: If your organization has security or confidentiality reasons for keeping some subdivisions or departments separate in your network, SD-WAN simplifies that process. This practice is often the result of a merger or acquisition, but with SD-WAN the virtual private networks (VPNs) can be multiplexed using a single overlay. By simply setting the right policies, complex organizations can segment and isolate specific types of traffic.
Segmentation: By using microsegmentation, network teams can improve security through the restriction of hackers’ lateral movement. This practice offers more control over east-west traffic, allowing applications to keep running while investigating a potential breach and making environments relying on a data center more secure.
Cloud Breakout: Through SD-WAN, branch offices can be directly connected to cloud applications without needing to backhaul traffic through a centralized data center. As enterprises continue to invest in more software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS), efficient access to the cloud is increasing in importance.
Bandwidth Allocation: Cloud solutions, and particularly VoIP, carry heavy bandwidth demands to meet performance requirements, so enterprises that allocate bandwidth for individual applications will quickly see the benefit of flexible bandwidth allocation. With SD-WAN, network teams can classify applications into groups and then designate them at a service level. This means video conferencing is prioritized over an application like email, which is not relying on real-time connectivity.
Rotation for Encryption Keys: With data security becoming increasingly important, enterprise IT must take careful steps to protect data and systems. One of the measures to improve security is rotating encryption keys, ideally every 90 days, to reduce the risk of security being compromised. Standard rotation through VPN can be complicated, requiring downtime and disruption; but with SD-WAN, pre-programmed rotations occur without manual involvement or system downtime.
There are many SD-WAN features that offer clear benefits for enterprises looking for ways to simplify network management in a cloud environment or watching for opportunities to lower WAN costs. To find out more about how SD-WAN might benefit your organization, contact us at eXemplify.