SD-WAN Solves IT Department Headaches Across the Board

July 08, 2016

By Laura Stotler, SD-WAN Contributing Editor

Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) is steadily making its way into the enterprise across a broad range of vertical markets. For IT departments, this highly efficient way of delivering connectivity can be a panacea, solving many of the networking complications and challenges brought on by mobility, the BYOD trend and cloud traffic.

According to Research and Markets, the cloud collaboration market is set to grow to more than $42 billion by 2021. The cloud offers possibilities and efficiencies to businesses of all sizes, but also brings with it an explosion of network traffic as organizations adopt cloud applications and services. Especially where communications and collaboration solutions are concerned, real-time communications require intensive bandwidth, quality of service and prioritization over less bandwidth-intensive traffic.

SD-WAN solves these issues with ease, offering visibility and both broad and granular levels of network management, enabling IT departments to better route and prioritize traffic. Along the same lines, businesses don’t have the budget or resources to reinvent the wheel when it comes to architecting networks that can keep up with the demands of the cloud and RTC applications. SD-WAN answers the call rather well on that front, working with existing WAN infrastructure without the need for any type of significant hardware investment.

Speaking of RTC and communications services, the uptake of VoIP, videoconferencing and other digital voice services can be a real pain point in the network for IT admins. Quality of service is a huge factor in the successful execution of VoIP and video and networks need to be able to prioritize that traffic and devote the proper amount of bandwidth. Once again, an SD-WAN solution delivers the goods in this area, examining traffic and performance trends and metrics to select the best possible path for real-time voice and video traffic.

The final compelling factor for IT departments contemplating SD-WAN is the bottom line: budget. As stated previously, businesses simply don’t have the funds to devote to re-architecting their networks and need to use their existing resources as much as possible. Since SD-WAN uses a software approach to ride on existing network connections, it requires a relatively small financial outlay compared to other options. It also offers efficiencies like using backup connections for traffic prioritization to improve the overall user experience and glean as much value as possible out of all network resources.

SD-WAN is a compelling option for IT departments in all vertical markets. These departments all share a common headache when it comes to dealing with network traffic challenges brought on by mobility and the cloud and all have similar budget restraints. SD-WAN can really deliver the most bang for the buck when it comes to solving networking challenges, offering visibility, high-level management and unprecedented quality of service at a low price point

Edited by Maurice Nagle