The Benefits and Challenges of Migrating to SD-WAN

April 21, 2020
With enterprises juggling complex cloud environments running bandwidth-hungry applications, many are finding that software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) provides the solution for several pain points. Migrating to SD-WAN allows for better network management while also introducing scalability and cost savings.

In order to stay competitive, companies need to be able to spin up new applications that support a highly personalized customer experience. Implementing a virtualized network that features a secure and sustainable way to provide connectivity is possible through SD-WAN.

SD-WAN uses application awareness to segment and direct traffic efficiently across the WAN, based on the mission critical nature of the transmission.

What Is Virtualization? Virtualization uses digital infrastructure to overcome technology costs associated with hardware, energy consumption and maintenance. In a network using SD-WAN, a digital overlay is applied to the network, allowing management and configuration to occur from anywhere. It increases the control and visibility that operators have in the network.

The Benefits of Migrating to SD-WAN

Reduced Costs: Enterprises quickly find that SD-WAN allows them to conserve budget resources in a variety of ways. From the absence of a hardware investment, to network professionals freed up to focus on other projects, SD-WAN quickly offers a return on investment. Enterprises categorize the monthly subscription pay model as an operating expense, rather than a capital investment, which provides further financial benefit.

Improving Efficiency: No longer will employees be required to set up a new server for each separate application. Through virtualization via SD-WAN, you can spin up new applications much quicker. Network teams can instantly connect, while controlling resources to meet business objectives, and foster a more flexible environment for pursuing goals.

Better Security: There are a couple of ways that migrating to SD-WAN improves security. First, the network team is able to more quickly implement security patches if a breach were to occur, but security is also improved through the ability to segment network traffic. If a breach is suspected, administrators can isolate the threat more easily.

Challenges in Migrating to SD-WAN

Despite all the benefits that come with a transition to SD-WAN, enterprises often run into obstacles.

One challenge is determining how to navigate decisions around multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) pathways. Some enterprises opt to retain some MPLS lines because they are reliable and secure, allowing for little packet loss. SD-WAN helps reduce the high cost of running MPLS lines by providing alternatives for less critical data transmissions.  

Enterprise IT must also carefully consider the SD-WAN framework they implement. Factors like bandwidth, latency and security are each areas that – within the right framework – can provide important cost savings. Downtime and other interruptions elevate IT costs and diminish some of the value of SD-WAN.Is your enterprise considering migrating to SD-WAN? Contact us at Access Tech to examine the best options for your next network infrastructure upgrade.

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