How SD-WAN Can Elevate Your Enterprise Networking
The SD-WAN market is set to surpass US$4 billion in 2025. Here’s how the technology can future-proof your company’s enterprise network.
Before COVID-19, the Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) market was just beginning to mature. Now, with the home office just as prevalent as the work office, enterprise networking needs have changed. Connectivity needs to be fast, secure, and reliable, no matter where in the world employees connect from.
With no sign of the 9-to-5 office lifestyle returning, enterprises need to optimize their networks to handle complex and constantly shifting data requirements across multiple locations and cloud providers—and SD-WAN has fast become the answer. The Dell’Oro Group found that worldwide sales of SD-WAN technologies are forecasted to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 24 percent over the next five years, with the market expected to surpass US$4 billion in 2025.
In Telegeography’s 2020 WAN Manager Survey, approximately two-thirds of the managers surveyed said they have either already installed SD-WAN, or are piloting/rolling it out. With Megaport Virtual Edge (MVE), which Megaport has developed in collaboration with Cisco, enterprises can supercharge their SD-WAN connectivity by hosting SD-WAN controllers on Megaport’s global Software Defined Network (SDN) and reduce the distance their data travels on the internet by establishing on-demand branch-to-cloud connectivity.
Here’s a breakdown of how SD-WAN works, and why you should consider it.
Put simply, SD-WAN takes a software-defined approach to wide area networking.
While SDN is restricted to a local network, SD-WAN is all about implementing SDN on a much wider geographical scale. Companies requiring connectivity between a variety of locations, especially in the age of remote work, will benefit from applying an SD-WAN solution to their enterprise networking.
SD-WAN provides enterprises with centralized control over multiple network endpoints including branch offices, hubs, data centers, home offices, point-of-sale locations, mobile devices, consumer and industrial IoT, and more. SD-WAN simplifies the setup and management of your WAN with a control console so an enterprise network manager can apply routing decisions, automate business policies, and monitor usage and performance in real time.
According to the recent Telegeography survey, SD-WAN deployments have been driven by a desire to replace MPLS connections with a more cost-effective solution. While SD-WAN adoption has grown, usage of MPLS at large companies has declined 24% in the past three years.
Turning up links to new sites can be complex and time-consuming in traditional WAN deployments. SD-WAN pushes policies, security, and customer configurations to the Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), reducing manual effort and simplifying management of systems and processes. Plus, SD-WAN allows segmentation and prioritization of network traffic via a control console.
Control and security
SD-WAN allows control over voice, data, and video traffic so you can select the path, access method, and destination at an application level, which is ideally suited to each Software as a Service (SaaS), cloud, or multicloud solution. A single graphical user interface enables quick setup and configuration, while integrated workflows secure your workloads.
Major SD-WAN providers have begun to offer what Gartner calls Secure Access Service Edge (SASE or “sassy”), which bundles SD-WAN and security services like Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) and FWaaS (Firewall as a Service) on a single platform.
Not all sites are equal; some need high-speed, low-latency fiber connections, while others can operate on slower connections. SD-WAN enables traffic prioritization, creating more flexibility and cost control.
These benefits have been proven—Cisco reports that through the use of their SD-WAN, customers experienced 65% lower cost of connectivity, 58% faster implementation of policy and configuration changes, and a 94% reduction in unplanned downtime, amongst other benefits.
By using Megaport Virtual Edge (MVE) with Cisco SD-WAN, enterprises can enjoy further cost benefits by reducing egress fees charged by public cloud providers when data is transferred out of their cloud and through the public internet.
With SD-WAN simplifying management of wide area networks and improving their performance, remote workers can much more easily access and use business-critical applications, while enterprises can reduce costs and modernize their networks.