As the demand for better access to cloud applications and data continues to gain traction, it is increasingly difficult for businesses to rely on existing Wide Area Networks.

WANs connect enterprises to their branch offices and data centres over large geographic locations separated by distance. However, these networks might become overwhelmed over time as the enterprise expands, and the demand for resources and business applications increases significantly. This means that personnel and administrators who are responsible for maintaining WANs have to configure the infrastructure manually to enable access to all authorised users.

Now, this is not only a tedious task but also a costly affair. The company has to configure networking devices and routers or even buy new equipment to meet the demand. In some instances, the enterprise has to hire professionals the set up the new policies and ensure that the network is functioning seamlessly.

With the emergence of SD-WAN, enterprises do not have to go this route. SD-WAN simply stands for Software-Defined Wide Area Network. This WAN offering strives to improve application performance, enable robust network security and reduce costs. Admins can enable cloud applications in minutes regardless of the platform the business is using. The best part is that SD-WAN does not require direct IT intervention to perform all these functions, given that it relies on a centralised control mechanism that delivers all these functions to all the existing WAN branches.


Evolving to SD-WAN


The transition to SD-WAN has been slow despite the numerous benefits of this new software-defined technology. Various statistics suggest that about 78% of businesses using SD-WAN are unwilling to drop their current WAN connections entirely. As the use of cloud applications continues to rise, it is just a matter of time before businesses make the full transition to SD-WAN.

In any case, SD-WAN is undeniably a better option, given that it eliminates the tedious task of configuring network devices manually. It also reduces the complexity of adjusting routing schemes, addresses and setting up new policies by ensuring that all functions are addressed and managed using a centralised control mechanism.

Apart from the obvious benefits, SD-WAN can also prove useful in reducing latency with a 5G network. It also helps improve security mechanisms for vital Internet of Things (IoT) use cases and enhances end-to-end encryption.

SD-WAN technologies are still a work in progress, and plans are underway to integrate security products which allow for better monitoring of traffic through the SD-WAN network.


The Future of SD-WAN


The future of SD-WAN is bright if the current projections are anything to go by. More enterprises are beginning to believe that software-defined technology is a precursor to greater things to come. For this reason, it is not surprising that more businesses are joining the SD-WAN bandwagon moving into the future.

Research company Futurism, predicts that the SD-WAN platform market will reach a staggering $2.5 billion by the year 2022 as more enterprises are seeking better access to data, resources and cloud applications.


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