Are you taking full advantage of SD-WAN?

SD-WAN can improve efficiency, enhance security, and make the lives of your IT technicians much easier. However, many companies aren’t fully leveraging the features of SD-WAN.  

By Max Burkhalter
May 3, 2021
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Software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) can improve connectivity to branch offices and the cloud, according to Network World. SD-WAN can improve efficiency, enhance security and make the lives of your IT technicians much easier. However, many companies aren't fully leveraging the features of SD-WAN. So how can you get your money's worth out of SD-WAN?

With traditional branch office networking gear deployment, physical devices must be brought to the staging area configured, tested and then shipped to the branch. A networking professional is required to set it up correctly. If your company is deploying multiple SD-WAN devices across a geographically diverse region, the time and cost involved can be significant. Zero touch provisioning allows you to take your out-of-the-box device, connect it to the Internet and let it automatically configure itself.

Using APIs makes it possible for companies to automate functionality, controlling their networks by customizing it and automating initial configuration, changing configurations, automating ticketing processes, and harvesting data on SD-WAN performance at all times. This ability to control default settings, and override them when needed, permits real-time monitoring, and makes it easy for your staff to troubleshoot network devices

If you are undergoing a merger or acquisition, but the business units will continue to be independent, multiple virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and VPN links can be multiplexed using a single overlay. SD-WAN technology can create up to 16 virtual VPNs, allowing you to simply set policies to achieve traffic isolation.  

Companies that contract with the federal government and enterprises with PCI compliance requirements must comply with encryption key rotation, typically every 90 days. Formerly, manual processes using complex change control policies meant extensive downtime. Now, SD-WAN platforms can prompt VPN-based key rotations every 60 seconds if needed without interrupting data plane traffic.

Since SD-WAN products can inspect traffic at layer 7, apply granular routing policies, and identify thousands of distinct applications, telecom costs can be optimized. By monitoring delay, jitter and latency, the performance requirements of each app can be taken into account, and the most effective transport method used to achieve appropriate performance thresholds. This form of application aware routing can provide significant cost benefits.

Being able to connect branch office traffic directly to the cloud (cloud breakout) instead of back to the data center is being facilitated with programmatic APIs that measure the performance of SaaS and IaaS applications. Virtual instances of the SD-WAN routers inside a cloud service provider's domain provides continual feedback on application performance.

SD-WAN also provides a wealth of data analytics that can be leveraged for long-range network capacity planning and troubleshooting network performance issues. Traffic data that covers the end-to-end WAN connection shows exactly where problems exist, whether they originate with the enterprise customer, the cloud services provider, the IPS or the last-mile provider.

BCM One notes that using SD-WAN can be an important part of your enterprise's digital transformation. By implementing and then taking advantage of this technology, you can drive efficiency and cost savings while improving performance and helping increase revenues.

You'll need the right hardware to properly connect your SD-WAN technology if you haven't shifted fully into the cloud. Perle can help you minimize your hardware needs with solutions that streamline operations. Read our customer success stories to learn more.


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