Ensuring a Secure and Reliable SD-WAN Connection
If you’re considering a migration to SD-WAN for a more cost-effective, flexible, and high-capacity connectivity solution for your multi-site business, you should expect better security AND reliability as part of the package. It’s a myth that SD-WAN is less secure than traditional WAN. With the right implementation, SD-WAN can indeed enhance the security of your data. Reputable SD-WAN providers understand the importance of protecting your information and have taken big steps to address new and emerging cybersecurity threats.
SD-WAN security improvements
Security is top-of-mind for IT leaders and business owners across the globe. This aspect of IT infrastructure has been getting a lot of attention in the media lately, and it continues to be a critical topic of discussion. Security for SD-WAN solutions is no exception. But the good news is that SD-WAN offers many advanced security features, particularly for multi-site businesses. The main benefits are listed below:
- Centralized connectivity control gives you the power to enforce security policies from a single location. You can login to your secure dashboard to monitor and administer your network remotely. Policies across your business can be easily harmonized, ensuring that there are no ‘weak links’ from which to gain access to your company data.
- Zero touch provisioning (ZTP) allows you to add and configure new devices automatically. Security protocols are automatically applied to new equipment, ensuring that your network stays secure as it grows.
- ‘Encryption tunnels’ provide virtual private network (VPN) security for all of your network communications. Every IP packet that leaves your network is encrypted and ‘encapsulated’ into a new IP packet with a new IP header, making it virtually impossible to intercept your data.
In the end, security is typically in the hands of your carrier. A reputable carrier should not only know how to implement a secure system, but also how to respond in case of a security breach. But with the right SD-WAN implementation, the odds of a security breach are very low.
SD-WAN networks are extremely resilient. They provide not only exceptional security, but also reliability. And in the day-to-day operations of your business, system uptime should be one of your biggest concerns.
How SD-WAN improves system reliability
It doesn’t matter how big your company is or how many locations you have. You need a reliable connectivity solution for your staff to serve your customers. When you rely on your internet connection to answer questions, process transactions, and manage your inventory, any downtime can be disastrous.
There are several backend considerations that SD-WAN providers need to address for an optimal connection. Following these should keep your network online 99.99% of the time.
- Multiplexing can be used to combine multiple physical circuits into a logical network. This way, multiple devices can use the same connection without impeding access for other devices. This also provides a failsafe in case one physical circuit fails. In that case, the devices on the failed circuit simply transfer to another within the same network.
- Path conditioning provides the performance of a private connection over the public internet. It also protects your network from the negative effects of dropped packets that are common with broadband connections. It does this using an FEC (forward error correction) algorithm to reconstruct lost packets and avoid delays in connectivity.
- SD-WAN can be applied incrementally, ensuring that any network failure affects only a single connection and not your entire network. This lets you build out SD-WAN gradually and increase capacity as you get more comfortable with the new technology. With traditional WAN, you have to decide upfront how much bandwidth you want because you need to install the right hardware.
- SD-WAN also allows you to intelligently direct your network resources based on the applications that you use most at the office. For example, you can route critical and non-critical applications separately, so that an increase in non-critical application use never impacts the performance of your critical applications.
To sum up, SD-WAN is proving to be a flexible and reliable alternative to traditional private network connections thanks its low-cost, low-capital installation; and simple, hands-off management.
SD-WAN’s growth trajectory
As the number of internet-connected devices and cloud-based applications continues to rise, businesses will be forced to look for alternative connectivity solutions. It’s no longer just about connecting computers. Cisco predicts that by 2020, smartphones will account for more network traffic than PCs: IP traffic demand from smartphones will increase from 8% in 2015 to 30% in 2020, while demand from computers will shrink to 29% in 2020 from 53% of total IP traffic in 2015. And the research firm IDC predicts a CAGR of 90% between 2015 and 2020, propelling the SD-WAN market to $6B by 2020.
It’s clear that companies will need to look to SD-WAN as the connectivity solution of the future.
Selecting the right SD-WAN carrier
An SD-WAN deployment can be seamless when you choose the right provider. If you’re a multi-location business, it’s important to work with a company that has experience managing complex rollouts. You need to find a carrier that can provide you with consistent service across a wide area. But you should also:
- Evaluate your current telecom model and discuss what changes will need to be made to successfully integrate SD-WAN.
- Review your current position in the market and where you expect to be in the future. Do you plan to open more locations? If so, make sure your provider offers coverage in your strategic growth areas.
- Research plans and associated costs, comparing the cost of switching to SD-WAN with building new private network capacity the traditional way.
- And most importantly, ask your carrier about reliability and security concerns to ensure they are prepared to take the right steps to keep your data secure and your business running 24/7.
At the end of the day, an effective SD-WAN solution should give you heightened reliability and security. The Bullseye Telecom philosophy is to consolidate, optimize, contain, and evolve to meet your phone, internet, and overall communication needs. Our team has expertise in SD-WAN management and design, particular for customers with unique configurations spread across wide geographic areas. Whatever your multisite telecom needs, you need a company that can deliver.