What is Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN or SD WAN)?
SD-WAN is short for Software-Defined Wide Area Network. A wide area network is any connectivity outside of your local premises or local area network (LAN). This could be as simple as your connection to the internet or as complex as a secured corporate or government inter-site private network. SD-WAN takes the WAN services you use and puts an abstracted management interface in front of it, a single secure cloud-based portal allowing you to view, test, change and plan the way your WAN works. SD-WAN also allows you to use multiple WAN links as if they were a single link opening up new possibilities for leveraging the investment you make in your WAN for scalability, failover and traffic prioritisation.
What are the benefits of SD-WAN?
SD-WAN from The SD-WAN Company offers the following benefits:
- Increased, affordable bandwidth through multi-carrier/multi-technology data link bonding.
- 100% uptime with automatic seamless failover when one or more links go down or degrade – it’s that seamless your active VoIP calls will remain connected!
- Secure your data with packet encryption and distribution man in the middle attacks on your WAN links will not be possible.
- Monitor, control and plan through our cloud-based management portal. Save countless hours spent accessing, configuring and troubleshooting individual devices.
- Simplify your WAN, SD-WAN gives you a single public or private IP for each site no matter how many different WAN links you connect.
- SD-WAN brings you the cloud, connect your site to Azure, AWS or Colocation Facilities.
How does SD-WAN work?
The SD-WAN Company Node is a device that connects to your WAN connections. The management portal speaks to the Node pushing updates out every time you make a change. Data to and from your site is split using packet-level distribution across your connected WAN links; this allows you to add additional WAN links to the Node to increase bandwidth or reliability.
The SD-WAN Node is packed full of smart software which monitors connection stability, bandwidth and a host of other statistics which you can view through the portal. In the event that a WAN link becomes unstable or the capacity of a WAN link changes, the SD-WAN Node automatically adjusts to take this into account sending critical data over the most stable path. In the event of a WAN link disconnecting, so long as a single link remains, traffic will be reallocated in under 300ms; this means even sensitive video and voice traffic will remain connected.
What is the difference between WAN and SD-WAN?
A Wide Area Network (WAN) consists of data links beyond the Local Area Network of your premises – such as Fibre/Wireless Ethernet, NBN, ADSL and 4G etc – to interconnect between different physical office locations, data centres or the Internet. SD-WAN uses software to control these WAN services, allowing them to be combined into a single link, monitored and controlled. So SD-WAN is not so much different from WAN but and extension of WAN.
Why is SD-WAN needed?
SD-WAN is becoming a requirement as more and more businesses are relying on their connectivity to the internet for business-critical applications such as voice, CRM, document storage and other as a service type tools. In many cases if the internet is offline businesses cannot function. SD-WAN from The SD-WAN Company is designed to prevent downtime to such an extent that the business users are not aware anything has gone wrong, thus allowing the IT team to rectify the issue with zero business impact. In addition, SD-WAN brings control and scalability; the introduction of new technology into a business often creates a requirement for a rapid increase in bandwidth or change the way a service is configured. SD-WAN allows you to simply order and plug in another connection to instantly increase the bandwidth in a cost-effective way.
Is SD-WAN secure?
SD-WAN from The SD-WAN Company provides enterprise-level encryption on each link in the WAN. In addition to standard encryption, by its nature SD-WAN technology spreads traffic across multiple data connections. Even if an attacker manages to capture one of your individual connections, they will only see a small fragment of your entire traffic. Combined traffic is authenticated by the receiving server with a hash-based message authentication code (HMAC, from RFC2104). This ensures an attacker can’t intercept, modify, or forge messages sent between your sites.
SD-WAN also allows all your sites to be secured behind a single colocated firewall, simplifying policy management and deployment. When all your devices and sites are sitting on an encrypted private WAN behind an enterprise-grade firewall colocated in a Tier IV data centre, you have truly implemented Unified Security.
Is SD-WAN encrypted?
Encryption is the most important privacy-preserving technology available. It protects your data when it’s sitting on your computers and when it’s being delivered around the Internet. Implementing encryption is essential and SD-WAN from The SD-WAN Company offers Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) in three cipher strengths -AES128, AES256, and Salsa20 to guard the packets that pass over your various network connections.
SD-WAN vs MPLS
MPLS Networks, while reliable, generally have a high per-megabit bandwidth cost. In other words, the MPLS links are expensive. A true MPLS solution requires expensive data links to the MPLS provider’s core network where they can then configure all your connections to talk to each other. This is a tried and proven system that has great merit and many organisations could not function without their MPLS.
SD-WAN provides the same functionality as an MPLS network and we call this a Private WAN. A Private WAN allows you to connect multiple sites using any internet link available at the site. Because SD-WAN works over the top of the WAN connections, it does not matter the type of service or who the provider is. The Private WAN will assign each site a Private IP address, implement 1:1 NAT across the network and allow you to configure Internet Gateways or local breakout if you don’t want certain traffic being sent across the Private WAN. Private WANs can be linked to colocation or cloud service providers. On top of this, the whole Private WAN network will use data encryption for added security.
This means that you can bring a new site securely into a Private WAN simply by deploying an SD-WAN Node to the site. And you can then instantly monitor that site through the SD-WAN Portal.
What are you waiting for?
Get in touch so you can be blown away by the power of SD-WAN.