Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) is increasingly being deployed at both large, geographically-dispersed enterprises and smaller businesses because it solves a variety of network challenges. With cloud technology and its resulting data sending more traffic over the network, SD-WAN moves network control into the cloud where it is highly visible and allows for centralized management.
While the technology was developed for companies ranging in size from small to large, the features of SD-WAN are far from one-size-fits-all. All solutions are not the same, and so a small business owner should look for a different SD-WAN solution than a large enterprise.
For instance, one of the advantages of SD-WAN for large enterprises is its ability to replace or augment multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) technology, which can be costly and time-consuming to implement require dedicated access circuits. None of these features lend MPLS a reputation for agility, so SD-WAN allows enterprises to route mission-critical traffic over MPLS lines while relegating less-critical traffic to the public internet.
In most cases, small businesses are not accessing MPLS because they have only one location or, at most, a few sites. The value of SD-WAN lies in its ability to maintain a high level of uptime and ensure reliable connectivity for the small business.
There are a few features you should look for when determining the right SD-WAN solution for your small business:
- Application-based priority: This feature ensures that your most important data traffic is being prioritized. By contrast, a traditional network sees all traffic the same, whether it’s a data transmission to a cloud ERP or an employee streaming videos in the break room. SD-WAN will allow you to set up business policy that prioritizes traffic based on the application that is coming from or traveling to the cloud.
- Multi-link optimization: If there’s any interruption in connectivity, an SD-WAN solution will automatically reroute traffic based on what pathways are available and the critical nature of the transmission. The end user never knows that the traffic is being rerouted; they only see a high level of performance.
- Prioritization of voice quality: In practical terms, this is a combination of the two above features to ensure voice quality is excellent, uninterrupted and without latency or jitter. SD-WAN will prioritize voice calls over other types of data transmissions that don’t require real-time access, while also utilizing multi-link optimization to reroute calls if necessary to preserve quality during potential instances of degradation.
SD-WAN offers advantages to small businesses wanting to solve interruptions in network connectivity and reduce downtime. To learn more about choosing the right SD-WAN solution for your small business, contact us at One Connect.