SECURITY & SD-WAN
SD-WAN is an acronym for software-defined networking in a wide area network (WAN). An SD-WAN simplifies the management and operation of a WAN by decoupling (separating) the networking hardware from its control mechanism. This concept is similar to how software-defined networking implements virtualization technology to improve data management and operation.
A key application of an SD-WAN is to allow companies to build higher-performance WANs using lower-cost and commercially available Internet access, enabling businesses to partially or wholly replace more expensive private WAN connection technologies such as
American marketing research firm predicted in 2015 that by the end of 2019 30% of enterprises will deploy SD-WAN technology in their branches.
Features of SD-WANs include resilience, security and quality of service (QoS), with flexible deployment options and simplified administration and troubleshooting.
A resilient SD-WAN reduces network downtime. The technology must feature real time detection of outages and automatic switch over to working links.
Quality of service
SD-WAN technology supports quality of service by having application level awareness, giving bandwidth priority to the most critical applications. This may include dynamic path selection, sending an application on a faster link, or even splitting an application between two paths to improve performance by delivering it faster.
SD-WAN communication is usually secured using IPsec, a staple of WAN security.
SD-WANs can improve application delivery using caching, storing recently accessed information in memory to speed future access.
Most SD-WAN products are available as pre-configured appliances, placed at the network edge in data centers, branch offices and other remote locations. There are also virtual appliances that can work on existing network hardware, or the appliance can be deployed as a virtual appliance on the cloud in environments such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or as Software as a Service (SaaS).
This allows enterprises to benefit from SD-WAN services as they migrate application delivery from corporate servers to cloud based services such as Salesforce.com and Google apps.
Administration and troubleshooting
Management simplicity is a key requirement for SD-WANs, per Gartner. As with network equipment in general, GUIs may be preferred to command line interface (CLI) methods of configuration and control. Other beneficial administrative features include automatic path selection, the ability to centrally configure each end appliance by pushing configuration changes out, and even a true software defined networking approach that lets all appliances and virtual appliances be configured centrally based on application needs rather than underlying hardware.