In today’s digital age, where remote work and online meetings have become the norm, organisations face a myriad of challenges in managing their network infrastructure effectively. From poor performance to network congestion and limited visibility, traditional Wide Area Network (WAN) setups often struggle to keep up with the demands of modern applications and distributed workforces. 

The challenges of Traditional WAN 

Despite their widespread use, traditional WAN setups pose several challenges that hinder optimal network performance and business growth.  

One of the main issues faced by businesses relying on traditional WANs is the lack of agility and scalability. Traditional WAN architectures often require rigid and time-consuming configuration changes, making it challenging for businesses to quickly adapt to their evolving network requirements.   

Traditional WAN setups also often suffer from slow speeds, high latency, and inconsistent performance, particularly when handling bandwidth-intensive applications like video conferencing or cloud-based services. Without sophisticated traffic shaping and prioritisation features, critical applications may not receive the necessary bandwidth and quality of service they require, leading to performance issues. Plus, during peak hours or when multiple applications compete for bandwidth, congestion can lead to dropped connections, packet loss, and degraded user experience. 

Another notable challenge with traditional WAN setups is the complexity of managing and troubleshooting network issues. The lack of visibility into network traffic and application performance makes it difficult to diagnose and troubleshoot issues effectively. With distributed networks spread across multiple locations, identifying and diagnosing connectivity issues becomes a time-consuming and resource-intensive task. This limited control over traffic can lead to significant downtime, impacting business operations and customer service.  

What is SD-WAN?

SD-WAN is a modern approach to managing WANs. Its centralised approach and software defined networking technology enables organisations to dynamically route traffic based on application requirements and network condition.

SD-WAN simplifies and expands upon MPLS technology, offering versatile private connectivity across various links and providers, with cloud compatibility. Unlike MPLS’s reliance on backup links for failures, SD-WAN dynamically steers traffic based on centralised policies. It also provides unified analytics across global networks, a feat not achievable with disparate infrastructure and policies. Similarly, SD-WAN can be viewed as the application of SDN principles to wide area networks, addressing diverse link types, providers, and geographies while simultanously incorporating robust security measures beyond the enterprise perimeter. 

Why Switch to SD-WAN?

In a world where over 85% of companies are expected to adopt a Cloud First strategy by 2025, and where digital transformation pressures continue to mount, SD-WAN offers a compelling solution to address the shortcomings of traditional WAN setups. With its ability to optimise application performance, enhance bandwidth utilisation, and provide granular visibility and control over network traffic, SD-WAN is tailor-made for the demands of the modern network landscape. 

However, very few IT departments have the knowledge to set up an SD-WAN network or the resource for ongoing maintenance. ARO’s specialist managed service fills this gap. Our services involve expertly configured SD-WAN architecture, rapid SD-WAN deployment, and SD-WAN optimisation. And with your network connectivity handled by us, you can now focus on your core business. 

What are the Features and Benefits of SD-WAN? 

  • Improved Performance: SD-WAN utilises intelligent traffic routing algorithms to dynamically steer traffic along the most efficient path, thereby minimising latency and ensuring optimal application performance. 
  • Enhanced Bandwidth Utilisation: By prioritising mission-critical applications and intelligently managing bandwidth allocation, SD-WAN helps alleviate network congestion and ensures a consistent user experience, even during peak usage periods. 
  • Granular Visibility and Control: SD-WAN solutions offer comprehensive visibility into network traffic and application performance, empowering IT teams to identify and address issues proactively. Additionally, centralised management consoles provide granular control over traffic routing and QoS policies. 
  • Application Performance Optimisation: With built-in traffic shaping and prioritisation capabilities, SD-WAN ensures that critical applications receive the necessary bandwidth and quality of service they require, thereby optimising overall application performance and user experience. 

With two-thirds (66%) of organisations already using SD-WAN and 29% planning to deploy the technology, it’s clear that the era of traditional WAN is over. And as we move towards a cloud-first future, SD-WAN is the go-to solution. ARO can proactively manage the quality of your SD-WAN technology, mitigate the risk of downtime and give you the confidence of reliable, high-quality connectivity. Get in touch with us to find out more about our SD-WAN managed services or view our other cloud IT solutions here

SD-WAN Insights Guide