What You Need to Know About SD-WAN for Small Businesses

What You Need to Know About SD-WAN for Small Businesses

SD-what? SD-WAN is a new, software-defined (SD) strategy and process to handle your wide-area network (WAN) function.

With more and more business processes and tools happening in the cloud or taking place via software as a service (SaaS) applications compared to being downloaded or stored in on-site servers, SD-WAN helps you manage access to the various parts of your network.

Getting started with SD-WAN may require more computer and software knowledge than your staff can currently provide. That’s why so many small businesses rely on Millennia Technologies to handle their IT requirements.

Small businesses that need to stay agile to meet customer expectations and head off the competition will want to learn more about SD-WAN before partnering with any third-party IT professionals.

SD-WAN Defined

SD-WAN is a relatively new offering emerging over the last few years. Cisco explains that SD-WAN began appearing when companies had started transitioning from using a single cloud computing platform to extend their capabilities with multiple cloud environments.

Small businesses no longer need to be tied to a single provider for such tasks as backups and redundant storage, customer relationship management (CRM), human resources, supply chain management, finance, and other crucial services. These vital business processes also become more useful and valuable when a company’s employees can access them from any location on earth with a fast internet connection.

This type of data service initially did well at meeting business demands, as long as the connections from various team members and corporate branches were set up to flow to a centralized data center over Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) lines. But soon, there were issues of communication breakdowns.

Traditional wide area networks were having trouble keeping up with all of the data and bandwidth demands coming through individual, direct connections. Compounding the problem was that security processes to protect the company needed to be applied to all of this incoming data, causing further delays. WAN architecture built on the spoke-and-hub model isn’t up to the task of handling so many data sources from different cloud services.

Since the traditional WAN architecture does not do well at handling the increase in direct connections, computer scientists developed SD-WAN to combat connectivity issues.

You can define SD-WAN as a solution that places WAN edge devices in remote offices, creating logical connections to various branch edge devices connected to the physical wide area network.

At Millennia, we like to imagine SD-WAN like a driving app that figures out the ideal route to your destination, accounting for variable factors like construction, an accident, or traffic. With SD-WAN, the system automatically comes up with the best link for your data to travel through and maintains the fastest connections for your business communications.

Benefits of SD-WAN

The way an SD-WAN system is designed will boost your company’s connection speed and improve the quality of all your voice, video, and text applications. Providing these enhanced services is all the more critical in this era of work-from-home setups.

Many employees are still using their own equipment under WFH arrangements, sometimes through bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs with their employers. SD-WAN will help support your company’s WFH policy.

Here’s an overview of SD-WAN benefits for you to consider:

Modern WAN for Cloud & SaaS: Your business no longer can rely on a single cloud computing service provider. From HR to CRM to integrated video and voice chat, you’ll have a new infrastructure as a service or IaaS in place.

Better Security: Maintaining security over your system is crucial, especially when more of your team is working from home. SD-WAN enables you to connect to trusted platforms. The dashboard for your SD-WAN setup allows you to protect everything on the network with just a few clicks, per Cisco.

Optimized Management: The centralized nature of SD-WAN architecture means it’s more convenient to manage various SaaS applications automatically. Employees no longer have to waste time with manual processes to establish essential connections to the software or data that your team uses every day. You have instant visibility into the cloud, knowing that the SD-WAN system is optimizing connections while keeping everything encrypted, end-to-end.

Easier to Use: A single dashboard gives your team access to the various functions and data available through the software-defined WAN. A dashboard makes for a much better user experience, with your team able to work more efficiently.

Getting Started With SD-WAN Today

With so many SD-WAN benefits available to your small business, you’ll want to get started using this solution as soon as possible. But chances are you have limited time to research and implement SD-WAN on your own.

And if your own IT staff lacks experience, knowledge, or capacity, an ideal option would be to partner with professionals, such as the team at Millennia Technologies. We are an IT, telecommunications, and network managed service provider for small businesses, and we welcome the opportunity to partner with you!

You and your associates will enjoy increased security and will find it’s easier to manage your network. The ease of use is a major motivating factor for business owners to adopt SD-WAN. To help you get started with SD-WAN, connect with the professionals at Millennia Technologies today.