5 Ways SD-WAN Addresses Today’s Business Challenges - Rahi
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5 Ways SD-WAN Addresses Today’s Business Challenges

By Prathamesh Rahate

October 5, 2022 - 5 min

sd-wan and today's challenges

Companies across all sectors of the economy have embraced digital transformation initiatives in order to accelerate and optimize business activities. However, fully achieving digital transformation requires network modernization.
Mobile, cloud, collaboration, and remote access technologies are fundamentally changing how organizations operate and deliver value to their customers. But these technologies place significant strain on traditional wide-area network (WAN) infrastructures that weren’t designed to handle such workloads.

In a recent global survey of more than 1,500 networking professionals, almost half of organizations still relying on legacy WANs report that the shift to remote work has caused connectivity issues. A primary concern is that slow application response times hamper productivity. Organizations also fear a rise in security threats if remote workers rely on insecure Internet connections or devices to do their work.

Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solutions can drive network modernization by virtualizing network hardware and making it programmable through software. Here are five ways the technology helps companies address key business challenges:

1. Supporting Growth

As businesses expand into new markets, they typically establish remote branch offices to be closer to their customers. That requires a network that can support application delivery, cloud orchestration, unified communications, and backup operations across multiple locations. With legacy WANs, new networking gear must usually be installed and configured at each location. SD-WAN simplifies multisite connectivity by virtualizing network services, allowing all network functions to be centrally deployed and managed from a single device.

2. Optimizing Connectivity

SD-WAN enables organizations to blend transport types such as MPLS, broadband Internet, cellular, and satellite to suit their needs. For example, MPLS offers a highly secure connection for mission-critical data, while broadband circuits are more affordable for high-volume but less-sensitive workloads. Mixing transport types is not feasible in a legacy WAN environment. Differentiating workloads, segmenting traffic, and choosing transport mechanisms would require a series of manual changes to network configurations and routing protocols at each remote location. The settings would have to be updated regularly as application profiles and operational requirements change.

3. Improving Resilience

Conventional WANs have a hub-and-spoke architecture in which all applications and services are deployed in the data center. Forcing distributed offices and employees to connect to the main office for Internet connectivity and application access wastes bandwidth and creates a single point of failure. With point-to-point connectivity and automatic failover to working links, SD-WAN helps ensure that users have reliable access to the data and applications they need.

4. Boosting Edge Computing

Edge computing pushes data processing and storage closer to where they’re needed in order to preserve bandwidth and minimize latency. It involves deploying multiple edge routers beyond the data center. Connecting and managing them is difficult and expensive with traditional WAN architectures and MPLS links. With multiple transport options and automated traffic optimization, SD-WAN makes it easier to route traffic to and from edge routers.

5. Managing Security

Decentralized computing environments make security more challenging than ever because resources are no longer contained within a traditional network perimeter. SD-WAN addresses security with end-to-end encryption and authentication. It also allows organizations to consolidate multiple security functions, including firewall services, secure web gateways, cloud access security brokers, and threat intelligence, simplifying the “branch stack” and providing stronger protection across the extended enterprise.

Adopting SD-WAN involves significant changes to network architectures and operational models. IT teams must analyze traffic patterns, choose the right mix of transport options, and ensure that new configurations don’t impact performance. Rahi’s network engineers have the know-how and experience to help organizations modernize their networks with SD-WAN while minimizing business disruption.



  • Prathamesh Rahate is a Network Engineer at Rahi. Since joining in 2019 he has been involved with delivering Professional Service projects. Starting his career as a Network Support (NOC) Engineer working on network environments like Data Centre, Campus Network & Office Networks, he has now transitioned into a Solutions Engineering role. He is part of the Pre-Sales Engineering team at Rahi. Prathamesh holds a Master’s degree from the San Jose State University majoring in Computer Networks. An avid sports fan, he enjoys Cricket, Soccer and Basketball.

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