The Future of Connectivity: Advantages of Secure SD-WAN

At Six Degrees we believe that SD-WAN is the future of connectivity. But how does it build on MPLS to provide a platform for hybrid working and digital transformation? Here are five advantages of deploying secure SD-WAN.

With organisations throughout the UK undergoing twin evolutions in digital transformation and hybrid working, many are finding that their connectivity fabrics are starting to creak at the seams. Where traditional connectivity typically connected individual data centres with head and branch offices, the proliferation of public cloud-based applications and remote workers has necessitated a rethink in network design. The net result? Unstable access, sub-optimal performance, and the potential introduction of cyber security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers.

At Six Degrees, we believe the answer to organisations’ connectivity challenges is SD-WAN. Software-defined networking, or SD-WAN, is the latest evolution in networking, elevating MPLS by enabling organisations to manage any combination of transport services virtually through a centralised control centre. In this blog, we’ll take you through five important advantages of secure SD-WAN.

Advantages of Secure SD-WAN

You’ve no doubt heard a lot of providers talking about SD-WAN and how it resolves many of the digital transformation and hybrid working challenges organisations face in today’s volatile operating landscape. But what are its key advantages? Let’s go through them one at a time:

Improved Performance

As our vendor partner Fortinet has explored in a recent blog, SD-WAN can be configured to prioritise business-critical traffic and real-time services like VoIP, steering it over the most efficient route. By using more reliable, high-performance connections, IT teams can help reduce packet loss and latency issues, leading to increased employee productivity and boosting staff morale. SD-WAN makes it straightforward to add new sites and bring new networks into the infrastructure overlay, ensuring that the organisation’s network is highly flexible and scalable.

Enhanced Security

Digital transformation can expose organisations to significant cyber security risks. Many SD-WAN solutions provide a wide range of integrated security features such as encryption, URL filtering, Unified Threat Management and penetration testing, helping to mitigate cyber security risks that come with contemporary cloud infrastructures.

Lower Complexity

Digital transformation initiatives can add layers of complexity to networks, resulting in a risk of poor network performance, over-taxed IT teams, and the need for locating onsite personnel at remote sites to manage the local IT infrastructure. SD-WAN eases IT burden by simplifying the WAN infrastructure, using broadband to offload non-critical business apps, automate tasks, and manage traffic through a centralised controller. Application awareness and intelligent traffic routing by SD-WAN enables efficient routes to applications and the data centre infrastructure, removing complexity and optimising performance.

Reduced Costs

As organisations deploy cloud-based applications, the amount of data travelling over a WAN increases, increasing operating costs. Through SD-WAN, organisations can reduce the price tag by leveraging low cost local internet access, providing direct cloud access and reducing the amount of traffic over the backbone WAN. According to an IDC survey, a quarter of organisations expect SD-WAN cost savings of upwards of 39%.

The Future of Connectivity

With organisations set to remain on their paths towards digital transformation and hybrid working, there’s a danger that traditional MPLS networking will be unable to keep up with security and performance requirements. The answer, as we’ve explored in this blog, may well be SD-WAN.

At Six Degrees we deliver the UK’s only truly converged SD-WAN solution. Leveraging Six Degrees’ industry-leading expertise across security, hybrid cloud and network management, our SD-WAN services feature managed service tiers that can be tailored to your organisation’s unique requirements. Through intelligent design and next generation network capabilities, your SD-WAN deployment will form the backbone of your organisation’s hybrid working and digital transformation strategies.

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