Multisite networks were developed to tackle two key business challenges. The first, to securely connect geographically diverse locations. The second, to provide that connection without the expense of private leased lines.
Leased lines are great in some situations and provide the reliability you look for in some circumstances.
Connecting multiple locations together is not one of those circumstances.
Creating a multisite network using an SD-WAN is.
An SD-WAN, Software-Defined Wide Area Network, is a flexible way to connect geographically diverse locations.
For example, a main office with branch offices or a head office with store branches or POS devices.
SD-WAN shot to popularity during the COVID pandemic as it enabled people to safely and securely work from home.
Thanks to the flexibility and ease of setup, it provided that essential safety net companies and employees depended on to remain productive and safe at the same time.
Traditional WAN setups are complicated and can be expensive.
An SD-WAN can use any type of connection. It can use standard broadband connections, private circuits, wireless, mobile and more, to connect locations to head office or wherever you need.
As SD-WAN is software controlled, it can be configured on the fly, expanded, contracted, changed and modified as required.
This provides the scalability and flexibility business have found themselves needing over the past few years and will continue to need into the future.
SD-WAN networking is:
With businesses having to adapt and change faster than ever, having a network that can change alongside it is essential. Leased lines are amazing for what they provide, but are static.
SD-WANs can be scaled up or down as you need. More people working remotely? No problem. Bringing everyone back into the office? No problem there either. Adding branches? Just configure the network with the details and it will be up and running.
SD-WANs can integrate seamlessly with Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) systems that provide security features over the cloud. You can implement firewalls as a service, secure web gateways, zero-trust network access, threat detection systems and encryption throughout your network.
These security functions can follow staff as they move and can be as flexible and as scalable as the SD-WAN itself, giving you the flexibility you need to secure your business.
Many networks are now self-healing but, if you work with the right provider, your SD-WAN should be as resilient as they come. Self-healing means having the intelligence or the control, to shift routes if one goes down or change direction if there’s an outage.
The result? Your traffic still gets through with the same level of security regardless of what’s going on in the network.
Much of this is network based but you can also protect the last mile with mobile failover as long as there is sufficient signal strength.
Cheaper than many alternatives
SD-WANs do require modest upfront investment but they are much cheaper than many alternatives.
There are fewer hardware costs, as the WAN is largely software controlled. Security costs less as it can be centrally managed and provided using SASE.
Branch offices or remote workers can use standard broadband connections rather than leased lines and their work phones for 4G/5G failover.
Considering the flexibility they offer and the features they provide, SD-WANs deliver the connectivity businesses need with the modern approach we demand. If that’s not enough reason to explore them for your own business, we don’t know what is!