If you think about supply chains, workflows, and delivery cycles, many modern companies can be compared to a relay race – if one teammate drops the baton, the entire organization can fall behind. Considering the pace of digital transformation, a reliable network is crucial for business continuity. So how to build it the right way?
What is the primary goal of any business? Some will say it’s providing value to its customers. Others will argue that it’s all about maximizing the profits and bringing in more money. Neither will be wrong, yet it is too often that we forget this simple truth: the most fundamental purpose of any business is to preserve itself by maintaining continuity of operations.
However, the thing about operations is that they often depend on an infinitely distributed combination of people and digital capabilities, all connected by – you guessed it – the network.
Why does the network matter?
It is the mark of our times: your employees are likely working from home, in the office, and everywhere in between. Various people in the supply chain regularly log on from the road. Some customers prefer traditional, brick-and-mortar shops while others are browsing your store page from their smartphones or PCs. At this point, it’s not even a relay race anymore, and feels more like a decathlon!
Considering such a widely diverse and distributed exchange of goods and services, your network should be running like the wind to facilitate that. The reality, however, can be quite different.
Spotty coverage, communication bottlenecks, deficient application performance, unstable transitions between fixed and wireless connections… Latency, packet loss, jitter… these are just a couple of examples of network issues that can interrupt business continuity.
So how to minimize these disruptions?
SD-WAN: a necessary boost for your “relay”
A software-defined wide area network (or SD-WAN, in short) is a transport-independent, modern network architecture that is designed to help growing businesses keep pace with the increasing demands of their day-to-day operations, and by doing so – ensure business continuity in the long run.
The key benefits of utilizing an SD-WAN technology include:
- Improved performance. SD-WAN gives your “relay” the necessary boost by employing link monitoring and load balancing to elevate and extend the quality and performance of your network, from wired to wireless. And you know what’s great? This also means your IT team is less involved in ensuring consistent network performance across the organization, and as we know: time is money!
- Unified policies. A relay race may be less about speed and more about smooth transitions, as there’s always the risk of baton getting dropped. To eliminate the risk of human error, SD-WAN enables template configurations, so that policies can be enforced, changed, and updated without a manual process. The IT team can also use automation to troubleshoot connectivity issues. And without the need for technicians to go onsite to assess devices, again – you save more time and money!
- Less complexity. Any relay team consists of not only athletes, but the coaches, as well. With SD-WAN you can improve observability with manageable metrics via a granular dashboard, so leaders can see the big picture. You can also utilize automation and examine performance under various conditions.
- More resilience. To be on the safe side, a relay team may include six runners – the four who run in the first heat and two substitutes. The architecture of SD-WAN employs redundant transport types to boost network availability in case something goes wrong. Even during local cloud outages, critical systems can maintain continuity while network traffic is simultaneously redirected to an optimized path, helping to ease the frustration of communication bottlenecks.
SD-WAN or Software Defined Wide Area Network: the matter of scalability
Another important aspect that needs to be mentioned is the ability to keep pace with new use cases and network demands. With SD-WAN, as your organization grows, adapts, and takes advantage of new opportunities, so does your network!
As you add new locations, plug-and-play devices can be rapidly shipped and easily deployed by non-technical staff. Further, it’s all customizable, which means you can select the proper transport mode for each new branch, while using one unified application to steer traffic.
In addition, cloud delivery ensures you’re always up to date. As consumer demands shift over time, technology adapts accordingly, and apps are constantly updated. SD-WAN ensures there’s no lag time between the latest iteration and your implementation.
Break a leg!
Gain a deeper understanding of how SD-WAN adds up to better business continuity. Download our e-FREE book, The Case for SD-WAN: Optimizing Today’s Digital Network, today!