Today, people expect to be able to access their information anytime, from any type of device, and from anyplace in the world. Mobile devices and the Cloud have fed this expectation. With all of this access comes an increasingly complex network infrastructure.
LAN vs WAN
To level set, there are two primary types of networks
- Local Area Network (LAN) – A LAN connects all the computers, servers, printers, and other devices within the 4 walls of your office.
- Wide Area Network (WAN) – A WAN connects your office LAN to other office LANs around the world. You can consider the Internet as the world’s largest WAN.
Without your WAN you would not have access to any resources outside of you office. In order to try to bring some order to the increasing chaos of the WAN, there is a new technology called SD-WAN. The SD stands for Software Defined. Software Defined is not a new concept in IT. Software defined infrastructure is a rapidly growing area. SD-WAN is just the latest beneficiary of this technology. The main concept is that SD-WAN uses software to make Wide Area Networking smarter, more efficient, and more cost effective.
What is SD-WAN?
A traditional WAN is made up of routers at each site. This number can add up quickly. Each router consists of a data plane and a control plane. The data plane holds the data that is being passed from site to site. The control plane tells the data how to get to its destination. The control plane is configured by an administrator, typically via a Command Line Interface (CLI). This takes time and is susceptible to human error. The more sites on the WAN, the longer it takes to make changes and the more chance of an error. Troubleshooting problems in an environment like this can also be time consuming due to the complexity. In order to compensate for this, administrators often create scripts and programs to try to automate these processes as much as possible, but this just adds an additional layer of complexity.
SD-WAN greatly simplifies this by taking the bulk of the control plane operations and centralizing them in one place. This makes it much easier and more efficient to make changes. You can create changes that are global or sent to groups of sites simultaneously. Rules can be setup to ensure changes do take configurations outside of predefined business parameters. This is all done from a centralized, web based platform.
With all the flexibility and ease-of-use benefits SD-WAN affords, it is now possible to easily integrate broadband Internet connections like cable modems into the corporate WAN. Not having to always rely on private MPLS and other WAN circuits can save significant money and bring a nice Return on Investment (ROI) to any SD-WAN deployment.
CCSI is a leader in SD-WAN deployments and management. Whether you are just looking for a simple installation or end to end, 24×7 management, CCSI can help you with all your SD-WAN needs.
CCSI presented a state-of-the-art SD-WAN solution to replace one MPLS connection with SD-WAN. This equipped Professional Group Plans with a network that has total visibility and control with error correction for increased reliability with significant savings.
Author Bio: Joe Goldberg is the Senior Cloud Program manager at CCSI. Over the past 15+ years, Joe has helped companies to design, build out, and optimize their network and data center infrastructure. As a result of his efforts, major gains in ROI have been realized through virtualization, WAN implementation, core network redesigns, and the adoption of cloud services. Joe is also ITIL certified.