Why SD-WAN is a better solution than a VPN

What Is SD-WAN?

SD-WAN is a software-defined approach to managing the WAN.

Key advantages include:

  • Reducing costs with transport independence across MPLS, 4G/5G LTE, and other connection types.
  • Improving application performance and increasing agility.
  • Optimizing user experience and efficiency for software-as-a-service (SaaS) and public-cloud applications.
  • Simplifying operations with automation and cloud-based management.

The next generation of business networks is software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN). They enable businesses to connect multiple geographical locations, including local and international offices, data centres and branches, through a single network. It is now more essential than ever for businesses to build networks that support remote workforces.

When connecting employees to a company network, speed and cyber security are two crucial elements to consider. Virtual private networks (VPNs) have been available for over two decades as a solution for security and performance issues. They are used by IT teams to provide high-speed, secure connections between two network endpoints or devices.

SD-WAN has recently emerged as the preferred method of managing corporate IT networks. It works similarly to a VPN in that it can securely connect remote devices and servers by using a software overlay to automate and direct traffic flow. SD-WAN outperforms a VPN in terms of simplicity of setup, connection quality and security benefits, as well as being a more flexible, affordable and scalable solution.

Set up of SD-WAN vs VPN

SD-WAN does not require any specialised coding or changes to hardware or infrastructure because it is a software-driven solution. Software WAN is configured via a remote virtual console, making it simple to update and expand the network infrastructure as the digital architecture of a company evolves.

SD-WAN requires planning, but it is considerably faster and easier to manage than VPN-based networking once in place. This leads to cost savings: SD-WAN is an affordable alternative to a VPN due to its ease of maintenance, flexibility and scalability.

VPN implementation frequently necessitates the use of specialised resources and equipment. VPNs are typically reliant on purpose-built technology, which are fundamentally inflexible. SD-WAN provides large companies with flexible ICT solutions that can adapt to their changing digital needs.

VPNs must be set up and maintained manually, making their setup and management far more difficult and time-consuming than an SD-WAN. With a VPN, each device must be configured manually, which adds additional labour costs to the VPN’s cost.

Connection quality of SD-WAN vs VPN

SD-WANs are a dual-layer network that consists of an underlay and an overlay. The primary link is provided via the underlay. On both public and private internet connections, the underlay network can connect to existing or private WANs. The company’s broadband, multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), dedicated internet access (DIA), and point-to-point connections can all be connected to SD-WAN’s underlay network.

The software-defined overlay network detects connection issues and intelligently routes traffic across the best possible path, whether on public or private lines within the network. Routing is automated to prioritise certain business operations, such as giving voice and video calls priority over internet browsing or file uploading – something that is particularly beneficial for a call centre that relies on a telephony system for customer service.

SD-WAN ensures a better connection quality and faster network speeds by employing smart routing. VPNs, unlike SD-WAN, are not controlled from a central console. Individual connections must be monitored and getting a bird’s eye view of what is happening on the network is difficult. VPNs do not have the flexibility to automatically route traffic along the next best possible path when network issues arise, and it may take technicians a long time to find and resolve issues.

When it comes to cyber security, SD-WAN outperforms a VPN

The global cost of data breaches was about $4-billion in 2019, and this figure is only expected to rise, demonstrating why cyber security is so critical for businesses. Data is heavily encrypted when using a VPN, making it a highly secure and stable connection. For application-specific traffic, some VPNs also feature Layer 7 firewall security. However, not all VPNs provide the same level of protection.

Many employees used consumer VPNs to access corporate networks as a result of the sudden trend toward remote working. Consumer VPNs are not very secure and malware-infected home computers have posed a serious threat to company cyber security in recent years.

When compared to a VPN, SD-WAN provides superior and streamlined security. Instead of manually securing individual connections, SD-WAN encrypts the entire network from end to end. It works in tandem with next-generation firewalls and URL filtering.

Machine learning and behaviour analysis are used as a cloud-based smart security solution to defend against zero-day attacks, or new forms of attacks perpetrated by cybercriminals. SD-WAN provides the security features of a private MPLS connection by authenticating all endpoints and devices.

SD-WAN is far superior to VPN in all aspects

When compared to a VPN, SD-WAN’s intelligent data routing and centralised management make it a far better solution. SEACOM Business customers can benefit from enhanced network reliability and connection speeds whether they use a self-managed or managed service.

SD-WAN can be tailored to meet specific company needs. Confidential data, for example, can be routed through the MLPS, while other data can be routed over public internet connections.

SD-WAN can enable ultra-high-speed data transfers between data centres for media companies. It allows large companies with multiple branches and offices to save money by eliminating the need to send technicians to each location to configure networks and devices.

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