Software-defined vast area networks (SD-WAN) and 5G wireless technology are converging to create the next generation of networking.
These two solutions work together to provide modern businesses with the benefits of an intelligent network that can deliver more control, security, and performance than traditional WAN architectures. It also reduces costs and simplifies management.
SD-WAN and 5G are the perfect matches for next-generation networking, offering WAN simplification, lower costs, bandwidth efficiency, and a seamless on-ramp to the cloud without sacrificing security or data privacy. This combination helps improve network performance, increase productivity, and reduce business risk for a competitive edge in the digital economy.
A key aspect of SD-WAN, like any SD-WAN edge-platform, is its ability to direct traffic based on operational priorities, such as high-priority applications or specific locations. This allows admins to apply more rigorous security policies to apps requiring it and prevent malware infections from entering the network.
Another essential part of securing cloud applications is applying granular traffic inspection beyond the shared source and destination lookups to include the application context, making it more difficult for attackers to hijack mission-critical traffic. This is possible using a centralized security gateway and micro-segmentation within an SD-WAN architecture.
Businesses need an advanced security architecture to protect network and data assets against threats from internet access, SaaS, and IoT. Man-in-the-middle attacks and firmware vulnerabilities have increased significantly, resulting in the need for a scalable, unified approach to security.
In a world where cloud computing, SaaS applications, and mobile devices have reshaped the way we work, SD-WAN is a technology that can handle the demands of modern networks. The technology allows organizations to optimize WAN connections and reduce costs by consolidating multiple WAN links into one logical network that supports applications running in data centers, branch offices, or the cloud.
In addition, SD-WAN can provide a more resilient and reliable connection between endpoints and the enterprise data center by using multiple paths and load balancing to ensure that application performance runs smoothly due to a single link being overloaded or oversubscribed. Moreover, it can prioritize traffic by device or application to improve quality of service and lower costs.
5G, on the other hand, offers another type of WAN connectivity that can complement or replace MPLS, DSL, broadband, Integrated Services Digital Networks, and cable connections. Compared to these older forms of connectivity, 5G offers a more flexible and low-cost option to increase bandwidth and support a range of use cases.
The SD-WAN and 5G combination enable a new level of control, security, and visibility. For instance, hospital administrators can sync service-level agreements (SLAs) across traditional WANs and 5G to deliver reliable service across life-saving equipment and critical apps. This helps hospital IT teams meet patients’ needs even during peak traffic.
Regarding network technology, it’s critical to have a flexible solution that adapts quickly to changing needs and circumstances. This is why SD-WAN is the perfect match for next-generation networking.
Unlike traditional WANs, which are based on legacy routers, SD-WAN is a software-based platform that allows IT teams to manage the performance of WAN connections easily. It also offers better security and scalability.
5G, on the other hand, is a mobile communications protocol that provides low latency and high speed. This enables businesses to connect users and devices throughout their offices, stores, and other locations faster.
In turn, this leads to improved user experience and efficiency in the workplace. This is a massive benefit to any business.
To take full advantage of the flexibility offered by 5G, companies need to deploy a cloud-based management system that can steer traffic between different network providers and offers profound insights into the health of cellular links. This dynamic approach can divert traffic when a connection is experiencing issues to prevent downtime and ensure an optimal user experience.
This can be done by implementing an NFV-led universal customer premises equipment (uCPE) platform. This will help reduce the hardware footprint from the branch while enabling a more efficient, user-experience-driven self-service portal for workload placement across edge and cloud locations. The result is a more automated and agile process that can increase service availability and speed up deployments for business customers.
The automation features of SD-WAN will enable organizations to automate various tasks in their networks. These include anomaly detection, event correlation, and root cause analysis, all of which can help IT teams to streamline and simplify operations.
In addition, SD-WAN can intelligently reroute traffic based on its criticality. For example, if an application needs ultra-low latency, SD-WAN can direct it to a 5G channel. Then, if the 5G channel fails, the application can be moved to a backup link that is still available.
To support these applications, enterprises need a robust and scalable network solution that seamlessly transitions to a whole 5G infrastructure with minimal downtime. This will require optimizing the traffic routes and managing 5G cells.
For example, imagine a manufacturing factory that would need to optimally separate and direct the flow of time-sensitive machinery over a fixed wireless connection while allowing general office (web browsing) traffic on landline broadband. This is possible with SD-WAN technology and a carrier-neutral 5G network.
Likewise, hospitals can use an SD-WAN architecture to guarantee reliable service to life-saving equipment and secure access to clinical apps while deploying IoT sensors throughout the campus. Even during peak traffic, the 5G SD-WAN can deliver reliable service that meets hospital administrators’ service-level goals. This will allow them to increase operational efficiency, improve business processes and optimize network performance.