Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) transformed how enterprises manage network traffic, offering a virtual overlay that improves visibility and control over the network. For enterprises with branches extending over a wide geographical area, the benefits of SD-WAN are helpful, but they are beginning to adopt software-defined branch (SD-branch) for their networking needs.
SD-Branch, Defined: The technology takes SD-WAN a step further, integrating many of the functions that make it easier to reduce the branch hardware footprint. As SD-WAN matures, enterprises have sought features such as advanced security for data moving to and from cloud applications and better analytics that offer granular insight into network data.
SD-branch uses a single platform to unite separate functions existing in a branch network, including switching, routing, Wi-Fi, WAN optimization, and firewalls. It’s also anticipated that, as these solutions roll out from developers, they will unify the management consoles, increasing processing power and providing some customization in the product offerings.
Experts anticipate that the impact from SD-branch could introduce even more disruption than what has been seen with SD-WAN. It’s a good idea for enterprises to evaluate their current SD-WAN solutions and assess what they would like to see in a more advanced SD-branch network.
SD-Branch Benefits: While SD-WAN goes a long way toward improving network management, enterprises can expect even more extensive benefits through SD-branch. It will further improve efficiency for bandwidth use, as well as offer integrated security features and improve the quality of service for applications.
One of the most important benefits that enterprises will see is the centralized management that allows for more effective troubleshooting and completing upgrades for branch locations.
Who Should Consider SD-Branch? Most enterprises won’t be tapping into this technology right away, because they will be reluctant to eliminate major segments of branch hardware. The migration is more likely to occur gradually, as SD-WAN providers slowly begin to add the integrated features to their solutions.
Enterprises with greenfield network projects approaching, or those that are planning a network refresh, may be candidates for implementing SD-branch, but, for most enterprises, there won’t be a motivation to launch SD-branch in the near future. Some enterprises may consider it as an option when setting up a new branch location or upgrading smaller branch networking solutions.
Is SD-branch a good solution for your networking challenges? If you’re considering a network upgrade, contact us at Truth Comm to discuss initiating an assessment of your networking needs. We can help you determine whether integrating the benefits of SD-branch into your enterprise will help you achieve your technology objectives.