Software-defined networking or SDN is gaining momentum as a connectivity solution across the enterprise landscape. However, the SDN vendor market has quickly become crowded in response to the increase in enterprise adoption. New providers and disruptive new SDN products and services continue to emerge, leaving IT leaders with an overwhelming array of choices. It’s important to first have a firm grasp of what SDN is, what it can do for your company, and how to approach vendor selection.

Defining SDN

SDN is an overarching term that encompasses several technologies working together to make a network more agile and flexible. A software defined network architecture separates the control plane from the data plane, allowing for more simplified network management and for quicker adaptability to ever-changing business requirements.

SDN deploys applications used to manage data and security. Enter SD-WAN.  Many businesses with multiple locations and/or fast growth trajectories are seizing upon SD-WAN as an affordable, flexible and efficient transport method for connecting sites and spinning up new locations.

Advantages of SD-WAN

One key advantage of SD-WAN is that it provides a centralized view of the entire network. SD-WAN expedites service delivery time and gives a network more agility.

Another benefit is security. The SD-WAN controller provides the user with a central control point for managing security and policy information. If implemented properly, the administrator can deploy SDN applications to manage security across the entire organization.

Finally, SD-WAN can potentially lower operating costs.  SD-WAN allows you to comparison shop for internet providers, in stark contrast to MPLS where you are locked-in with one provider who procures and manages your entire network for you. For more information about what’s involved in sourcing DIA for SD-WAN, read our white paper.

For a full breakdown of how an SD-WAN implementation would affect your business, listen to our podcast with special guest Raj Lincoln, Director of Business Development at LNK Group. Raj highlights the good, the bad, and the unknowns surrounding SDN and SD-WAN as well as how to design a solution that suits your needs.

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