Whether moving to the cloud or the NBN, use SD-WAN to boost your network redundancy

Ensuring a plentiful supply of robust inter-office bandwidth has long been a struggle for network administrators. As digital transformation initiatives position cloud platforms as a critical part of the enterprise network, however, that requirement has become even sharper – and network redundancy even more critical.

Many companies have historically overcompensated by buying duplicate services for key office and data-centre connections. This approach, however, has often proved to be costly and burdensome by leaving one of the services idle most of the time.

The same goes for cloud connections, which have become as important as inter-office services to the everyday functioning of most businesses.

Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) architectures boost flexibility by allowing network availability and performance to be monitored and adjusted on an ongoing basis.

In the normal state, data can be routed across both connections – boosting remote-site performance. But if network monitors detect an outage on one connection, the network can be instantly reconfigured to shunt traffic onto a redundant connection.

SD-WAN capabilities also enable businesses to use just one WAN connection, then source a redundant backup using either wireless services or a link from a managed service provider (MSP) – which will monitor the network against set service level agreements (SLAs) and reconfigure the network as needed to ensure continuous availability.

Many companies look to MSPs simply because they lack the internal staff to manage their network services and redundancy on their own. Others prefer a hands-off approach in which a third party is responsible for monitoring network health and responding to any incidents.

Whatever approach you prefer, the software-defined architecture provides its value by allowing the network to be abstracted away from the connectivity it provides; if there is a problem with the network, that connectivity can be preserved.

It’s a robust proposition that may prove increasingly important as the rollout of the national broadband network (NBN) proceeds apace over the next few years.

Whether by choice or because older ISDN and Frame Relay services will be discontinued, many businesses will be taking NBN services to link up their branch offices.

In so doing, they will come to rely on a network whose performance and availability have so far proved to be variable. For this reason, implementing a backup plan is a must – and SD-WAN provides a robust option for redundancy in case the primary link drops out.

After all, you can’t change a 30-site network overnight – and you shouldn’t even begin to approach such a migration without a backup plan. By leveraging SD-WAN’s flexibility to ensure service redundancy, you can drive your digital transformation forward with the confidence that your connectivity will always be available.

Learn more about SD-WAN at www.nttict.com/sd-wan

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Andoni Salvador
Author Name: Andoni Salvador

Andoni Salvador is a Network Solutions Architect at NTT Communications ICT Solutions (NTT ICT) with over 14 years’ experience in the IT industry. He thrives on working closely with customers to understand their business requirements and technology environment, then designing a robust network solution that is fit for purpose.

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Added 4 June 2018

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