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Whether your organization is about to implement a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) solution or is still considering one, understanding everything about this networking innovation is required. In short, knowledge makes the adoption process smoother. No worries, installing SD-WAN over an existing network architecture is seamless.

Improved performance, simpler network management, cost savings, and the other advantages of SD-WAN are right around the corner. In the meantime, here are a few answers to some common questions on adopting SD-WAN that you may have. Use this information to get prepared for your new modern network.

Do We Need to Keep Our Existing MPLS Circuits?

Simply put, the choice is up to you. An SD-WAN solution easily installs on top of an existing network infrastructure. If desired, you can maintain those old reliable Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) circuits.

Using a hybrid architecture lets you enjoy the advantages of SD-WAN without throwing away your investments in MPLS transports. The company gains the scalability needed for future growth and the seamless implementation of the new network happens without disruption to existing traffic. In the future, if replacing the MPLS portion of your network makes sense, SD-WAN is able to handle things with nary a hiccup.

How do we Categorize Our Application Traffic?

Again, the categorization of traffic depends on what makes sense for your company’s network architecture. Either way, expect a boost in application performance when using an SD-WAN solution.

Do you still use and maintain legacy applications across an older distributed network? Are you taking advantage of modern, cloud-based applications delivered by a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider? Perhaps your organization prefers a hybrid of both approaches?

The bottom line is simple. SD-WAN offers a flexible networking design that gives your company the ability to craft a network architecture that meets the current and future traffic needs of your organization.

Do we Still Need to Trombone to a Data Center?

Some organizations with a distributed network suffer from the “trombone” effect, where all Internet traffic from each branch gets routed through a data center. Needless to say, performance tends to suffer more during peak usage times. This bottleneck simply hampers a business’s efficiency and productivity.

Thankfully, VMware SD-WAN™ by VeloCloud® features the network components able to mitigate any trombone effect. The VMware SD-WAN Gateway component serves to onboard traffic from external sources, including the internet. Installing one at each branch site boosts performance without the performance hit caused by “tromboning.”

Speaking of data centers, the VMware SD-WAN Orchestrator component provides monitoring and management services for the entire network. They typically are installed in a data center, but the same functionality is provided by a cloud-based application. So, closing your data center is possible if it makes sense for your organization.

Does SD-WAN Provide a Secure Internet Connection?

In an era dominated by hacking incidents and other nefarious Internet activity, cybersecurity remains important. Needless to say, network architects and engineers worry how SD-WAN handles information security. Once again, the flexibility of this modern networking innovation comes into play.

Depending on your company’s needs, you are able to use a firewall embedded within the SD-WAN device or even a cloud access security broker (CASB). For those who don’t fear the trombone effect, another option involves backhauling all Internet traffic into a firewall hosted within the data center.

Rest assured, VMware supports the latest encryption and security protocols. It provides the peace of mind your network investment stays protected from any online criminal element.

Does SD-WAN Play Nicely with the Cloud?

Organizations of all sizes take advantage of the cloud for everything from enhanced productivity to cost savings. Does adopting an SD-WAN solution mean your company needs to forego its cloud investment? The simple answer is no.

We already talked about how the VMware SD-WAN Gateway component is used to onboard traffic from the Internet. This includes cloud-based SaaS applications, like Office 365, delivered by the industry’s top providers, including Azure and AWS. Additionally, expect better performance compared to regular Internet traffic.

What About Post-Sales Support?

Rest assured, VMware stands behind its SD-WAN products, and won’t abandon your company after the sale. Our post-sales support includes technical training, self-paced online classes, and a library of best practices covering network design and deployment. We even host in-person classes providing a useful hands-on lab covering our SD-WAN components.

If your organization provides telecom services to clients, we can help you bootstrap your initial small to medium business (SMB) sales efforts. Our sales engineers boast extensive experience selling VMware services across the globe, so take advantage of our knowledge and insights.

Want to Learn More?

If you’d like to get more answers to some common SD-WAN questions, check out our upcoming webinar on the topic.