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How SD-WAN can enhance application performance

By Richard Arneson

Remember the days when a new software application meant downloads, licenses, and minimum RAM and processing power requirements? Or when applications resided in a corporate data center and were accessed over expensive, leased lines from service providers, only then to be handed off to the Internet? Expensive, inefficient, and prone to latency―not a good networking triad. And direct Internet access can be fraught with issues, as well, leaving end users with unpredictable, inconsistent application performance and a spate of trouble tickets left in their wake.
Hello SD-WAN―a friend to the application. While content is king in the marketing world, applications enjoy a similar, regal role in the business world. It’s estimated that each worker uses between 5.5 and 8 different computer-based applications each day, and another 7 to 10 of the mobile variety. An inability to access any one of them can quickly derail your, and your company’s, day. Here are the many ways SD-WAN can enhance your organization’s mission critical applications:

Sidestep the bottlenecks

SD-WAN is similar to traffic reports on drivetime radio, only better―much better. Imagine that your car hears the traffic report, then automatically steers you around the construction without you even having any knowledge that any traffic snarls existed. SD-WAN is similar and continually searches for bottlenecks in the network (packet drop, jitter and latency), after which the best, least congested route is selected.

Prioritize traffic by application

In SD-WAN, policies can be set up so certain applications traverse select network paths with less latency and greater bandwidth. And, conversely, lower priority traffic, such as backups or Internet browsing, can be delivered via less expensive and/or less reliable connections.

Fast access

With SD-WAN, new sites can be turned up in a matter of minutes, enabling users quick access to applications. When an SD-WAN edge appliance is plugged in, it automatically connects, authenticates and receives configuration information.

Centralized policy management

Priorities can be centrally managed for each application based on any number of policies, such as QoS, reliability, security and visibility. Also, this prioritization can be designated by users, dates, times or office locations.

SLA adherence

With SD-WAN, companies can set up policies per application, including respective SLA criteria (packet loss, jitter, latency), so particular applications are only directed over the connections that meet the SLA requirements. And if that connection goes down, the traffic can be re-routed to meet SLAs, even if it means being routed over a broadband or MPLS link.

It’s Transport―and carrier―agnostic

Because SD-WAN is a virtual WAN, it can be utilized by the transport protocol of your choosing, such as MPLS, 4G, Wi-Fi, et al. And there’s no longer a need to lease lines from only one (1) service provider, which provides customers far greater flexibility, including the ability to monitor circuits regardless of the service provider.

Before you go all in on SD-WAN…

…engage the GDT SD-WAN expert solutions architects and engineers at They’re experienced at providing SD-WAN solutions for companies of all sizes.