Jun 17

Technical Insights,Industry Insights

What is SD WAN and how can it benefit your business

SD WAN (Software Defined Wide Area Network) enables you to connect multiple service providers to multiple interfaces on an SD WAN capable firewall. The SD WAN firewall is application aware and automatically steers traffic over different service providers depending on certain conditions.

For example you might connect an MPLS network on one WAN connection and connect to the Internet on the second WAN connection. With SD WAN the traffic would then dynamically route over either connection depending on policies you define.


To understand how SD WAN works and how it benefits your business it is important to first understand how things were configured previously.

Consider hot and cold taps on an old fashioned wash hand basin. Imagine the hot tap (WAN 1 Interface) is connected to the MPLS Network and the cold tap (WAN 2 Interface) is connected to the Internet.

When the hot tap and cold taps are operated separately it is difficult to control the temperature and flow of the water as they are totally independent of each other. Similarly, prior to SD WAN it was difficult to mix, control and manage traffic (business applications) across separate independent WAN Interfaces (in this example MPLS and Internet) just like the water in an old wash hand basin.


Why is SD WAN better?

SD WAN is a bit like a modern wash hand basin with both the hot and cold taps combined in an easy to adjust mixer tap. The temperature of the water can be controlled and can even be automatically regulated to give you the perfect water temperature at all times.

With SD WAN you can have granular control over traffic across all WAN networks with advanced flexibility and agility. For example, you can define policies that always send traffic from your main business application over the MPLS network for example but automatically switch over to the Internet VPN if the MPLS network is congested or unavailable.

SD WAN transfers the burden of traffic management from physical devices to software and allows you to effectively and securely route traffic to remote locations such as branch offices. Centralised control gives full visibility across the network and enables ease of management.

In summary SD WAN provides you with complete control over how you dynamically route and prioritise traffic based on application type and other factors such as congestion and availability.


How can SD WAN benefit your business?

  • Lower bandwidth costs
  • Centralised network management
  • Full network visibility
  • Increased options for vendor selection and connection type

SD-WAN benefits businesses by removing expensive routing hardware and instead provisioning connectivity and services from the cloud. With the increased dependency on cloud-based services in the modern workplace SD WAN delivers a much more robust and reliable network.

SD WAN is a much more flexible option which allows a business to scale connectivity up and down as their business dictates and can automatically adjust and steer cloud-based traffic over different routes when congestion or service provider failure occurs. This enables a business to run a much more efficient and cost-effective enterprise reducing bandwidth costs as needed without compromising availability. Businesses are effectively avoiding over provisioning which lowers overall WAN costs.

The centralised control enables changes to be implemented and quickly pushed out to network hardware such as routers and switches.

After an initial investment SD-WAN can improve a business’s connectivity between branch locations, the main office, data centres and the cloud while reducing running costs making long term savings over time.

Novi Implement Fortinet SD WAN

Fortinet Secure SD WAN is an application aware, multipath WAN solution with the benefit of integrated next generation firewall security.

SD WAN is an integrated feature of Fortinet firewalling technology that Novi implement as standard for our customers with one or more internet connections. Multiple service providers enable us to steer traffic based on application type with automated rerouting should a single service provider fail or become degraded. For example we might steer guest wireless over a different route to critical business cloud services. SD WAN can also be implemented across a high availability cluster providing added redundancy for critical business applications.

Fortinet SD WAN
Watch Video