SD-Branch augments SD-WAN, and when used in parallel, network operators have more visibility, flexibility, and control over their networks. Building a network using both SD-Branch and SD-WAN solutions can lead to the following benefits:
Simplified Network Management
Virtualizing key functions, centralizing management, increasing versatility, and providing visibility into the network are all overlapping benefits of both SD-WAN and SD-Branch solutions. SD-WAN solutions reduce the complexity of traditional WAN management with virtualization that allows for less proprietary hardware, automation of routine tasks, and centralizing network management. SD-Branch solutions, on the other hand, simplify the complexity of a traditional branch network by making it easier to view and manage branch network activity.
Using these in-tandem can provide a much needed single-pane-of-glass view of the entire network – the whole SD-WAN and individual branches. Plus, this makes it easier for administrators to ensure that the network is performant and can help with root-cause identification. Since the SD-Branch solutions make it possible to apply policies and view network activity at a granular level, such as applications and devices, administrators can dynamically alter network access.
Network Performance Optimization
With SD-WAN, software is able to intelligently route traffic based on the quality of the network connections, meaning that the traffic path will avoid areas with performance degradation and be optimized while traveling between enterprise locations and the cloud.
SD-Branches makes it easier to understand what is happening within the network by adding intelligence and context to activity within a branch’s LAN. This allows automation for policies and network usage
Security is based on IPsec tunnels that connect branches to the headquarters or enterprise clouds and each of their respective firewalls. Branch data tends to be more vulnerable since usually there’s limited on-site cybersecurity, and as IoT devices have entered the stage, this complexity and vulnerability seems to increase.
With SD-Branch, next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) are added to the branch gateway, which serves as a control point that intelligently filters data that flows throughout the network and determines what connection type data travels through when leaving the branch. Plus, most SD-Branch vendors have network access control software as an additional degree of control and protection over network access.