As a DevOps engineer, you are probably aware of the importance of network infrastructure for modern-day businesses. Enterprises are always looking for ways to improve their network performance and security, and one technology that has gained significant traction in recent years is SD-WAN.
In this article, we will review SD-WAN and provide examples of its advantages, options, and hardware. We will also provide a tutorial on how to set up SD-WAN and discuss its relevance to DevOps.
What is SD-WAN?
SD-WAN stands for Software-Defined Wide Area Network. It is a technology that simplifies the management of network infrastructure and enhances network performance by leveraging software-defined networking (SDN) principles.
In traditional WANs, network traffic is typically routed through a central hub, which can create latency and reduce performance. SD-WAN, on the other hand, allows for the distribution of traffic across multiple paths, such as broadband internet and 4G/5G connections, to improve performance and reduce costs.
SD-WAN also provides a high level of security through encryption and other security protocols. It can be used to segment network traffic, making it easier to manage and control access to sensitive data.
There are different options for SD-WAN, including cloud-managed SD-WAN, on-premises SD-WAN, and hybrid SD-WAN. Cloud-managed SD-WAN is hosted in the cloud and managed by a service provider, while on-premises SD-WAN is deployed on-site and managed by the organization’s IT team.
Hybrid SD-WAN combines both cloud and on-premises SD-WAN, providing the best of both worlds. It allows organizations to leverage the cloud to access applications and data while also maintaining control over their on-premises infrastructure.
One of the advantages of SD-WAN is that it reduces costs by leveraging less expensive broadband internet connections instead of relying on expensive leased lines. It also improves network performance by distributing traffic across multiple paths, reducing latency and improving application performance.
SD-WAN provides a high level of security through encryption and other security protocols. It also allows for the segmentation of network traffic, making it easier to manage and control access to sensitive data.
There are different SD-WAN devices available in the market, including hardware appliances, virtual appliances, and SD-WAN routers. Hardware appliances are physical devices that are deployed on-site and provide SD-WAN functionality.
Virtual appliances, on the other hand, are software-based and can be deployed on virtual machines. SD-WAN routers are specialized routers that provide SD-WAN functionality.
There are different vendors providing SD-WAN equipment. Some of the popular SD-WAN vendors include Cisco, VMWare, Citrix, Silver Peak, and Fortinet.
Tutorial: Setting up SD-WAN
Setting up SD-WAN involves several steps, including:
- Identifying the network requirements: Before setting up SD-WAN, it is important to identify the network requirements, such as bandwidth, security, and application requirements.
- Designing the network topology: Based on the network requirements, the network topology needs to be designed. This includes deciding on the number of SD-WAN devices that will be required and their placement in the network.
- Configuring the SD-WAN devices: Once the network topology is designed, the SD-WAN devices need to be configured. This involves configuring the WAN links, defining the application policies, and setting up security protocols.
- Testing the SD-WAN configuration: After the SD-WAN devices are configured, it is important to test the configuration to ensure that it meets the network requirements.
SD-WAN is a powerful technology that simplifies network infrastructure management and improves network performance. It provides a high level of security and can be used to segment network traffic, making it easier to manage and control access to sensitive data.
SD-WAN options include cloud-managed SD-WAN, on-premises SD-WAN, and hybrid SD-WAN. SD-WAN devices include hardware appliances, virtual appliances, and SD-WAN routers. There are different vendors providing SD-WAN equipment, including Cisco, VMWare, Citrix, Silver Peak, and Fortinet.
If you are a DevOps engineer, SD-WAN is a technology that you should definitely consider. It can improve network performance and security, simplify network management, and reduce costs.