Why Every Business Needs Virtualization and What are the Challenges Migrating to SD-WAN?

The transition from traditional networking to an SD-WAN can be quite a complicated process for enterprises, as there are several factors to be considered.

Ricky Philip

February 25, 2020

6 Min Read
Why Every Business Needs Virtualization and What are the Challenges Migrating to SD-WAN?
(Source: Pixabay)

How would you like to connect users to applications from any time to anywhere from any device and to wherever those applications reside?

If you wish to improve application performance across many different networks, sites, and connectivity types, then SD-WAN is the solution to all your problems!

Every thriving business relies on the network to manage high bandwidth applications and support increased data consumption. That’s why every business must stay competitive by focusing on virtualizing their network and maintaining a secure and scalable connection.

Instead of routing traffic just based on addresses, an SD-WAN is application-aware, it uses software to steer traffic more intelligently and efficiently across the wide-area network based on the business requirement of an application.

So, what is virtualization, and why your business needs it?

The virtualization technology has been leveraged greatly among corporations and businesses all around the globe. They opt to strengthen their digital infrastructure to get a return on expense by decreasing hardware costs. Virtualization helps enterprises overcome IT costs connected with complicated computing environments such as hardware energy consumption and maintenance costs.

Virtualization centralizes the entire management and assists you in the ideal utilization of the resources accessible. Below are a few reasons why you should virtualize your business.

Reduce Infrastructure Costs

Several organizations may find the management of IT as quite expensive, in both time and resources. Virtualization helps in reducing expenses lowering infrastructure costs as well as minimizing hardware maintenance. Therefore, by eliminating the use of switches and routers, and by implementing SD-WAN technology, businesses can reduce expenses.

Increase Employee and Business Efficiency

Your employees will not have to set up a unique and new server for every distinct application. With virtualization, you will be capable of hosting and operating applications sooner. Maintaining a virtual infrastructure empowers IT experts to instantly connect and control resources to meet the ever-changing business needs, providing them a more flexible working environment.

Increase In Security

Virtualizing the network provides more security to the data, no matter where it resides on the network. It increases the enterprise's ability to implement faster security patches in case of a data breach, therefore enhancing the companies ability to increase security.

What Is SD-WAN and Why Your Business Needs It?

With all the hype on virtualization and businesses trying everything to stay ahead of the competition, where are we now? In recent years, SD-WAN or Software-Defined Wireless Area Networking has emerged as the subsequent trending innovation in the networking industry. Inspired by global trends towards the adoption of the cloud-first strategy and explosion of smart internet of things (IoT) devices in enterprise networks, there has been a growing demand for reliable and faster WAN connections.

Virtualizing the network with SD-WAN comes with advantages; networks can be shaped dynamically, they can be fine-tuned for specific applications, and security policies can be installed on each individual system.

Therefore, if you wish to accelerate your enterprise connectivity and adapt to the rapidly changing business & application environment, then SD-WAN is the right choice for your business!

Challenges In Migrating Your Existing Infrastructure To SD-WAN

Enterprises all around are witnessing a substantial increase in their WAN traffic with the growing dependence on software to stimulate critical business functions. Key computing trends, such as the advent of cloud services, SaaS, Big data, and IoT, among others, are driving the need for network resources with high performance and low latency.

Several medium to large enterprises use an IP/MPLS based WAN implementation, which includes expensive infrastructure, complex networks, and difficult to manage networks. The solution?


SD-WAN decouples the network control and forwarding functions. It is a technology that optimizes the enterprise WAN connection for efficient usage of MPLS links and other connectivity options like LTE or direct internet for better network experience.

So, given all the hype about Software-Defined Wireless Area Networking, what are the challenges in migrating your existing infrastructure to SD-WAN and how to overcome them?

Managing Your Current MPLS

For businesses that already have existing MPLS, comprehending what to do with that while you change to SD-WAN can be challenging. Some enterprises would still require to invest in SD-WAN while maintaining their MPLS for specific functions.

While examining the SD-WAN vs. MPLS proposal, it is essential to contemplate one of MPLS's crucial features, which is the reliable delivery of packets. MPLS usually allows an excellent quality of service to avoid packet loss and keeps the business traffic flowing. If your business wishes to slash MPLS expenses, improve performance within global locations and to cloud applications, reduce branch hardware devices, and reliable internet access, then SD-WAN would be the right choice for you.

Choosing The Right SD-WAN Framework

An enterprise's IT expert team, most of the time, misunderstands the value proposition of SD-WAN, because the softwarization requirement may not be similar for different companies. With an SD-WAN connection, enterprises will have to pay attention to significant network performance factors, like bandwidth, latency, and support security threats.

While choosing an SD-WAN framework, there are numerous designs that have to be properly contemplated. Frameworks comprise dual providers to maximize uptime, but the providers aren't distinct from each other, which results in similar points within the network infrastructure.

IT teams in an enterprise can attain cost savings with SD-WAN, by paying attention to the framework, rather than depending on the vendor marketing about network uptime. This will benefit the IT teams to avoid interruptions that can eventually elevate business costs.

Transitioning One Step At A Time

The transition from traditional networking to an SD-WAN can be quite a complicated process for enterprises, as there are several factors to be considered. Therefore, most IT experts prefer a phased migration, with the newly implemented SD-WAN operating side by side with the traditional WAN to allow a swift cutover changeover when required.

Consequently, transitioning one network at a time with your SD-WAN provider will cause only the slightest business disruption possible.

Also, make sure your security and network policies are configured and equipped to go with each step transitions.

Migrating from a legacy network to an SD-WAN may seem mind-boggling, especially when you've been following traditional networking for years. Therefore, if you prepare carefully, find a relevant SD-WAN vendor, and evaluate your strategy, you can enjoy a seamless and non-disruptive SD-WAN migration.

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About the Author(s)

Ricky Philip

Ricky Philip is an industry expert and professional writer with a focus on understanding the implications of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, SDN/NFV, telecommunications, and the Internet of Things. He is also a contributor to several prominent online publishing platforms such as Medium.com and HubSpot.

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