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SD-WAN
to your network
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SD-WAN

SD-WAN (Software-Defined WAN) has become the natural progression for WAN architecture. Timico, gold partners with both Fortinet and Cisco Meraki, delivers SD-WAN solutions that simplify management, increase network efficiency and centralise security. The results of this include increased employee productivity, less unplanned downtime and uninterrupted service of business-critical applications.  

Traditional WAN technologies and architecture were instrumental in connecting remote and branch offices to a central location. However, traditional WANs were costly to build, manage and maintain. They provided very little in the way of flexibility, visibility, and uniform security. 

Today, the requirements for complex application servers, storage platforms and replication tools to be hosted locally are diminishing due to the rise in cloud services, such as SaaS, IaaS and UCaaS. The larger slice of modern network traffic leans toward the internet as opposed to internal data centres. However, many organisations that have begun a digital transformation and have moved onto these cloud services have also retained the legacy WAN architecture. In short, they aren’t making the most of the flexibility, security, and visibility that SD-WAN provides. 

Timico’s Chief Technology Officer, Martin Riley, summarises SD-WAN in the following statement:

“SD-WAN is an overlay to an existing network that provides complete control and visibility regardless of where the traffic originates. Simplified and centralised management tools offer network-wide control with greater access to historical and real-time data. This data can be used to drive business decisions and improve efficiency. 

SD-WAN Control

Fortinet and Cisco Meraki Software Defined WAN solutions provide a single global view of a network. The single dashboard that both solutions offer are powerful tools that boast the following benefits:

SD-WAN

Intelligent routing

Route business critical applications, such as SaaS or UC&C products, via a separate link traffic destined for the WAN, allowing remote and branch workers local internet breakout. An SD-WAN empowers the network administrator to prioritise traffic at the application level. As a result, business critical applications run smooth and those all-important voice and video calls are jitter-free.

Rate Limiting

Real-time threat detection

Allows network administrators to respond to real-time threats, identify sources of risk and act accordingly. The ability to trace threats to a single switch port or VLAN and close it down with the click of a mouse.

Project and program management-b

Global policy updates

Global security updates and policies can be pushed to all edge devices to ensure security policies are standardised across the estate; a move thatusing traditional WAN technologies, would have required planning, downtime, and risk.  

Security

Advanced security

Next-generation firewalls, URL filtering, IPS and numerous other tools are integrated into the SD-WAN design and configuration. 

Intelligent path control

Real-time statistics

Shows real-time and historical bandwidth utilisation which can be broken down by application and even to single website visits.

Visibility

Analytics

Dashboard flexibility

The dashboard can be navigated via various views. A high-level organisation view offers a holistic view of licensing, users, VPN access, Wi-Fi security and of course the in-built security functions such as IPS, filtering, and malware protection. 

Office 365

Device health reporting

The dashboard clearly indicates and reports on device health with handy traffic light signals, making fault identification immediate.

Application control

Built-in redundancy

SD-WAN security appliances have a WAN redundancy feature built-in, which of course is represented in both visually and through real-time data. The feature is dependent on multiple WAN links, but once enabled, failover takes place in a matter of seconds. This makes identifying uplink health status fast, enabling administrators to improve reaction times, keeping those business-critical applications routed through active links.

4th Line technical support

VoIP status monitoring

At a glance, administrators can track the health status of VoIP uplinks to monitor call quality.

Flexibility

Project management

Remote deployment

Deploy remote sites with auto-provisioned IPsec VPN tunnels. IPsec VPNs are configured and applied to devices through the dashboard device registration. This means that as soon as the device is connected to the Internet, the VPN will connect with no additional configuration, even if the link is a 4G in the middle of a field or in a location with limited infrastructure, which is superb news for the construction industry, retail, and more.

Cost saving

Lower costs

Insights are invaluable in demonstrating business cost-saving opportunities as well as risk. Analyse bandwidth and application usages to optimise the network for optimised performance. Plus, the opex licensing model provides greater control over forecasting and budgeting.

Managed LAN

Fully managed & hybrid

Reduce overhead costs by moving to a fully managed or hybrid support service. Access to the SD-WAN can be limited and controlled, meaning you can enable network support for a fraction of the cost. Timico offers both fully managed and hybrid support solutions. We’ll take care of the heavy lifting, leaving you to concentrate on your business. 

DNS Layer Defence

SD-WAN over traditional WAN

Traditional WANs allowed remote offices to connect to a central hub or data centre services. But, with the rise in SaaS, IaaS and cloud storage, more and more network traffic is Internet-based. The SD-WAN model is a natural progression that improves network efficiencies, allows greater control, and takes the complexities out of the traditional WAN network management, all of which results in greater efficiencies and lower operating costs.  

So, with business-critical applications running faster, employees become more efficient, customers have a greater quality of experience, and the organisation finds itself able to flex and bend to today’s infrastructure challenges with ease. 

What does this mean for businesses?

The improved functionality of SD-WAN over traditional WAN architecture has huge benefits. But SD-WAN offers so much more than functionality. SD-WAN provides accurate data that enables decision makers to steer the organisation towards greater efficiency, which in turn, reduces over-heads, increases productivity, and allows the business to flex to new challenges.

CONNECTIVITY

Like it or not, we live in a data-driven world. The way in which our data is used is a topic we see in the news every day. However, the data that an SD-WAN provides can improve efficiencies far beyond that of a traditional WAN model.

Seamless failover of network connections reduces unplanned downtime. With both Cisco Meraki and Fortinet, failover happens in seconds, as opposed to the minutes or hours involved with traditional WAN designs.

PRODUCTIVITY

Identifying the usage and bandwidth requirements of SaaS applications is key to ensuring employees have a stable platform to operate from. SD-WAN provides the ability to prioritise software individually or as a class. This then enables a Class of Service to associate with a software or software group. An SD-WAN does not increase the connectivity bandwidth or speed, but, when configured with efficiency in mind, it can maximise the potential of the existing bandwidth by shaping the traffic to suit the business needs. The results for businesses can include jitter-free voice and video calls, prioritised business-critical applications, and again, more efficient employees.  

With enhanced access control, SD-WAN vendors such as Cisco Meraki and Fortinet allow access control for different user levels. This means that managed service providers, such as Timico, can monitor threats, identify risks and report only what is necessary. 

SECURITY

Greater control allows a business to flex to its individual needs. For example, a manufacturing organisation may have different prioritisation requirements depending on the location. A factory might require prioritised logistics applications whereas the head office might prioritise voice and video applications. Whichever model the business chooses, the point is that SD-WAN provides flexibility while maintaining superior control.  

An SD-WAN pushes the firewall into the remote branch or office, extending the once-centralised security features to all users and offices. 

SD-WAN summary

If you’re looking to improve staff efficiencies, demonstrate cost-savings, or replace WAN hardware, then SD-WAN should be a consideration. The functionality enables effective decision-making. As a result, businesses enjoy improved connectivity efficiencies, increases productivity within teams, and adds a new layer of security to your network.

Why Timico?

We are proud of our partnerships with industry-leading vendors. Timico demonstrates capability, knowledge, and experience every single day to over 4,000 customers. Our partnerships enable preferential pricing and support, which we can then extend to our customers adding even more value.  In conclusion, Timico have the experience, competency and resource to bring SD-WAN to your network.

Click the button below to download our 'What is SD-WAN' whitepaper, to learn how implementing an SD-WAN solution can benefit your business.

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