What is SD-WAN?: Everything to Know About Virgin Media’s Solution

As a business owner, it’s possible that you’re always on the hunt for ways to make your business more streamlined and more efficient. And while there are plenty of ways to do that, some of the backend solutions are overlooked. That’s typically the case with solutions like SD-WAN. 

In this article, we’ll look at what SD-WAN is and why a business should consider an SD-WAN solution. Plus, we’re giving you an insight into Virgin Media’s SD-WAN offering and how it stands out from other providers. 

What is SD-WAN?

SD-WAN is often left to the IT professionals. However, by not taking a direct approach to finding the right SD-WAN provider for your business, you may be doing your business a disservice. 

That’s because SD-WAN is a significant part of your overall business structure and it comes with plenty of benefits, such as boosting efficiency and all-around productivity for your employees. 

SD-WAN stands for software-defined wide area network. And that’s jargon-filled language to say it’s a framework that uses a centralised hub to connect employees to the data and applications they need, no matter where they are. 

How Does SD-WAN Work?

While it’s important to know about SD-WAN, it’s also important to understand that it’s a relatively complex system. 

Still, you may want to know how it works before investing in a SD-WAN service, like Virgin’s SD-WAN.  Knowing how SD-WAN works is part of understanding “what is SD-WAN.” 

SD-WAN uses a centralised hub to direct online traffic to applications and software. Unlike a traditional wide area network, SD-WAN prioritises intelligence. This means your bandwidth isn’t clogged with too much web traffic trying to go through one route. By doing so, your employees are more productive throughout the day, rather than waiting on an application to load properly.

How Do Older Wide Area Networks Work?

Traditional router models are complex systems that are now inefficient. That’s because they’re not designed for the cloud, yet more and more of the world is relying on technology that does operate with the cloud. 

These older models worked to connect users at a single branch (say, your business) to apps or software in a data centre. But because they work specifically from branch to data centre, they’re too rigid, and they tie employees directly to one singular location.

What Do Businesses Need Now?

As businesses shift toward adopting cloud applications and software, they need connectivity that allows them to use those efficiently. 

That’s where older wide area networks fell short. Those older models were geared for a different era of technology. As we’ve advanced, our connections needs have advanced, too. 

Not only were older models of wide area networks causing poor application performance for users, but it was also causing data vulnerability. Connections and data were no longer as secure as they had been before. 

How Does SD-WAN Fit Today’s World Better?

SD-WAN is a “cloud-first” technology. And that means that SD-WAN users benefit from more bandwidth, which helps business employees connect to and use their tools and software more efficiently. 

Plus, SD-WAN and the newer connectivity options can reduce operational costs for business owners. All around, its is a win for business owners everywhere! 

What Does SD-WAN Mean for Cloud and Network Security?

With the rise of cloud software came the need (and desire!) for employees to access that software from anywhere. 

The problem, though, was that traditional wide area networks weren't built for accessing cloud based systems. And one area that those traditional networks fell flat on was security. Data breaches ran rampant because these hardwired connections weren’t ready to take on connections to the cloud. 

But the wonderful thing about SD-WAN technology is that it’s built for network security when users access the cloud. Plus, managed SD-WAN services offer encryption built into the software, so your business is extra secure. 

What is Virgin Media’s SD-WAN Solution?

The Virgin SD-WAN enables enterprises to increase their bandwidth and cloud experience, improve flexibility, and decrease the cost of their legacy WAN - all with an application-driven and software-defined overlay solution. 

Our managed solution can:

  • Secure your data
  • Optimise and evolve your technology
  • Simplify your current infrastructure to accelerate digital transformation, making the most of past investments
  • Help your business move fast without losing controlImprove your customer experience
  • Empowes productivityInspire employee engagement

What Are the Benefits of Virgin Media’s SD-WAN?

The benefits of SD-WAN from Virgin Media showcase how it stands out from other providers. Here’s how Virgin Media’s SD-WAN can give your business a competitive advantage.

1. Cloud and Network Security

One of the greatest reasons to make the switch to SD-WAN solutions is because of the WAN security that comes with it. 

Through SD-WAN, you’re not opening the door to data breaches every time an employee tries to connect to cloud based software. Instead, our managed SD-WAN deployments create private networks through encryption. So, you know your important information stays secure. 

                               2. Network Agility

Traditional methods of networks only utilised one route to connect your employees to software. But when too many people try to get on at one time, the route gets clogged up. Think of it like a traffic jam. 

With Virgin’s SD-WAN solution, we prioritise network agility. So, our SD-WAN architecture opens up all lanes before there’s a traffic jam in the first place. This keeps your employees and your business running smoothly, rather than getting bottle-necked and shutting down productivity each day. 

                               3. Employee Flexibility

Your employees and your business shouldn’t have to be centred around your network connection. It should be the other way around.

Through Virgin Media’s SD-WAN solution, that’s the case. 

Our SD-WAN architecture allows for more freedom and flexibility so your employees can work efficiently wherever they are.

                               4. Cloud-First

More and more software is prioritising cloud usage. And that’s especially the case as our world moves toward work-from-home and hybrid working models. SD-WAN architecture is built with the cloud in mind.

So, your business can successfully access cloud based applications, including things like cloud based VoIP phone systems or CRM integrations. 

                                5. Use Bandwidth More Efficiently

One of the key differences between SD-WAN vs. MPLS is the bandwidth capacity. MPLS and other connection types have trouble playing larger multimedia content, which includes streaming videos or video conferencing. And because of that, it eats up more bandwidth. 

If you have MPLS or another connection type, you can counteract that by purchasing more bandwidth at a higher bandwidth cost. But with Virgin Media’s SD-WAN implementation, you don’t have to worry about that. This type of connection maximises your available bandwidth by balancing traffic across all available routes. 

                               6. Expertise and Guidance from Industry Leaders

Our company has decades of experience in network connectivity. And we’ve been at the forefront of SD-WAN optimisation. Not to mention, we’ve partnered with Versa Networks to provide you with the best possible solution. 

We don’t stop at installing the new networking format for you. We stay by your side to help you with any troubleshooting you need.  

Why Should Your Business Consider SD-WAN? 

You need to make sure that your business considers all of its possible investments to make the right decision. 

So, why should your business consider SD-WAN? One of the most important reasons to think about making the switch is to keep your employees top of mind. 

A business is only as good as the employees who help keep it running. And these days, employees are wanting more flexibility, speed, and reliability when it comes to connecting with the tools they use each day. 

With traditional WAN solutions, having to pass through the outdated infrastructure to connect to apps causes major lagging issues for your employees. Not to mention, it reduces the ability to work from just about anywhere with an internet connection. 

Hence, switching to software-defined wide area networking solutions means you’re giving your employees what they need to do their jobs better! 

How Does Virgin Media’s SD-WAN Compare to Other Network Architectures?

The biggest advantage of Virgin Media’s SD-WAN solution is the fact that we care about both the software and the network. 

Other providers focus solely on one or the other, creating a half-hearted experience for users. But we’ve combined with Versa Networks to make sure that you are getting the best possible product for both the software and network. That means through

Virgin Media’s SD-WAN offering, you’re getting super-fast connectivity plus 30 years of network experience, thanks to Versa’s award-winning software expertise. 
But you don’t have to go through two different providers to get it. Instead, you can receive it directly from Virgin Media. 

Sound like what you’re looking for? Get in touch with a Virgin Media representative to discuss how we can support your business.


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