What is Cisco Meraki SD-WAN? – Definition, Features and Uses

What is Cisco Meraki SD-WAN? This question is mostly asked by IT industry personnel when they are introduced to new technologies such as SD-WAN. Often, people find it difficult to understand how it works, especially those who have never worked with Cisco before. Fortunately, there are several good books available on the market that explain in great detail how it works and why it’s an ideal choice for deploying Cisco networks. Before diving into these books, however, let’s take a look at what SD-WAN really is.

Unlike other service oriented networking technologies, such as leased lines or cell phone networks, Cisco Meraki provides users with an ideal tool for simplifying their Ethernet infrastructure. The benefits of using SD-WAN instead of these other models make it a particularly attractive option for enterprises seeking to simplify their internal network without affecting their business logic. To do this, Meraki services provide users with a software-defined gateway to the corporate network. As opposed to traditional wiring models, where a single physical device serves all functions within a given corporate network, software-defined gateways enable one device to serve many functions within a single network.

In short, this simplifies deployment: not only does a single device contain the Ethernet hardware and software, but each device can be deployed independently and without requiring any kind of management server or control plane. This makes it a far cheaper option than the traditional architecture. It also saves time and money since a company doesn’t need to hire an IT professional to oversee its networking. Instead, every task is handled by the software deployed on the Meraki network. Since it’s software defined, any administrator can simply perform maintenance tasks and troubleshooting, which are a significant advantage over other networking technologies.

Another advantage over traditional wan technologies is ease of deployment. With the SD-WAN, the LAN cards are preloaded on the servers before they’re deployed into the cloud. This reduces down-time and ensures that the device is made available to clients even after it’s been sold. Since SD-WANs can be deployed on-demand, a company doesn’t have to wait for a specific date to make sure that it’s running. Since it’s cloud-based, the device can be deployed whenever a client requests it.

Aside from reducing costs and improving deployment, another advantage provided by the Meraki SD-WAN is scalability. Since the SD-WAN is software based, it enables companies to make small tweaks to the network setup at any time. Since the wan router has direct IP connectivity to the corporate network, it’s very easy to alter the configurations once the system has been set up. A traditional wan connection requires companies to completely reconfigure internal networks to accommodate changes in the internal networks. With the so-wan, a company just needs to make certain changes to the internal DNS server and then restart the process.

The software-defined and automated nature of Cisco Meraki SD-WANs are two major reasons why they’re ideal for companies with diverse business functions. For instance, when an online retail company has different branches in different locations, it’s very impractical to maintain separate networks for each branch. As long as one router is linked to all branches, all of them can obtain Internet service from the main router. If the retail company utilizes software-defined one, the company can also avoid using up bandwidth unnecessarily. By using Meraki SD-WAN software, companies can reduce costs and improve deployment efficiencies of their business networks.

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