In today’s hyper-connected world, businesses rely on seamless and secure network connectivity. Traditional wide area networks (WANs) often struggle to meet evolving demands. This results in bottlenecks, high costs, and compromised security. Enter Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN), a revolutionary approach transforming how businesses connect and thrive. These networking systems can simplify your network and provide a high-performance network that optimizes traffic flow.

Continue reading to learn more about Cisco Meraki SD-WAN and its benefits.

A blue world map with an overlay of interconnected dots representing network connections with the help of Cisco Meraki's SD-WAN.

What is SD-WAN?

SD-WAN, or software-defined wide area network, represents a paradigm shift in wide area networks. The approach leverages software to intelligently manage and optimize network traffic across multiple connections, including broadband, MPLS, and LTE.

SD-WAN helps businesses securely connect users to applications by leveraging cloud capabilities. This, in turn, ensures optimal performance and affordability. The approach greatly benefits modern companies that want to streamline their network infrastructure and improve their user experience.

Cisco Meraki SD-WAN Solutions

Among the leading software-defined wide area network solution providers is Cisco Meraki, known for its innovative network management and security approach. Meraki offers a comprehensive suite of features that address the evolving needs of modern businesses. Here’s an overview of the most prominent features of SD-WAN:

Centralized Management

One of the key highlights of Meraki SD-WAN is its centralized cloud-based management platform. This allows administrators to configure, monitor, and troubleshoot their network infrastructure from a single pane. The platform enables remote management, reducing the need for on-site technicians and reducing operational costs.

Dynamic Path Selection

Meraki SD-WAN employs intelligent routing algorithms. This allows networks to dynamically adjust to changing WAN conditions without manual intervention. Network administrators can configure performance criteria for different types of traffic, enabling path decisions based on the flow.

An uplink monitoring engine is present in every WAN appliance, which constantly checks the health of upstream links. If a problem is detected, the Meraki system intelligently reroutes traffic through alternate paths, ensuring uninterrupted connectivity.

Concentrator Mode

This feature allows administrators to configure Meraki WAN appliances as NAT or VPN concentrators. The concentrator mode streamlines network operations to enhance security and performance while minimizing complexity. This means reliable access to applications and resources, creating a pleasant and unhindered user experience.

Built-In Security

Security is a significant part of Meraki’s software-defined wide area network, with integrated threat protection, intrusion detection, and advanced firewall capabilities. The unmatched threat intelligence from Cisco Talos also helps block 98% of malware automatically. This security focus allows businesses to balance protection and performance.

Application Awareness

With Meraki SD-WAN, businesses can prioritize critical applications and allocate bandwidth accordingly. This targeted nature ensures mission-critical applications, like voice and video conferencing, receive the necessary resources to deliver a seamless user experience. Furthermore, Meraki’s deep packet inspection capabilities enable granular visibility and control over application traffic.

Scalable Systems

Meraki SD-WAN seamlessly adapts if you have a few remote offices or a geographically dispersed enterprise. Its cloud-centric architecture facilitates effortless deployment and management across your entire network. In addition, zero-touch provisioning and automatic updates reduce operational overhead and complexity.

Seamless Integration

Meraki’s diverse product range enables businesses to leverage various devices, from security appliances to access points. The wide area network smoothly integrates with other Meraki solutions, creating a unified network ecosystem. Network administrators can also easily extend cloud visibility to traditional WAN devices, such as Cisco ISR, creating a robust network architecture.

Benefits of Using Meraki SD-WAN

Network administrators working together with Cisco Meraki's SD-WAN on a laptop while in a room with network servers.

With the increasing reliance on cloud-based applications and distributed workforces, businesses must have a robust network infrastructure. Cisco Meraki SD-WAN creates a positive impact on business operations by providing a range of benefits, including:

  • Enhanced Security: Meraki SD-WAN provides robust security features to protect your network against evolving cyber threats. These include enterprise-grade firewalling, IDS/IPS, URL filtering, and malware protection. Furthermore, the ML-powered insights enable proactive monitoring, identifying potential issues before they impact user experience. Small businesses don’t have to purchase additional security solutions with these built-in features.
  • Cost Savings: Business owners can greatly reduce costs by optimizing network resources with Meraki solutions. They can use affordable broadband and fiber connections instead of costly MPLS connections. Additionally, the capability to integrate cellular WAN and Wi-Fi provides further flexibility and affordability. The network also offers intelligent traffic routing, allowing businesses to make the most out of their network investments.
  • Improved Performance: Meraki SD-WAN enhances overall network performance by prioritizing critical applications and dynamically adjusting traffic flow. The system ensures that video conferencing, large file transfers, and other bandwidth-intensive applications receive uninterrupted access to network resources. The built-in QoS tools also enable real-time traffic monitoring and intelligent routing for optimal performance.
  • Adaptable Network Solutions: Software-defined wide-area networks provide a flexible and scalable network architecture, enabling businesses to adapt to changing requirements. The platform seamlessly supports multiple connections, including MPLS, broadband, and LTE. It also scales from small branch offices to large enterprise networks. This means enterprises can easily add new sites, increase bandwidth, or modify traffic policies without complex configurations.
  • User Experience: Ultimately, Meraki SD-WAN aims to enhance the user experience by providing fast and secure connectivity. The network system optimizes traffic flow, prioritizes critical applications, and ensures seamless failover. The reliable nature of the system helps businesses deliver excellent user experience, regardless of location or device.

Meraki’s user-friendly interface and intuitive controls help IT teams efficiently manage the entire network infrastructure from anywhere. This approach reduces the burden on IT staff, enabling them to focus on tasks that improve end-user experience.

Cisco Meraki SD-WAN is a strategic investment in your business success. You can leverage its power by partnering with a managed IT service provider like Mosaic Networx. Our team understands the complexities of integrating and managing an SD-WAN system. We can help you overcome these challenges with our simplified cloud and branch networking solutions. Contact us today to book a consultation.