How SD-WAN Improves School Networks and Manages Bandwidth
Post in Teq News by NinaSclafani on Friday, March 24th, 2017
With the rise of personal devices, digital curriculum, and online assessments, schools are experiencing a growing need for bandwidth management.
According to the 2015 Annual E-Rate and Infrastructure Survey conducted by CoSN (The Consortium for School Networking), over 68 percent of schools would not have sufficient bandwidth to accommodate their students by October of 2016. Some schools have confronted this issue by purchasing additional bandwidth. What many schools are finding is that the management, and not necessarily the amount of bandwidth, may be the greater issue.
With a SD-WAN, schools can easily add this management component to their network with a solution that is easy to configure and deploy.
What is SD-WAN?
A Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is a computer network that extends over a large distance, using software and virtualization technologies to connect remote locations. SD-WANs can manage and control the network virtually from one central location.
Great! What Does that Mean Exactly?
SD-WANs like CloudGenix (seen in the video above) give your IT team the ability to designate priority network availability to applications that focus on your school’s critical applications, like the apps responsible for delivering online curriculum or assessments. So the specific applications your teachers value to deliver lessons, or increase productivity and collaboration, like G Suite, Schoology, etc. will be delivered without disruption. When bandwidth is tight, your IT team can block applications that are recreational from traversing the network to optimize available bandwidth.
In a nutshell, SD-WAN lets you create a K12 network that aligns with your district’s goals around the applications being used.
How is SD-WAN different from WAN Op?
WAN Optimization is the de-duplicating of data and the optimization of Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) flows, to make data smaller when it is transmitted, allowing the network to handle the data more efficiently. However, WAN Optimization does not work on cloud-based and SaaS apps because it simply was not designed to do so. With the rising presence of cloud-based and SaaS apps in the classroom, schools should transition to a solution that is designed to handle these applications and manage them more efficiently.