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By Eng. Mohammed AlObaid, VP of Products and Solutions, Salam

Digital transformation is crucial for Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030. The country is actively pursuing cloud and emerging technologies to boost its economy, foster innovation, and enhance public services. The ‘Cloud First’ policy prioritizes cloud-based solutions for government initiatives. Virtualization, cloudification, and software-defined networking are all contributing to this digitalization journey, replacing traditional hardware and software in networks.

It is impossible to overestimate the importance of connectivity in the next generation of telecom services. In an era characterized by increasing interconnectivity and reliance on data, the significance of dependable and high-speed connectivity continues to rise. The need for a modernized telecom infrastructure and services is being driven by the desire for improved user experiences and smooth data transfer. This is where SD-WAN (software-defined wide area networking) comes into play as a technology that offers flexible, efficient, and scalable connectivity solutions to meet these growing demands.

SD-WAN provides significant benefits over the traditional WAN design by supporting a wide range of use cases that rely on cloud and edge technologies for day-to-day business operations. It can be installed on-premises, hosted in public or private clouds, or managed entirely by service providers. The centralized management and orchestration capabilities of SD-WAN enable seamless network administration, reducing the complexity of deploying additional sites and services.

SD-WAN orchestration creates diverse next-gen services such as 5G slicing, cross-domain orchestration (SD-WAN, vCPE, SASE, MEC, FWA), automated B2B workflows, zero-touch deployment, and cloud-based management. The technology's automation and outcome-driven rules enable rapid scalability supported by extensive analytics for informed decision making.

Saudi Arabia's SD-WAN vendor ecosystem is rapidly expanding, as organizations are embracing SD-WAN solutions to improve their network infrastructures. SD-WAN, a software abstraction of MPLS, provides private connectivity that is safe, is provider agnostic, and is cloud aware; replacing old MPLS backup link techniques with real-time traffic steering based on centralized policies.

Furthermore, SD-WAN integrates the WAN backbone, serving as a network overlay that uses virtualized connections that are independent of physical connections at the application layer of the OSI model. This system employs a centralized controller to handle the complete network environment via software-defined policies. For performance monitoring, user-defined SLAs and policies can be readily disseminated to all network nodes, removing the need to program each endpoint manually.

Salam's SD-WAN enables customers to transition from traditional on-premises hardware to an innovative, cloud-hosted, software-defined network. This cutting-edge system simplifies deployment and management while also improving security and lowering costs. Salam's SD-WAN optimizes network performance to the greatest extent possible by providing secure and centralized network management, zero-touch provisioning, flexible setup, and remarkable dependability. It meets a wide range of customer requirements by supporting mixed connectivity options such as BDI, BBI, L2, L3, BWI (5G), and BC.

Salam provides a professional range of SD-WAN services in both managed and unmanaged configurations, giving customers the freedom to choose based on their needs. A single dashboard ensures efficient network management by streamlining administration tasks. Salam services government and corporate bodies across numerous sectors, including businesses of all sizes, and caters to a diversified clientele. Customer routers and SD-WAN devices are registered on Salam's SD-WAN platform, which is hosted in its secure datacenter, to enable smooth integration and stable network operations.

SD-WAN is becoming increasingly popular among organizations as they shift from traditional business models to current technological formats that emphasize digital client interactions. According to the IDC, the rise of AI, machine learning, Big Data, and IoT has pushed the focus away from centralized datacenters and into branch locations, increasing the need for secure and high-performance WAN connections at these branches.

The popularity of this technology stems from its ability to simplify WAN architecture, minimize human resource demands, and manage both WAN and LAN settings. SD-WAN is also future proof, as it is compatible with emerging connectivity services such as 5G, high-speed internet, and cloud platforms. This ensures that businesses can easily adopt new technologies while also enjoying a cutting-edge network experience that keeps them at the forefront of innovation.

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