What is an SD WAN?

A software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is an application of software-defined networking (SDN). The primary purposes of SD-WAN are to simplify, control, and automate network deployment and management. The ability to lower costs, and enable greater network agility with diverse WAN links is an SD-WAN hallmark.

SD-WAN manages network connections for enterprise branch offices, data centers, and cloud/SaaS services. SD-WAN creates a network overlay that abstracts network hardware and transport characteristics from the applications that use the network. This provides optimal application performance.

Why implement an SD-WAN?

As more applications move to the cloud, traditional WAN architectures are not well-equipped to handle today’s dynamic environments. Traditional WAN architectures and routing protocols do not natively provide application-aware networking for granular control of application flows across different paths. Trying to implement policies to engineer traffic for granular control, even in a small-scale environment, will only further complicate the management and maintenance of traditional WAN infrastructure.

SD-WAN provides superior network agility, and reduces costs as compared with traditional WAN infrastructure. The flexible subscription model of SD-WAN eliminates the costly upfront investment associated with of legacy networks. Likewise, the reliability, dynamic capacity and Quality of Experience (QoE) offered by SD-WAN easily supersedes traditional WAN capabilities.