What is WAN Virtualization?

Wide area network (WAN) virtualization combines two or more network connections of any type, to create a single, virtual pipe. This enables cost-efficient, high availability and high-bandwidth capacity. All aggregated links are active, and the full amount of bandwidth is available at all times. It can replace expensive private MPLS circuits with low cost broadband Internet links, and achieve excellent application performance and reliability, even with congestion events.

A well-designed WAN virtualization solution will conduct dynamic, real-time traffic engineering. It will react sub-second, not only to link failures, but also to congestion-related network problems. This enables enterprises to achieve greater bandwidth with significantly lower cost than a single-vendor MPLS WAN.

WAN virtualization can perform session-based steering, or per-packet traffic engineering. The advantage of per-packet traffic engineering, is real-time reliability and predictability for all applications. This is a highly reliable and cost-effective solution for real-time network applications, such as video conferencing and VoIP.

WAN virtualization is more comprehensive than WAN aggregation. It can easily handle connections with significant latency, jitter and packet loss events. It will also determine where to steer traffic based on current, real-time conditions, for each network connection.