What is SD-WAN?


What is SD-WAN?

  • SD-WAN stands for software-defined wide-area network.

  • SD-WAN replaces traditional WAN technology such as proprietary hardware and T1 or MPLS circuitry with less expensive Internet broadband connections and virtualization technology that takes advantage of the power and cost efficiency of cloud computing.

  • SD-WAN services can be deployed as a software-based solution or a hardware/software mix, where traditional branch routers are replaced with appliances that route traffic over a variety of transport technologies, using the most cost-effective and high-performing services at any given time.

  • The benefits of SD-WAN include greater agility, reduced costs, simpler network management and optimized application performance.

There’s a lot of buzz today about the benefits of SD-WAN over traditional WAN technology, but what is SD-WAN exactly, and how can it help businesses manage costs and improve network performance? Here’s a brief tutorial on the subject “What is SD-WAN?”

What is SD-WAN?

SD-WAN, or software-defined wide-area network, is an approach to enterprise networking that eliminates reliance on expensive, proprietary hardware and private connection technologies like MPLS in favor of cost-effective appliances, commercially available Internet access and the power and efficiency of the cloud. SD-WAN uses software-defined networking (SDN) concepts to automatically route traffic over the most efficient and healthy connections. That means business-critical traffic can be directed to high-performance links, while less-important traffic can be routed to other resources that may be more economical.

What is SD-WAN designed to do?

Enterprises today are simultaneously dealing with constrained budgets for network resources and a growing demand for bandwidth. SD-WAN is designed to optimize network and application performance while significantly reducing costs and minimizing the complexity of managing an enterprise network.

What is SD-WAN vs. traditional WAN?

The traditional WAN relies on routers and virtual private networks (VPNs) as well as private MPLS circuits to securely and efficiently connect branch and cloud network traffic to a data center. SD-WAN combines traditional WAN technology like MPLS and broadband connections with lightweight, virtualized replacements for WAN routers that can evaluate the health of different connections and select the best route for each data packet in real time.

What is SD-WAN’s greatest benefit?

SD-WAN helps to manage the cost of enterprise networks by significantly increasing network capacity without increasing network budgets.

What is SD-WAN virtual overlay?

SD-WAN creates a virtual overlay on existing WAN links, using multiple tunnels to optimize bandwidth and centralizing control to enable agile, real-time traffic management.

What is SD-WAN security?

SD-WAN enables tighter security through greater visibility into network topology and performance, and by using segmentation to isolate, prioritize and assign network traffic based on security policies.

What is SD-WAN quality of service?

SD-WAN technology improves quality of service (QoS) by giving bandwidth priority to critical and delay-sensitive applications and data packets. Through dynamic path selection, SD-WAN can send data on faster links or split application traffic among different paths to deliver it faster.