What is SD-WAN
SD-WAN brings the advantages of software defined technology to wide area networks. Enterprises are investing in flexible, open cloud architecture and want to extend these benefits to the connections between data centers that are separated by distance, and to connections between headquarters and branch offices. SD-WAN moves network control to the cloud, centralizing and simplifying WAN management without new or proprietary hardware.
SD-WAN offerings improve connectivity and security. Centralizing WAN control through software allows traffic direction over unused links to share total network bandwidth across endpoints. WAN security can be managed more simply with seamless, centralized policy that includes automation, orchestration, verification and remediation to detect and address issues early. SD-WAN replaces reliance on expensive proprietary routers, custom built ASICs, and can provide independence from reliance on a single carrier or provider.
Network Design Matters
SD-WAN providers integrate SD-WAN architecture through a variety of designs. Advanced automation and change control solutions use existing hardware to minimize cost and can include advanced functionality. Appliance-based overlay solutions create a virtual IP network between vendor-proprietary appliances. Controller-based solutions auto-configure standard architectures to simplify management. Each of these design types varies in cost and benefits but they all provide software-defined traffic routing and security.
Enterprises are embracing software-defined WAN management to reduce costs, increase security and centralize administration. Technology providers are enhancing functionality to include additional optimization for security, VPN, NaaS and application policy control. Transition to SD-WAN will expand over time to meet the growing need for WAN bandwidth, advanced functionality and cost-saving independence from proprietary vendors.