What is SD-WAN?


SD-WAN or Software-Defined Wide Area Network is designed to help organizations securely connect users to applications regardless of what type of network (MPLS, LTE/5G, broadband internet services) they originate from. SD-WAN technology is easy to deploy, centralizes network management and control, and ensures users' quality of service (QoS) and application performance.
SD-WAN


Benefits of SD-WAN?


Simplicity


Get a centralized view of connections on your network from the extended edge to your core for configuration, management, and reporting.

Greater Security


End-to-end segmentation and real-time access control secure traffic across all connections, distributing security policies to remote endpoints.

Better Performance


Dynamically route traffic to ensure high availability, low latency, and improved user experience for critical applications like voice and video.

Business Continuity


Manage your entire networking ecosystem from a single view and enable Network Operations and Security Operations teams to collaborate to simplify end-to-end IT management.

SD-WAN and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)


In addition to the technological benefits of SD-WAN, organizations can gain efficiencies in their connection costs. While MPLS expenses may not be eliminated, the ability for organizations to securely connect their workers to cloud-based resources via the Internet means that reliance on more expensive connection types may reduce while maximizing productivity at the same time.

MPLS vs SD-WAN


SD-WAN evolved from MPLS technology, which has powered private connectivity for two decades. In many ways, SD-WAN can be seen as a software abstraction of MPLS technology that applies to wider scenarios: It brings secure, private connectivity that's agnostic to all kinds of links and providers and is cloud-aware. While MPLS handles failure scenarios with backup links, SD-WAN handles them with real-time traffic steering based on a centralized policy. Also, since SD-WAN unifies the entire WAN backbone, it delivers comprehensive analytics across the network globally. This wasn't possible before because of disparate pieces of infrastructure and policy.

SDN vs SD-WAN


SD-WAN can be seen as SDN for the WAN. It represents, arguably, the most popular and widely deployed use case in SDN. The SDN model became popular for abstracting network infrastructure in the data center and other sections within the enterprise perimeter. SD-WAN played a similar role but needed to abstract diverse infrastructure elements in terms of link types, providers, and geographies. Since it crossed the enterprise perimeter, it also needed a robust security component.