What is Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN)?

Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) applies software-defined networking (SDN) concepts to wide area network (WAN) connections. SD-WAN technology abstracts traffic management and monitoring from network hardware and applies them to individual applications to achieve improved app performance, deliver high-quality user experiences over geographically dispersed locations, and simplify the deployment of wide-area and cloud-access networks.

Unlike traditional WANs, SD-WAN delivers increased network agility and cost reduction, abstracting the network hardware from the applications that use the network

SD-WAN: Rapidly Emerging Technology

SD-WAN (Software-Defined WAN) is a rapidly emerging terminology that is picking up at an astonishing rate.

American marketing research firm Gartner predicted that by the end of 2019 30% of enterprises will deploy SD-WAN technology in their branches.

SD-WAN Technology Advantages

WAN Virtualization

In the same way server virtualization abstracts the underlying physical hardware from the logical virtual servers that run on it;
WAN virtualization is where a logical WAN connection (to either the Internet or between branch offices) can use multiple underlying

connectivity technologies (like xDSL, MPLS, cellular and fiber) at the same time but presents this connectivity to users and applications as a single direct to Internet or secure site to site connection.




Intelligently Managed

SD-WAN enabled networks are capable of monitoring WAN health and quality, then using these measurements to make intelligent decisions on application traffic flow.
This arrangement has several key benefits:

  • Real time services like VoIP and video can be sent via the lowest latency link.

  • Intelligent failover and active/active configurations can be used to guarantee reliability even when a WAN link fails.

  • WAN connectivity can be added as and when required to provide agility.

Best of all, once configured, all traffic is managed automatically by the software defined rules set on the device – no human interaction is required.


Centrally Managed and Monitored

Branch offices can be provisioned, monitored and managed centrally using a SD-WAN controller that gives network administrators full control over their wide area networks and remote devices using a single interface.

Complex VPN configurations connecting thousands of branch offices together securely (using whatever connectivity is available at each location) can be created and deployed automatically, with centralized WAN monitoring and notifications providing a real time view of WAN health and globally branch office availability.




Secure VPN

By using encrypted VPN, branch offices gain secure, local network access to cloud resources. SD-WAN makes these branch office VPN faster and more affordable by combining the bandwidth of multiple connections into a single logical WAN connection.

In addition, SD-WAN provides the ability to offload public Internet traffic at the network edge, reducing traffic sent through the VPN.