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What is SD-WAN?
SD-WAN, or Software Defined Wide Area Network, is designed to address network problems associated with limited WAN capability, such as:
- Network congestion
- Packet delay variation
- Packet loss
- Service outages
These issues are resolved by using SD-WAN to enhance (or replace) traditional routers with virtualization appliances. This allows higher performance for lower costs.
Traditional WAN vs. SD-WAN
A traditional WAN connection includes broadband internet, 4G, LTE, or MPLS. These are used to connect offices or data centers to a central network. SD-WAN doesn’t use these traditional connections; it uses the internet or cloud-native private networks for virtual connection instead.
How Does an SD-WAN Work?
An SD-WAN works by utilizing software and a centralized control function to handle priority-based traffic, service quality, and security requirements. An SD-WAN virtualizes traditional WAN services and treats them as a resource pool. Then, advanced software-driven security and performance features ensure application performance meets SLAs (service level agreements).
Benefits of SD-WAN
SD-WAN technology comes with many benefits to businesses, such as significant flexibility and agility. Other more specific benefits include:
- Lowered Cost: Bandwidth is increased while costs are lowered with a removal of expensive routing hardware. Scalability is easier than ever.
- Increased Reliability: With a simplified architecture, network visibility and reliability are improved and responsiveness is enhanced.
- Added Security: Threats are reduced when all security policies are accounted for and applied automatically.