What is SD-WAN?

A software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is an approach to software-defined networking (SDN) technology being extended to wide area network (WAN) connections. SD-WAN makes it easier for businesses to connect individual business locations to their internal network.

In 2017, Gartner labelled SD-WAN as a network technology going mainstream. More than 16,000 companies use the technology and companies are being advised to research SD-WAN solutions and technology when looking for a WAN refresh, or when deciding to use multiple applications in the cloud or to improve app performance. During the latest SD-WAN summit, service providers showcased their SD-WAN offerings and made it clear that SD-WAN is the way forward.

SD-WAN as a service explained

Being a new approach to network connectivity, SD-WAN as a service promises agility, flexibility, lower operational costs, improving resource usage for multisite deployments to use bandwidth more efficiently. It also improves flexibility and the speed at which new connections can be deployed. This is why SD-WAN is a valuable technology to enterprises, but also service providers, as it allows them to offer customers the highest level of performance for their mission-critical applications, without having to sacrifice security or data privacy and shortening delivery times.

In his expert blog, Cloud Solution Architect Jan-Willem Keinke dives into the 5 most important areas of interest to consider, for the right SD-WAN as a Service deployment model.

Some of the best SD-WAN vendors’ stated benefits:

  • Provisioning agility through Zero Touch Provisioning and configuration automation
  • Integrated central management and performance monitoring
  • Application-aware routing to choose the WAN service most appropriate for the application
  • Service chaining capabilities allowing advanced functions to be strategically placed in the network
  • Reduction of the total cost of WAN-links
  • Service provider independence
  • High flexibility when adding new sites and applications
  • Extension of the existing WAN to include cloud-based applications
  • Enhance the level of security at the branch to be equal to the security at the data centre

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