What is an SD-WAN anyway?

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At Zyxel, we offer a robust SD-WAN solution for businesses. But to the casual observer, it's hard to really understand what an SD-WAN is, how it works and why you might need one in the first place.

To simplify, an SD-WAN is an acronym for software-defined networking in a wide area network (WAN). What that means is an SD-WAN simplifies the management and operation of a WAN by separating the networking hardware from its control mechanism. (You with us, so far? Good.) An SD-WAN connects enterprise networks — including branch offices and data centers — over large geographic distances.

Telegeography.com summed it up well, "By replacing traditional branch routers with appliances that use different transport technologies based on their performance, an SD-WAN allows enterprises to route large portions of their traffic over cost-effective services, such as broadband. Also as needed, voice, video, or other quality of service (QoS)-sensitive traffic is then routed over private multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) links.

Furthermore, across a global network, SD-WAN is deployed either as a software-based solution or as a hardware/software combination with WAN edge devices placed at branch sites. Each device is centrally managed, with routing based on application policies and security rules created by WAN managers that can be updated in real time as network requirements change."

SD-WANs are also particularly useful because they addresses several common problems that enterprise network managers face. For starters, SD-WANs make it easier to manage a network, make said network more flexible and better performing, and also can be a better means for managing costs. The latter coincidentally, is what drives most enterprises to an SD-WAN anyway because maintaining an all MPLS-based WAN can be extremely expensive.  

Also according to Telegraphy.com, "The promise of SD-WAN is that the service itself could centrally assess and provision network traffic in real time, eliminating some of this complexity at individual network sites. With the rapid adoption of Internet-based applications and cloud services, a majority of corporate traffic is already bound for the Internet. Carrying Internet traffic over a private network through consolidated gateways increases latency and degrades performance, despite the QoS assurances of VPN. Optimizing public Internet connectivity with services such as SD-WAN, however, allows enterprises to offload traffic bound for the Internet closer to the network edge – or directly connect to cloud service providers lowering latency and enhancing end-user experience."

At Zyxel, we offer a comprehensive SD-WAN solution/products to meet the needs of growing business enterprises. To learn more, CLICK HERE

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