SD-WAN, or software defined wide area network, is a specific application method of software defined network applied to WAN connections. SD-WAN allows companies to build higher performing WANs. They do this by using lower cost internet, allowing businesses to replace some (or all) of their costly private WAN connection technologies.

WANs are great at taking enterprise networks that span a large geographic area and connecting them. For instance, if you needed to connect two branch offices to the central corporate location, WANs are great! They used to need technology that used special hardware owned by the company. There are other downfalls to traditional WANs. The bandwidth is very expensive since you will need to keep every branch office connected (not too mention how time-consuming it is to be upgrading as you add new branches). You are also very dependent on the data center, which is frankly, archaic (think many single function devices, in other words, you could experience major lulls). The infrastructure needed to implement them is also overly complex. The SD-WAN is moving forward in our cloud age and making the technology available without dedicated hardware and with many more benefits. Including decreased expenses since you don’t need expensive equipment and they offer pay-as-you-go models.

The primary goal of SD-WAN is to utilize open software-based technology to offer businesses a secure and simple cloud-based WAN connection. It simplifies the way branch offices network; ensures the best performance; increases network agility and offers more predictability. This can also offer premium services to businesses, such as VPN, WAN optimization, and ADC.

What began as a simple solution to connect data centers and branch offices using less proprietary hardware, is fast turning into a trend that will no doubt expand and blow up over the
next several years.