What is SD-WAN?

What is SD-WAN?

Software Defined WAN (Wide Area Networking) or SD-WAN is a fast-evolving technology that stems from the Software Defined Networking advancements in the last few years that were found mostly in Data Centers. SD-WAN uses software and Cloud-based services to help companies achieve a simplified “delivery of services” across the WAN.

WANs are complicated for most companies with multiple locations because it involves Carrier Circuits, Service Level Agreements (SLAs), remote office hardware (Router/Firewall) and either a Fully Meshed or a Hub and Spoke wide area network. A software-defined WAN can be added to your existing network services. It will automatically create all the connections and routing to all the other locations. Now, changes in the WAN are less risky because of the automatic deployment and connectivity that software defined WAN offers. Companies can source local inexpensive Internet connections with an SD-WAN solution and either migrate from an expensive MPLS circuit or choose the less expensive circuits with the same results.

Software Defined WAN For Cloud Applications

If you are utilizing Cloud-based solutions today like Salesforce, Zendesk, Office365, Cloud video or Cloud voice, how are you ensuring this traffic is getting priority over other types of traffic? Many SD-WAN providers like VeloCloud deploy their devices in hundreds of Data Centers in the Cloud all located within 5 ms from most of the top SaaS applications. Since the software-defined WAN device can control your traffic from your office to their cloud gateways and off to the SaaS application you are using, they can increase the speed and responsiveness of your SaaS applications.

Software Defined WAN For Cloud Communications

In many sofware defined WAN solutions, like VeloCloud, QoS policies by default prioritize voice and video traffic across all internet circuits. This may be any combination of MPLS or non-MPLS circuits. The SD WAN solution allows customers finite control on what traffic traverses which connection, as well as reports on how well the circuits are performing. With the addition of a software-defined WAN service, customers can look at deploying voice and video across non-MPLS circuits and still receive the same type of QoS that MPLS type circuits provide, often at a much more reasonable price.

Software Defined WAN For Backup Internet Connection

Most companies will have a secondary connection for when the primary Internet connection goes down. This is like insurance. You are paying for it even though you may not be using it. The primary circuit going down is not usually a question of “Will we lose our primary connection?”, but more a question of “When is it going down next?”

With a software defined WAN solution, you do not require any manual intervention because the SD-WAN device uses all connections concurrently. The solution will monitor and route traffic based on the best path possible at all times. When one of the links/connection goes down, all the traffic automatically re-routes over the remaining working links. Therefore, you will have Active/Active Internet connections that dynamically route without any user intervention.

Read more about software defined WAN in our BLOG

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SD-WAN Case Study: Ware Malcomb. Improving routing and QoS for 19 connected locations