3 Categories Of Software Defined Wide Area Networking

SD WAN is an abbreviation for Software Defined Wide Area Networking. This is basically a combination of Software Defined Networking or SDN which was designed for usage in cloud data centers as well as Wide Area Networking or WAN, which is a network outside of your premises like site to site network, internet and metro Ethernet.

Network engineers love to define SD WAN strictly but, marketing departments turned it as an umbrella term such as cloud. There are various kinds of cloud services similar to Hybrid, Public and Private cloud and likewise, there are several categories of offers that come with SD WAN label. This guide can help you find out about sd wan and in deciphering the choices and at the same time, shed light on decision making process.

3 Categories of Software Defined Wide Area Networking

Number 1. Firewalls and Cloud Managed Routers

How would you be able to make a 15 year old firewall technology and router look more appealing? Simple, just incorporate a cloud based web management interface and then, market it as SD wide area networking. That is basically what you are getting in this category. You are buying a network appliance to be able to connect your ISP circuits into and rather than logging into an interface of actual device to be able to configure it, you'll now have to log into an SD WAN provider's new cloud hosted management dashboard.

Number 2. VPN Services and Devices

Most of the real SD WAN offers fall under this category. They're designed as a lower cost tool in order to use site to site connection than MPLS. At its core, these said devices and services are providing site to site VPNs like standard routers or firewalls.

So the question here is, what is the major difference between standard network edge devices such as firewalls and these software defined WAN solutions? As a matter of fact, there is nothing significant at first look as they boast cloud based management plus several existing networking hardware features similar to user or application based security and routing policies or WAN optimization features such as TCP optimization or compression.

But there's a kicker and this is the awareness and adaption to quality issue on network paths between different sites. Traditional routers and firewalls can't monitor for or even adapt to issues such as 70ms jitter or 3% packet loss. These said performance issues that are affecting real time applications may now be identified and fixed via SD WAN.

Number 3. Internet and Cloud Optimization

This is the most difficult to optimize the connectivity for as traditionally, there's little visibility as well as control to public clouds. So make sure that when using such, you're with the leaders in this category so learn more about sd wan.

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