SD-WAN is basically an abbreviation for Software Defined networking in Wide Area Network. SD-WAN is used to simplify both the management and the operation of WAN by means of decoupling or separating networking hardware from the control mechanism. This idea is almost similar to the way how software defined networking is implementing virtualization technology in order to improve operation as well as data center management.
Key application for SD-WAN is to enable companies build higher performance wide area networks by using commercially available and low cost internet access. As a matter of fact, this has made it possible for business owners to have an alternative in replacing expensive private WAN connection technology be it partial or whole.
WANs are allowing companies to further extend their networks over broader distances, to connect to their remote branches to both data centers and each other and also, to deliver applications and services needed to carry out business functions effectively. As a matter of fact, there are countless of operational challenges that companies face when trying to extend their network across multiple networks of carriers and when trying to cover longer distances. This includes but not limited to network congestion, packet loss, jitter and occasional service outages.
Be it VOIP calling, streaming media, video conferencing and virtualized desktops etc. all these new innovations call for low latency. As for the bandwidth requirements, it increases as well particularly for applications that have HD videos. Trying to expand the capability of your wide area network can be a real challenge. Products of SD-WAN are designed intentionally to be able to address these problems in the network. By way of replacing or enhancing traditional branch routers using virtualization appliances that control application level policies as well as offering network overlay, the less costly consumer grade internet connections may function more like a dedicated circuit.
As a matter of fact, this is simplifying the setup process for the branch personnel. SD-WAN products might be virtual or physical appliances and installed in corporate data centers, bigger offices, remote offices and so forth.
The beauty of centralized controller is the fact that it is setting the policies and prioritizing traffic. SD-WAN also take into account these said policies and availability of the network bandwidth in terms of routing traffic. The truth is, it guarantees that the performance of application meets the SLA or Service Level Agreements at all times.
As what concluded through research, SD-WAN should be carrying 4 major characteristics and these include the ability to do dynamic path selection, ability of supporting multiple connections, ability to support VPNs and several 3rd party services and at the same time, offer simple interface that is manageable and configurable.