SD-WAN is basically an abbreviation for Software Defined networking in Wide Area Network. SD-WAN is being used for simplifying the management and operation of WAN by way of decoupling or separating networking hardware right 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.
The major function for why companies are integrating SD-WAN is to have wide area networks with higher performance by making use of low cost and at the same time, commercially available internet accessibility. Through this, it allows the business to replace their private WAN connection technology either partially or in 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.
Modern applications similar to VOIP calling, streaming media, video conferencing and virtualized desktops and applications are all requiring lower latency. As for the bandwidth requirements, it increases as well particularly for applications that have HD videos. It can be difficult and expensive at the same time to expand the capability of WAN. 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.
This simplifies the setup process for branch personnel whether you believe it or not. You can have your SD-WAN products available in virtual or physical appliances and you can install it as well on small businesses, corporate data centers, bigger offices, remote offices and even on cloud platforms.
The centralized controller is used to prioritize the traffic and set policy. In terms of redirecting traffic, that would not be a problem either as SD-WAN takes into account the availability of network bandwidth and policies. Basically, this helps in guaranteeing that the performance of application always meets the SLA or Service Level Agreements.
Several research studies has concluded that for SD-WAN to be efficient and effective, there are 4 things that it should have and these are about providing simple and easy to use interface, support VPNs, do dynamic path selection for load sharing as well as resiliency purposes and lastly, support multiple connections.