How SD-WAN Works
The way SD-WAN technology works provides significant advantages to WAN. Traditional WAN technologies involve installation of proprietary hardware or expensive fixed circuits. WAN infrastructure is quite complex, consisting of routers, firewalls, WAN optimizers, WAN path controllers and other components.
SD-WAN takes out much of the hardware, offering connectivity and services through the cloud. It delivers unified communications and data applications through integration of multiple connection types, like broadband internet, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), and Long-Term Evolution (LTE). SD- WAN also integrates the entire WAN into a single interface, which makes handling issues in the network easier.
Overall, the goal of SD-WAN is simplification and the creation of a real-time data network without as much physical networking. The end idea is that, after deployment of SD-WAN devices, setting up the technology would be as easy as setting up Wi-Fi.
This ease of deployment, central manageability and reduced costs make SD-WAN an attractive option for many businesses. At VMworld 2015 29% of 260 attendees surveyed by Riverbed were exploring SD-WAN while 5% had adopted it. That compares to 77% who were exploring SDN, with 13% who had deployed it. Lerner says leading adopters of SD-WAN have been retailers and financial institutions that have a large number of branch offices.
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