One of the popular buzzwords during the past few years has been SD-WAN. “What is SD-WAN?” “Why should I care about SD-WAN?” I hear those questions often and am excited when I do because it’s an opportunity to talk design and strategy with colleagues and customers. 

SD-WAN stands for Software-Defined Wide Area Networking and is a specific application of SDN (Software Defined Networking). If we look at the big picture, “Software-Defined Networking” is a new method of managing your network, which moves the network control into software, giving you more programmability and making it simpler to manage your infrastructure. It enables an administrator to seamlessly push policies and respond to changes without having to touch every device in the network. If we expand that idea out to SD-WAN, it enables your Wide Area Network between offices and branches to be more resilient and provides predictable service quality over unpredictable links. 

SO WHY SHOULD YOU CARE ABOUT SD-WAN? 

  • Flexibility in costMPLS connections and other dedicated WAN links, although reliable, typically have large monthly costs associated with them and are slow for today’s needs. SD-WAN allows you to choose between a variety of link technologies including Internet links, wireless links and cellular links in the rural areas where other options are slim. 
  • Flexibility in configuration: SD-WAN products allow for a single management point for all of your edge WAN devices. Whether pushing new routing policies or security policies to your devices, SD-WAN enables a fast and accurate delivery of those policies.  
  • Flexibility in performance: SD-WAN enabled devices have the intelligence to sense if a primary link in the transit path between sites is down and automatically switch to a different link. Custom performance policies can also be configured in such a way that allows devices to choose what path to use based on things like application type, destination, and even link congestion. 
  • Flexibility in growth: SD-WAN enables a seamless rollout of new sites with little effort. Each site, regardless of the links, are able to interconnect with other sites quickly and efficiently. 

SD-WAN takes the complicated legacy WAN technologies and simplifies them. If you’d like to learn more about how SD-WAN could benefit you and your company, contact your Symplexity representative for more details! 

Luke is a Fort Wayne native with more than 10 years of experience working in the IT sector. He has a love for all things networking including routing, switching and wireless technologies. He completed his CCIE in Routing and Switching in 2016. When he’s not at work, he enjoys playing basketball and guitar as well as spending time with friends and family.