Are SD-LAN and SD-WAN Really Any Different?



Is moving to newer technology a leap of faith?

Should we stick with what we know and make gradual changes year by year? Sometimes something is so obvious it doesn’t warrant a slow-and-steady pace. That’s how we feel about SD-WAN. It’s not just ‘new technology’, it’s a 180-degree mind-shift from the clamorous CLI configuration tasks that were once necessary to ensure a functioning and stable, albeit rigid, network.

Here at Riverbed, our software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solution, SteelConnect, announced earlier this year has taken off with a bang and for good reason. The benefits customers are realizing with SD-WAN are not just immediate, they also lend to significant strategic leverage and competitiveness through an agile, high-performing, efficient, secure and scalable network, in addition to dramatic streamlining of IT processes.


The beauty of “software-defined” is that the principles extend equally well whether we’re talking SD-WAN or SD-LAN. In other words, if you’re dealing with the big and bold WAN versus the smaller, local, contained LAN you can still experience the zest of connecting and managing all your applications from a single-pane-of-glass in SteelConnect Manager (SCM). The SCM configuration console allows you to attach a business relevancy to all traffic that goes through your network, and lets that relevancy persist from application server to end user, irrespective of whether the user is on a WLAN or mobile. Management by definition of policy provides the flexibility of re-using a rule, thus eliminating the need to repeat configurations for different user groups across your organization. So now, software-defined control is configured once, persists where ever the user may go, and easily scales with more users.

The ability to cloud-manage access points, LAN switches and gateways ensures simplification and consolidation of the overall management of your branch equipment and allows for orchestration of your entire network—across cloud, WAN and LAN. So SD-WAN or SD-LAN is not about chasing the latest shiny button, it’s a fundamental transition in networking that will transform enterprise IT, for good—figuratively and literally.

Learn more about Riverbed SteelConnect. If you would like to give SteelConnect a test drive, feel free to try out the free trial.


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