Software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is an agile, software-driven approach to wide area networks (WANs). It replaces traditional WAN networking hardware such as command-line interface (CLI) configured routers with centralized management, applying software-defined networking (SDN) technology to wide area network (WAN) connections to most effectively deliver applications to users across long distances.
The goal of SD-WAN is to reduce the costs of private WAN links, increase performance, and make networking more agile for the cloud.
Path control or selection directs traffic based on application priority to the appropriate network links
It enables business-critical traffic to be directed on high-performance links while less critical traffic is directed to the remaining (cheaper) resources
If a high-performance link fails, performance SLAs are unaffected because traffic is automatically redirected to remaining healthy links
This is a basic requirement for any realistic SD-WAN solution
Setting up a new branch should be able to be performed remotely. Once the setup is complete, appliances can be shipped to the branch location and anyone can simply plug them in.
Once plugged in, the appliances discover themselves automatically, download configurations and begin functioning
Intuitive administration workflows
This is dependent on business priorities, such as performance, data security, users, and branch locations
Global or local policies should be easily set up on a management console with simple rules such as: send video traffic over the highest-capacity circuits; send software updates over Internet broadband circuits; or send all business traffic over secure VPNs.
This allows for routing replacement and/or integration with network services for consistent performance
Riverbed's SD-WAN Solution
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Yes, SD-WAN significantly increases ROI by improving IT agility, performance and efficiency. Your ROI should be in double digits and you should expect to break even within a few months of completing your deployment. Make sure to plan your roadmap with your SD-WAN vendor and confirm that they can quantify ROI for your custom use-cases.
The vendor selection process will show you that many vendors have not been able to quickly evolve to produce more effective software-defined platforms. Small vendors do not offer a holistic platform for WAN management and rarely have the necessary years of experience in the WAN market. An ideal vendor will recognize and resolve your specific pain-points as well as be a leader in the WAN market. This ensures that they will have the capability to meet your current and future requirements for the entirety of your SD-WAN project. Find out if SD-WAN is key to your business transformation >
Is SD-WAN Secure?
SD-WAN can increase your network security with encrypted network traffic, network segmentation, the use of a central provisioning system, increased visibility into the WAN, and optimized performance overall. Segmenting your network limits any attack damage to a manageable area. A central provisioning system provids a piece of software that controls all of the separate nodes interdependently which gives better communication and connection between your network, very different from the traditional WAN setup. Read more about SD-WAN security >
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