Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) applies software-defined networking (SDN) concepts to wide area network (WAN) connections. SD-WAN technology abstracts traffic management and monitoring from network hardware and applies them to individual applications to achieve improved app performance, deliver high-quality user experiences over geographically dispersed locations, and simplify the deployment of wide-area and cloud-access networks.
Modern enterprises rely on wide area networks to support an increasing number of business-critical applications, such as virtual desktops, VoIP and video conferencing platforms, ERP and CRM systems, and other enterprise or cloud-based apps. These applications often are bandwidth-intensive and demand high reliability and quality of service. When they slow down for even a few seconds, employees notice, and productivity suffers.
The traditional way to address WAN constraints and meet performance and reliability requirements is to upgrade network bandwidth. But this isn’t cost-efficient and doesn’t prioritize mission-critical applications. It also doesn’t address the changing nature of applications and data, which are increasingly located in public and private clouds.
SD-WAN technology allows you to create a hybrid WAN architecture that binds multiple MPLS, mobile, and broadband paths together to provide a single, logical, virtualized path that can dynamically adapt to network conditions. It also enables priprioritization decisions for each application using very granular application classification to ensure that the highest-priority applications always perform extremely well. As the next-generation alternative to WAN optimization, SD-WAN technology addresses evolving application and branch infrastructure requirements.
SD-WAN solutions offer many benefits to meet the demands of modern enterprise networks, including:
Changing business needs are driving network evolution. Traditional WANs were not designed for today’s demands for increased flexibility, responsiveness, security, and control. SD-WAN technology is an effective and economical solution that addresses these challenges. The SD-WAN vendor market is growing quickly and includes offerings from large networking vendors, focused WAN specialists and venture-funded startups. It is estimated that the SD-WAN market will be worth more than $6 billion in 2020.
Increase WAN throughput and reliability while improving the application experience for branch and mobile users with NetScaler SD-WAN.
Additional SD-WAN education resources: