In plain old English, SD-WANs learn about what applications your organisation uses and how they use them, as well as about the network path(s) underneath and how they perform. The SD-WAN then matches up the applications and the pathways based on various metrics.
Now for the techies…
Software-Defined WANs (SD-WANs) simplify and enhance branch and remote office connectivity. SD-WANs use a central controller to enforce policies and direct specific application flows (not just packets) across the most appropriate connection as defined by administrator criteria, including performance and cost.
An encrypted overlay creates a unified fabric from a physical underlay that can include private circuits, low-cost Internet broadband, and even LTE. This gives engineers more physical connectivity choices and can speed deployments.
Finally, SD-WANs combine application awareness and analytics enabling the controller to respond to changing traffic conditions within the fabric to meet application requirements. They also provide real-time and historical performance data to help administrators manage the WAN, identify and address service issues, and meet business demands.
An SD-WAN is not technology for technology’s sake. It provides meaningful, measurable benefits to both IT and the business.
Four SDN Elements Critical to an SD-WAN Solution
SD-WANs treat the WAN as a unified fabric — one massive entity that can be managed centrally. Network operators use the policy manager software to define traffic classes, security parameters, QoS characteristics, and other settings that are applied to the WAN fabric.
The controller software acts as a unified network control plane. In SD-WAN, the controller tells the forwarders how to forward traffic.
Traditional WANs terminate long-distance circuits with routers. In SD-WAN, a forwarder does the work of a router, sending traffic across the WAN.
SD-WAN reacts to changing network topology, link load, and circuit performance in real time. In addition, forwarders are aware of the applications flowing through them. The controller and an analytics engine use this data for reporting and to make real-time changes in WAN fabric forwarding.
Learn More About CloudGenix Solutions
Case Study: Columbia Sportswear
Extending the Power of ￼￼￼Software-Defined Networking to the Retail Branch