Software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is an application of the technology called software-defined networking (SDN). SD-WAN is applied to WAN circuits that connect enterprise branch offices to data centers, and cloud/SaaS services. By abstracting network hardware and circuit characteristics from the applications that use the network, SD-WAN simplifies network control and management, while assuring optimal application performance. SD-WAN enables network agility and reduced costs through policy-enabled workflow automation, and provides a complete view of the network within a single screen, via a centrally managed controller.
A Transformed Network
SD-WAN allows organizations to create reliable, higher-performing WANs by combining multiple lower-cost circuits, that either partially or completely replace expensive and rigid private WAN circuits, like MPLS. Hybrid, (MPLS, plus another circuit, like broadband Internet, DIA, LTE, etc.) or all-Internet connectivity is enabled to increase reliability and lower costs.
SD-WAN software abstraction uses a centrally managed network overlay, and decouples network services from the network infrastructure underlay comprised of diverse hardware devices. SD-WAN can replace traditional branch routers, with virtual or physical appliances that control application-level policies through the network overlay.