Software Defined networking in Wide Area Network is simply known as SD-WAN. SD-WAN is used to simplify both the management and the operation of WAN by means of decoupling or separating networking hardware from the control mechanism. The concept is pretty much the same to how software defined networking implements virtualization technology in an effort to further enhance operation and data center management as well.
The major function for why companies are integrating SD-WAN is to have wide area networks with higher performance by making use of low cost and at the same time, commercially available internet accessibility. As a matter of fact, this has made it possible for business owners to have an alternative in replacing expensive private WAN connection technology be it partial or whole.
WANs let companies to extend their networks as well over longer distances, connecting remote branches both to their data centers and each other and at the same time, delivering applications and services required in effectively carrying out business functions. When companies extend their network to cover broader distances and across multiple networks too, they face various operational challenges. This includes but not limited to network congestion, packet loss, jitter and occasional service outages.
Modern applications similar to VOIP calling, streaming media, video conferencing and virtualized desktops and applications are all requiring lower latency. The bandwidth requirements are increasing too especially for apps that feature HD vides. It may be expensive and hard at the same time in expanding the WANs capability. Products of SD-WAN are designed intentionally to be able to address these problems in the network. Through replacement and enhancement of the conventional branch routers by taking advantage of virtualization application controlling the app level policies while offering network overlay as well, consume grade internet which is less costly can now act as a dedicated circuit.
As a matter of fact, this is simplifying the setup process for the branch personnel. SD-WAN products might be virtual or physical appliances and installed in corporate data centers, bigger offices, remote offices and so forth.
The beauty of centralized controller is the fact that it is setting the policies and prioritizing traffic. SD-WAN is taking into mind these policies as well as the availability of network bandwidth in routing traffic. Basically, this helps in guaranteeing that the performance of application always meets the SLA or Service Level Agreements.
According to research, it is defined that an effective and efficient SD-WAN always carry 4 major characteristics and these are the ability of supporting multiple connections, the ability of doing dynamic path selection for resiliency and load sharing purposes, ability of supporting VPNs and other third party services and provide a simple interface that’s both manageable and configurable.