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 Path Selection
- 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