What is SD WAN: How Could it Help your Company?

What is SD WAN: How Could it Help your Company?

SD WAN has become an increasingly popular networking tech solution over the past few years, and if you’re an IT buff you’ll likely already have heard of it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you know what it can do for your business, or even what the jumble of letters itself means!

You can find lots of useful info on SD WAN online, but you’re also likely to come across articles full of misinformation and companies who might just be trying to sell you something. That’s why we’re here to help you get the facts and make an informed decision on whether SD WAN is right for your business.

Understanding SD WAN

You can’t really understand SD WAN until you break down the letters in the acronym, so let’s start with the second half, which stands for Wide Area Network. A WAN is essentially a series of devices spread over a geographical location, which can be as small as your street or as big as a continent (or even bigger – the internet is a WAN!).

You’re likely to already have a WAN in your company that houses all of your major infrastructure devices and servers in a centralised hub. The individual locations within a WAN will typically be part of a smaller LAN (Local Area Network) that links to the WAN when connected via the internet. The provisions stored at the hub can then be used across the WAN, making things like software, storage, and other systems accessible from different locations.

Benefits of Using SD WAN

Though it might sound like a replacement for your WAN, SD WAN actually works as an overlay that goes over the top of your current WAN. This then means that you can access a wider range of control options from software that is compatible with all the devices on your network.

Because these controls can be accessed from anywhere on your WAN, you can make use of them instead of having to go back and forth between locations to work with controls that can only be accessed in person.

As well as reducing the amount of travelling your IT team have to do – and subsequently reducing their travel bills – SD WAN has a wide array of benefits you still may be unaware of. So let’s take a look at what SD WAN providers claim to be the advantages of this tech:

Managing Bandwidth and Traffic Priority

SD WAN helps in Managing Bandwidth and Traffic Priority

Many SD WAN providers like to say that SD WAN allows for the superior quality of service when put into contrast with older models of WAN management – but this is only half the story.

While SD WAN might be able to help a little in improving your quality of service, it’s ultimately going to be improving the network itself that produces meaningful changes.

It tends to be more impactful and wallet-friendly to make some tweaks to your existing network before you add any other structures to the foundation. Though SD WAN can be helpful in this regard, it’s really going to change at the hardware level that makes the most difference.

Expanding To New Sites Quickly

Though it’s obviously exciting for any business owner to be growing the company and expanding to new sites, most people will admit that actually getting the new site online and on the network is a painful part of the process. SD WAN can take out some of the stings, but with a few caveats.

SD WAN isn’t actually an integrated part of your network infrastructure in terms of hardware, and, as we discussed earlier, instead works as an overlay.

Therefore, if you don’t already have the hardware set up at your new location, the SD WAN won’t have anything to work with – without the connections in place, SD WAN isn’t going to get you very far.

A Potential MPLS Replacement?

This is a claim made by providers that really makes business owners stop and listen – but can an SD WAN system really do away with the need for the expensive MPLS solutions that underpin so many business networks?

MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) is a data-carrying technique used in very high-performance networks.

It works by routing data dynamically along the best route within a network, making it arrive at its destination with maximum efficiency.

This allows the highest priority data in the network to be moved along the quickest so that mission-critical applications stay online when traffic is heavy.

SD WAN can provide a similar service via its Class of Service (CoS) settings, which also lets you prioritize the data in your network.

However, it isn’t at nearly the same level as what MPLS can provide, as SD WAN is just an overlay on the network, while MPLS is fully integrated into the WAN.

Although SD WAN may be able to catch up to these abilities in the future, it looks like MPLS will continue to be the standard for the time being.

Keeping SaaS Applications Running Smoothly

Lots of businesses now rely upon SaaS (Software as a Service) applications in their day-to-day operations. SD WAN can be enormously helpful with this type of service – it gives you a central hub from which all of your satellite operations can have access to the same app with the speed and priority associated with the data.

If your business relies upon these applications to the extent that they can be considered mission-critical, with poor performance potentially leading to downtime costs, then this is even more important.

Because SD WAN helps you keep networking issues at bay without needing to send someone out to wherever the device is physically located, these important applications can stay online at the most critical times.

If you don’t use these apps particularly, this may not be a benefit that applies to you, but if you make frequent use of SaaS applications, you might find that you’re saved from some weighty downtime costs later down the line.

Investing in SD WAN

Investing in SD WAN

So, should you invest in an SD WAN system for your business network? Honestly, this is a question that requires a little more research and advice to answer – every business is different, and you might have unique considerations and issues that impact how useful SD WAN will be.

Make sure to find more reliable articles online for information on this topic, and to run this by your IT team and other senior staff to get the opinion of professionals who have a thorough understanding of your company and goals.

You might also find that if you’re already working with a reliable MSP (Managed Service Provider) who is great at staying on top of networking issues then you may not see much of a change with SD WAN.

But if you have an IT team who are sick of dragging themselves back and forth between offices to perform network maintenance, SD WAN could be incredibly helpful.

SD WAN technologies?

SD WAN is a new way to connect remote offices and branch offices that isn’t a traditional WAN solution. It can be used to connect branch offices to the core or other branch offices. SD WANs are growing in popularity because they are flexible and offer many benefits.

Traditional WANs use MPLS to establish a virtual connection between two locations. However, this technology can create problems with maintaining the WAN connection, especially in remote offices. SD WANs use a different approach to connect remote offices. They use a combination of technologies like:

Satellite connections

Satellite networks are used to connect remote offices to the core. They are less expensive than traditional WANs because they require less equipment. SD WANs use satellite connections to connect remote offices near each other. This makes the WAN connection more reliable in remote offices, since it doesn’t have to travel as far.

Peer-to-peer connections

Peer-to-peer connections are used to connect remote offices. This means SD WANs don’t use MPLS or other traditional WAN technologies. Instead, they use a combination of technologies to connect remote sites.

Which SD WAN is right for you?

If you want to connect remote offices, you will want an SD WAN. Some SD WANs use satellite connections to provide more reliable connections between remote offices. If you have an existing WAN and are considering SD W

Compare SD WANs to MPLS

Comparing SD WANs to MPLS

MPLS is a traditional WAN technology that was created to connect branch offices and the core. SD WANs are competing with MPLS because they offer many benefits such as flexibility and lower costs.

There are two main types of SD WANs:

Traditional – These use satellite connections to connect remote offices near each other.

Non-traditional – These don’t use MPLS or any other traditional methods to connect remote offices. They use peer-to-peer connections and satellite networks instead.

The type of SD WAN you want depends on your needs. If you want more reliable connections between remote offices then you will need a traditional SD WAN. If you have an existing WAN and are considering switching to SDWAN, then we recommend a non-traditional SDWAN, which might be less expensive than an MPLS connection.

Importance of SD WANs

SD WANs are growing in popularity because they offer many benefits. They have a much lower price point than traditional WAN solutions and they’re more reliable in remote offices.

SD WANs also provide businesses with more flexibility, since they use a different combination of technologies to connect sites.

How does an SD WAN work?

SD WANs use a combination of technologies to provide reliable connections with less downtime. Traditionally, if you wanted to connect remote offices over long distances you would use MPLS. However, because MPLS relies on tunnels to establish the connection, it can be difficult to maintain a stable connection.

One way SD WANs are able to avoid this is by using peer-to-peer connections. With peer-to-peer connections, SD WANs don’t rely on MPLS or other traditional WAN technologies. Instead, they use satellite and other methods to connect remote sites. This makes the process more reliable and reduces the risk of any technical issues occurring.

SD WAN benefits vs traditional MPLS networks

SD WANs are reliable.

SD WANs provide more reliable connections because they use a variety of technologies to connect remote offices. When one type of connection fails, other technologies can take over. This helps maintain a connection and keep your WAN running.

SD WANs offer better speed.

Traditional MPLS networks don’t provide enough bandwidth for large files or video streaming. However, this isn’t an issue with SD WANs because they use different technologies that offer faster speeds than traditional MPLS networks.

SD WANs are cheaper to set up and maintain than traditional MPLS networks.

One reason SD WANs are cheaper is because they don’t need fiber to be installed between two remote offices like MPLS does. This means you won’t have to invest in expensive network cabling and installation like you would with MPLS when setting up an office in a new location. You also don’t have to hire outside contractors or IT experts to manage your network, which can also save you money over time.


SD WAN is a Cisco® feature that allows you to enable packet-based switching between data centers. SD WAN uses native VLANs and can be used to provide a more cost-effective, flexible and scalable infrastructure. SD WAN uses native VLANs and can be used to provide a more cost-effective, flexible, and scalable infrastructure.

To get started with SD WAN, you must configure the proper Cisco IOS® image on your routers. This typically involves downloading a policy file from Cisco to your router.

Once you have the proper commands in your IOS, you can begin creating and configuring the network for SD WAN. SD WAN is software-based, so it is very straightforward to set up. In this article, we have taken a look at how SD WAN compares to MPLS and demonstrate the benefits of the technology.

SD WANs are a new way to connect remote offices and branch offices. Unlike traditional WANs, they don’t require MPLS. They use a combination of technologies like satellite connections or peer-to-peer connections. Which SD WAN is right for you? It depends on your needs. If you want to connect remote offices, the best SD WAN for you would be one that uses satellite connections to provide reliable connections between remote offices.

Related: How do you know if SD WAN will be right for your company?

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