What is SD-WAN?

A Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is a virtual WAN architecture that provides enterprises with the flexibility to leverage any combination of transport services, including broadband internet, to securely connect users to applications. Today, applications are hosted in on-premise data centers, and increasingly in private or public clouds. Or they may be consumed as a subscription-based Software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering. Typical SaaS examples include Salesforce.com, Workday, Office365, Box and Dropbox.

An SD-WAN virtualizes WAN services including Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), broadband and 4G/LTE, treating them as a resource pool. Pre-defined policies, programmed by IT, specify per application group how traffic should be handled to meet priority, Quality of Service and security requirements according to business intent. An SD-WAN continuously monitors applications and network resources to intelligently and automatically steer traffic in accordance with these requirements in contrast to conventional routing based on TCP/IP addresses.

Building a Better WAN with a Complete Solution

Not all SD-WANs are created equal. By building a better WAN with Silver Peak, customers realize an extended range of benefits:

  • Lower WAN OPEX and CAPEX
  • Greater business agility and responsiveness
  • Increased application performance across the WAN
  • Assure business intent with advanced application visibility and control
  • Robust edge-to-edge security and micro-segmentation
  • Extensibility to 3rd party products via service chaining

All SD-WANs Are Not Created Equal

While an SD-WAN is a critical component of building a better WAN, a complete solution must address a broader set of requirements:

  • Performance — Deliver predictable application performance and quality of service across the WAN
  • Visibility and control — See and control all applications and data running across the WAN
  • Security — Secure and segment all WAN traffic and applications
  • Extensibility — Able to service chain other WAN services and route across the WAN

Non-disruptive Migration to SD-WAN

Adding SD-WAN to an existing WAN infrastructure couldn’t be simpler. With Silver Peak, it can be a seamless transition. During the migration, all existing WAN equipment, services and connections continue to operate as before. While it’s possible for EdgeConnect to replace existing WAN infrastructure, creating a virtual WAN overlay doesn’t require a forklift upgrade of existing routers or infrastructure at branch locations.

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