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Building SD-WAN architecture into your world

Get to know SD-WAN, networking's new kid on the block.


Software-defined networking may have started in the data center, but it’s since moved to the wide area network -- and with its promise to improve branch network connectivity while lowering costs and increasing agility, SD-WAN architecture is the most popular new kid on the networking block.

A plethora of startups and established industry players have now crowded on the scene, all offering variations on the same theme: technology that uses SDN principles to dynamically aggregate multiple WAN links, thus stepping up performance and decreasing reliance on costly MPLS connections. This essential guide will help you sidestep vendor hype and explore whether you’re ready for SD-WAN to move into your network. 

1SD-WAN 101-

Back to school: SD-WAN Architecture 101

Meet data center SDN’s more approachable, down-to-earth cousin -- SD-WAN -- and learn all about SDN and software-defined technology. Then you'll see why many industry pros believe an SD-WAN architecture is the future of the wide area network.


The appeal of SDN in the WAN, and where to start

SDN's networking role has not always been clear, there are now some compelling use cases. Because SDN can make the WAN more functional and less expensive, networking pros should keep their eyes on SDN developments. Continue Reading


Do wide area networks need to get software-defined?

Should you upgrade your wide area network to SD-WAN? Learn what factors you should consider before making the leap. Continue Reading


SD-WAN technology: A primer for what you need to know

Software-defined WAN is poised to take the wide area network by storm, simplifying operations and reducing costs. Here's what you should know about the new SDN-based approach. Continue Reading


Software defined WAN: The old way of building branch networks is dead

In the software defined WAN, we'll provision virtual overlays and move network management to the cloud, limiting costly on-premises equipment. Continue Reading


Why SD-WAN is the next breed of WAN optimization

Enterprises want to drop costly MPLS links but hesitate to lose the control they provide. SD-WAN offers a solution, and WAN optimization brings it to life. Continue Reading

2Use cases-

Problem-solver: SD-WAN use cases

In SDN’s early days, skeptics bemoaned a lack of clearly defined use cases, so SD-WAN came on the scene like a breath of fresh air. Learn about the specific problems this technology can tackle in the wide area network.


SD-What? Understanding SD-WAN

More than just a buzzword, software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) is already delivering benefits to early adopters. Skeptics warn, however, it's no magical elixir. Continue Reading


Do managed software-defined WAN services make sense?

By offering managed software-defined WAN services -- and potentially hastening MPLS' demise -- are providers sabotaging themselves? Our expert says no. Continue Reading


My MPLS service contract expires soon -- should I renew?

The rise of SD-WAN has many asking: Do we really need MPLS connectivity? Expert John Burke explains what factors to consider before renewing your existing contract. Continue Reading


In the SDN WAN: Network programmability, provisioning and high availability

The SDN WAN's network programmability and automated provisioning addresses the demands placed on the wide area network by the cloud, SaaS and BYOD. Continue Reading


SDN business case: How software-defined WANs save money

Build a strong SDN business case in the wide area network, with potential for significant return on investment in both savings and performance. Continue Reading


SD-WAN benefits create serious competition for MPLS

SD-WAN architecture offers features that reduce operational costs and simplify deployment models. Learn how to take advantage of SD-WAN benefits and navigate its potential downfalls. Continue Reading

3Making the move-

SD-WAN architecture: How to make the move

Top industry analysts expect software-defined WAN adoption to escalate dramatically. Here’s what to consider before moving to an SD-WAN architecture.


Consider these SD-WAN architecture pitfalls before adoption

The return on investment for SD-WAN can be high, but there are a range of factors to consider, including optimization and existing SLAs, before implementation. Continue Reading


How software-defined WAN architecture is changing the market

SDN principles are transforming the wide area network, with a number of networking companies -- both startups and established players -- offering software-defined WAN technologies to enterprises. Continue Reading


Discover three ways to get your WAN software defined

There are three ways to get your WAN software defined: overlay, replace and as a service. Learn what these entail and how they can reduce costs and improve WAN performance. Continue Reading


How will software-defined WANs impact the enterprise?

SD-WAN has a lot of potential for enterprises, especially as developers cobble together custom services and capabilities. Continue Reading


How to make your WAN architecture software-defined

There's more than one way to make your WAN architecture software-defined. Learn three very different routes to achieving an SD-WAN. Continue Reading


The future network is software-defined: Prepare your WAN now

In this concise podcast, John Burke of Nemertes Research covers the top dos and don'ts for implementing SDN in the WAN. His concise advice will better prepare you and your network for an SDN age. Continue Reading


The new WAN: How SDN changes wide area network operations

SDN promises to transform the wide area network. Network pros should consider how SD-WAN will also change operational and organizational needs. Continue Reading


What's the difference between hybrid, virtual and SD-WAN?

An expert explains the differences between hybrid, virtual and software-defined WANs and tells how they are each related. Continue Reading


When will SD-WANs 'cross the chasm'?

It can be difficult to separate hype from reality, especially when it comes to SDN technology. Here, analyst Jim Metzler explores when software-defined WANs might go mainstream. Continue Reading


SD-WAN in the news

The SD-WAN architecture landscape is rapidly evolving. Keep abreast of the latest developments from vendors, managed service providers and users.


SD-WAN market swells because of cloud-based business apps

IDC released its first study on the SD-WAN market, which is expected to hit $6 billion by 2020. The boom is driven by the growing popularity of cloud-based business applications. Continue Reading


SD-WAN technology promises enterprises control, cost savings

The latest UC innovations are testing the limits of enterprise networks. At Enterprise Connect, industry leaders discuss how SD-WAN technology can give networks the boost they need. Continue Reading


How SD-WAN could threaten the NFV business case

In this roundup of notable blog posts from around the Web, one analyst says SD-WAN could render certain NFV services irrelevant; another has advice for green networking pros. Continue Reading


Will the SD-WAN market consolidate?

This week, bloggers explore SD-WAN market consolidation, APIs and SDN, and cybersecurity goals for the next U.S. president. Continue Reading


SDN trends: All eyes on SD-WAN; open SDN's path unclear

Our most-read SDN news stories of the year reveal a collective obsession with SD-WAN, as well as a strong interest in the future of open SDN. Continue Reading

5Terms to know-

SD-WAN words you need to know

When implementing SD-WAN in your enterprise, there are important technology terms you must know. Learn the basics you need to know in our glossary.

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