SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) is a modern networking technology that has gained significant popularity in recent years. It’s a virtual overlay that provides a secure, scalable, and efficient way to connect multiple sites, branches, and data centers. SD-WAN is considered a game-changer for enterprise networking as it simplifies network management, reduces costs, and improves network performance.

Before we dive deep into SD-WAN, let’s briefly discuss traditional WANs. WAN (Wide Area Network) is a network that connects geographically dispersed sites, such as branch offices, data centers, or cloud resources. Traditional WANs use a private dedicated network, such as MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching), to connect these sites. However, MPLS is expensive and can’t scale up quickly to meet the growing business demands. Also, it doesn’t have enough bandwidth for cloud-based applications and services.

That’s where SD-WAN comes into play. It uses software-defined networking (SDN) principles to abstract the network from its hardware, enabling the central management and control of network traffic. SD-WAN uses a combination of internet and private links (such as MPLS) to provide secure, reliable, and cost-effective connectivity between the sites.