The software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is a specific application of software-defined networking (SDN) technology applied to WAN connections, which are used to connect enterprise networks – including branch offices and data centers – over large geographic distances.

SDN focuses on separating the network's control function (that decides where traffic is sent) and forwarding function (the underlying systems that do the forwarding), allowing both to be optimized easily. The result is centralized, software-based control of network functions using cost-effective, general-purpose hardware.

What you need to know.

Common applications include:

  • Connect multiple clouds
  • Switch to scalable bandwidth
  • Simplify wireless LANs
  • Take control with a hybrid WAN - quickly modify network settings to adapt to performance and application requirements
  • Use Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to imporove the user experience
  • Effectively manage data centers by automating configuration changes synchronizing workloads between physical and virtual data center elements