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What Is Software Defined WAN? Software Defined Wide Area Network or SD-WAN is a specific application of SDN or Software Defined Networking technology that’s applied to wide area network which is used in connecting enterprise networks including data centers as well as branch offices over big geographic distances. A WAN can be used like connecting branch offices to central corporate network or in connecting data centers that are separated by distance. Back before, WAN connections are often using technology that requires special proprietary hardware. SD-WAN movement is seeking to move a bigger portion of network control over the cloud via software approach. This makes sense as more and more customers are demanding for an open, cloud-based and flexible WAN technologies instead of installing specialized or proprietary WAN technology that usually involve fixed, expensive or proprietary hardware. Majority of the SD WAN offerings for instance may be used in securing and improving internet connectivity, which makes it more competitive with the most costly legacy WAN technologies like MPLS or T-1. Most of the time, to replace these expensive solutions software defined WAN is making use of internet broadband connection. In an effort to make broadband connections become a lot more secure, virtualization technology is applying security and VPN or Virtual Private Network technology.
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Not only that, SD WAN has this benefit of removing potentially expensive routing hardware by provisioning services and connectivity through the cloud. The emerging SD WAN technology can be more flexible too like for instance, since SD WAN connectivity could be controlled over the cloud, customers can scale up or burst connectivity during peak demands.
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Delivering secure, simple cloud and business class enabled wide area network connection with as much as software based and open technology as possible is the main goal of SD WAN technology. This can be utilized to deliver basic WAN connectivity or it may be used for more premium business services just like WAN optimization, VPN as well as application delivery control or ADC. Actually, majority of the startups are after potential in SD WAN market, which is quite likely billions of dollars. Most of the startups however have slightly different approach to their specific market like for example, there are those that are concentrated more on accelerating SaaS or Software as a Service applications over the cloud, on the other hand some are after branch office connectivity using SD WN while others have built a global network so by that, companies may make use of WAN as NaaS or Network as a Service. There are actually 360 million dollars that have been invested to software defined WAN startups according to research.