The SD-WAN infrastructure market is expected to reach as high as $5.25 billion in 2023.
More and more companies are selecting this option over traditional WANs because their needs aren’t being met.
Are you interested in selecting an SD-WAN solution for your business, but are unsure about the types that are available or how they differ?
The three types of SD-WAN are explained below, so keep reading to learn more.
What Is SD-WAN?
SD-WAN stands for “software-defined wide area network” and is a virtual WAN architecture that will allow a company or enterprise to leverage a variety of transport services to connect users with the applications they use.
Transport services combined may include LTE, broadband internet, or MPLS.
An SD-WAN solution will use a centralized control to securely, safely, and quickly direct site traffic across the wide-area network. This helps with performance and results in a better user experience.
As an enterprise, you may experience increased business productivity and fewer IT costs with an SD-WAN solution.
Traditional WANs are typically not good enough for modern enterprises, especially if you are trying to use cloud-based applications more and break into the digital space.
The Three Types of SD-WAN Solutions
Each of these SD-WAN types is beneficial for certain companies, but choosing the one that will be the perfect fit for your enterprise is based on a variety of factors.
You need to consider the type of traffic you get, the type of applications that are used, and how much security you desire.
It’s also wise to think about what you are expecting to get out of this solution and how it may impact your day-to-day operations.
To determine whether or not your business fits with a certain type of SD-WAN more than the others, check out these descriptions of the three types of SD-WAN solutions.
This type will communicate between each edge device using instructions provided by the centralized orchestrator. The purpose of this SD-WAN solution is to replace or increase the efficacy of a private network that already exists.
With this solution, you’ll be able to perform traffic shaping in real-time.
With this type, you are also able to increase your bandwidth and create performance optimization over a small network while, at the same time, spending less money.
To set up a new site for this solution, you just need to order the connections, install the box, and register it to your centralized orchestrator. After this, it should be connected to the rest of the network.
If you want high availability for the SD-WAN controller, it may be difficult to set up this solution.
This option is very secure because it is not connected to anything other than your sites. You’ll have total control and will need to maintain the SD-WAN controller environment.
This architecture will allow you to automatically have meshed VPN connections with associated sites. If you don’t have any cloud-based applications, this may be the perfect fit for you.
With this solution, you will get an SD-WAN box that connects to a cloud gateway. This is a virtual architecture, but you still get the benefits of real-time traffic shaping like you would with site-to-site SD-WAN.
Gateway SD-WAN also offers increased performance and reliable applications. The gateway will be networked to major cloud providers and this makes the performance of these applications better.
If your internet fails when you are using a cloud application, the gateway can keep your session active. Once your company has reconnected or has switched to a different internet circuit, the SD-WAN will re-route you to the session and prevent the interception of work.
Instead of focusing on replacing the private network, gateway SD-WAN focuses on the cloud application.
If you want to mesh sites with your existing firewall while migrating into the cloud, choose this option. This is also a great solution for single-site organizations, fully-cloud operations, or organizations with multiple sites that don’t need site meshing.
A cloud SD-WAN solution provides benefits from both on-premise and gateway SD-WANs but still has major differences.
Branch-to-branch communication will still happen at your main site, but you’ll also get better performance from cloud applications and higher availability.
An on-premise SD-WAN box will connect your site to the nearest network point of presence of your provider. Your traffic can hop onto that SD-WAN provider’s fiber optic, private line, which helps lower levels of latency and packet loss. Not only is this good for traffic, but it is great for connectivity to those major cloud applications.
The performance of all of the network traffic, especially real-time traffic, is going to improve.
You could think of this as being partially cloud-based and partially on-premise based because you get the benefits of the cloud while still getting the support of the on-premise box.
Selecting an SD-WAN for Digital Transformation
Now that you know about the three types of SD-WAN, you may already know which one is going to benefit your company.
If you’re still not sure which approach is best, we are here to help. Instead of working on pushing one solution over the other, we want to give you the SD-WAN solution that will fit your needs.
Our partnerships with different SD-WAN providers from each type will help us connect you with the right one to accommodate your business.
If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help or want to ask us questions about SD-WAN solutions, contact us today.