WAN & SD-WAN
SD WAN | Managed WAN
WAN (Wide Area Network) is sometimes confused with Local Area Network (LAN). WAN is typically referred to the connection between locations within one business. In other words, for multi-location businesses different physical buildings in different cities or states make up one company with one or multi data networks.
The WAN is made of the fiber transport circuits from one to two or more locations. MPLS (multi-protocol Label Switching) is still a major technology used for WAN management. MPLS has been around for many years and still has a viable place in the market place.
Hybrid WANs include both SD-WAN and MPLS. For some businesses, it would be recommended to deploy a Hybrid WAN depending on business model, scalable growth and critical applications. Encryption is the key element to securing your data and your data traffic. Data traffic can be voice, video, and/or low latency data packets all of which should be encrypted so the outside world is completely cut off from your communications.
SD-WAN refers to Software Defined Wide Area Network. This terminology came from SDN, software defined network technology. SDN is commonly referred to LAN data transmission. A few years ago, SD-WAN came on the scene and is now leading the charged for managed WAN.
The software portion of this WAN boils down to the routers/CPE tied to each location in any one multi node network. The software (code) dictates the routes your traffic goes to get from one location to another. This software can easily be managed by any level IT administrator whether it be for blocking websites, throttling bandwidth, Quality of Service (QoS), or limiting the amount of general IP traffic a specific location can use.
The other huge technological advantage to SD-WAN, is the ability to use multiple carriers and multiple types of transport for all devices at any locations with in an SD-WAN environment. For instance, businesses can have 100 MB Fiber Ethernet Access for IP only, Coax Cable, and 4G LTE wireless service unified into one edge device for redundancy and diversity of network traffic. If your Fiber Ethernet circuit goes down, the coax and LTE service will continue to transmit data without any disruption of service to individuals operating within the SD-WAN environment.