Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN)

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Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) is the second “software-defined” marketing attempt (after the original SDN) to dress a conglomerate of old technologies into shiny new clothes. Even Wikipedia article promotes some of the usual software-defined hype, quoting Network World claim that:

SD-WAN simplifies the management and operation of a WAN by decoupling the networking hardware from its control mechanism. This concept is similar to how software-defined networking implements virtualization technology to improve data center management and operation.

Is It Real?

Want to know how real those claims are? Start the journey with this series of myth-busting blog posts:

Does SD-WAN make sense? Sure:

Need More Details?

I covered the basics of SD-WAN in Choose the Optimal VPN Service and SDN Use Cases webinars.

Pradosh Mohapatra described the basics of SD-WAN and its typical components and architectures:

Want to know more about Cisco’s SD-WAN solution (formerly known as Viptela)? Enjoy David Peñaloza Seijas’ deep dive into its architecture and implementation details:

Real-Life SD-WAN

SD-WAN sounds great, but does it work as expected? Maybe not:

Is it secure? Some products seem to be nothing more than a bunch of open-source component glued together with clueless Python code:

Some service providers want to use SD-WAN to offer managed services. Not surprisingly, some people1 don’t find that a good idea:

Then there are some technical details vendors love to gloss over:

Does it work within a public cloud? Yeah, sort of… with a few challenges:

Want Even More?

Love marketing-related rants? Here are a few:

Last, but definitely not least, you might enjoy these (more esoteric) solutions:

Blog Posts I Forgot to Categorize

  1. Including those working for said service providers or their customers ↩︎