What are the benefits of SD-WAN vs. Hybrid WAN?
These two different network connections are represented by various combinations of connections, like an MPLS circuit and a broadband connection; two separate broadband connections from different carriers; or a broadband and a cellular connection. Hybrid WANs provide additional resiliency and reliability, as they can be active/active, rather than active/passive.
Intelligence Difference of SD-WAN vs. Hybrid WAN
A hybrid WAN has very little operational intelligence, directing traffic over the same route each time, and only using a different path if the primary path is no longer available. But when SD-WAN manages the hybrid WAN, traffic can be highly manipulated and controlled to ensure the right traffic flows over the best connections at all times. This control is based on business priorities, dynamically changing network conditions and diverse application requirements. Multiple connections of any type are virtualized through a software overlay that leverages the entire aggregated bandwidth and orchestrates it with highly granular and automated policy-based control.
SD-WAN Adds Bandwidth Efficiencies to Hybrid WAN Solutions
SD-WAN also provides more efficient use of bandwidth by directing traffic to the most appropriate connection. For example, a company that has a hybrid WAN with MPLS and broadband circuits, and branch offices accessing cloud apps, like Microsoft Office 365, can send that traffic directly to the Office 365 portal. The company no longer needs to unnecessarily route cloud-based traffic through the corporate data center first, potentially causing latency and data loss. Hybrid WAN keeps the expensive MPLS connection free for other mission-critical business applications.
SD-WAN architecture embeds application intelligence, enabling deep packet inspection by the network, beyond source and destination. It understands the application requirements and the context associated with the applications and delivers fast, reliable, and secure application delivery, regardless of network conditions. SD-WAN architecture enables an optimal user experience.