A Software Defined Wide Area Network, also referred to as SD WAN is a type of network that uses software to transmit data over a wide geographical area.Over the years several innovations have enabled the creation of these networks. These innovations have been packaged together to produce this network thus avoiding the need for frequent and complex configurations. The overall effect is a one stop solution for a company’s network needs which has allowed for combining of wide area network capabilities with software defined networks. One such technology involves the use of overlays to communicate between many networks. This allows for transmission of codes between various networks.
Another is the use of the Internet together with Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) or Virtual Private Network (VPN) .When internet is used with VPN, data is shared on the internet using private pathways allowing for secure connections.
The use of central controllers is an additional innovation in this arena. These implement instructions, and also directflows and packets. Another good innovation is the incorporation of built in analytics within the network. This allows the network administrator to have real time view of how the network is performing enabling enhanced and efficient performance. It also provides the administrator with data from previous operations allowing him to do comparisons and make the necessary adjustments.
Another added feature is the different approach accorded to network service provision and its implementation. In Software Defined Wide Area Networks, transmission of traffic is designed to flow across infrastructure instead of as packets in junction points that is common in other traditional wide area networks. Cloud Wide Area Networks on the other hand involves the use of cloud computing methods to network. It allows several people in an institution to access similar resources and files thus allowing them to work on a similar project.New codes are written which are based on the cloud and also security features like firewalls are based on cloud.
Software defined wide area networks apart from having the common benefits of a wide area network such as enabling businesses or institutions to transmit information in a large geographical area has other additional benefits. The first obvious benefit is that it allows transmission of data to occur across software hence eliminates the tediousness associated with data transmission over hardware. The process of data transmission, as well as configuration therefore, becomes less complex. Apart from that, it makes the process much cheaper because devices used are of lower cost compared to those required for traditional wide area networks that require housing on expensive hardware platforms.