SD-WAN stands for Software-Defined Wide Area Network. Traditionally, networks were defined by the hardware devices and the circuits connecting them. SD-WANs are defined by software that is downloaded into devices that control the movement of data packets. One hardware network can support multiple esparate software-defined networks. This is similar to a VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) where one Ethernet switch supports two separate Ethernet LANs. Because of the high cost of wide area circuits, the benefits from SD-WANs are even greater than for VLANs because wide area connections can be share and made over low-cost public Internet circuits saving a lot of money and providing greater capacity than leased point-to-point circuits.
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