A popular buzzword in the IT community has been, and continues to be 'SD-WAN'. Software-Defined WAN refers to the ability to use software to make decisions when it comes to routing traffic between sites within a corporation or business. This is different from the legacy WAN (wide area network) architecture, which traditionally utilized a primary path, and sometimes a secondary or failover path. This legacy model introduced issues related to paying for a secondary connection (usually broadband or other low-cost internet) that may never be used, or may only be used a few days a year. A big problem with this was the inability for IT teams to determine if the secondary path was working as expected without testing in a DR scenario; ISP changes or configuration adjustments could result in this back-up tunnel not performing as expected, if at all. With SD-WAN, you're able to utilize multiple connections to connect remote sites to your primary Data Center simultaneously, allowing for better performance, and better redundancy to your remote sites (in essence, allowing a business to utilize multiple connections they already pay for without needing a fail scenario to leverage them). The benefit to this offering is that a business can configure their SD-WAN devices so there is a preferred route for critical traffic, and then define parameters on the links so that if one is not performing well, there is an automatic change in the routes the traffic takes, making an SD-WAN architecture highly-available and automated. At the end of the day, there 'can' be cost savings, but what I see mostly is that for the same spend, a business can greatly improve the performance and reliability of their WAN offering.
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