1. WHAT IS SD-WAN? Definition and Explanation
SD-WHAT – A simple explanation
An SD-WAN network uses multiple connectivity sources simultaneously, to transmit data and network traffic from one point to another. Intelligent software controls how the traffic is routed and which connectivity paths are used.
Different connectivity technologies can be used, such as Internet access circuits, xDSL, FTTC, FTTP, MPLS and LTE / 4G / 5G or satellite. A true SD-WAN uses all available connectivity and is not configured as main or back-up connectivity.
True SD-WAN technology detects changes in connectivity medium such as increased latency, packet loss or jitter, and dynamically re-routes traffic around such brown-outs. Traffic is switched per packet and is sub-second.
True SD-WAN should not be confused with simple load balancing solutions, which pins traffic to main and back-up circuits and take several seconds to switch between links.
“A true SD-WAN solution will dynamically and intelligently route traffic, sub-second. A solution that simply load balances traffic is not SD-WAN”
MEF : SD-WAN and SASE FAQ Download
What Is True SD-WAN?
To remove confusion around the definition of a true SD-WAN the MEF released MEF 70 with 7 service attributes that a solution MUST have to be classified as SD-WAN.
Our CEO and CTO had the honour of assisting the MEF in deciding the 7 attributes as 2 of only 12 SD-WAN Subject Matter Experts on the planet. SDWAN Solutions is also the only business in the world with 2 SD-WAN SMEs.
As a minimum requirement, a solution must conform to all of these service attributes to be classified as SD-WAN:
- A secure, IP based transport independent overlay network
- Application driven and policy based dynamic packet forwarding
- Within service assured high availability tunnels
- Across multiple WANS
- And with service automation via centralised management
- Centralised control and orchestration,
- May also offer WAN optimisation functionality
At SDWAN Solutions we feel that the MEF 70 service attributes need to be even further clarified, as customers may continue to believe that all big brand name solutions offer the same functionality as the pure-play vendor solutions – this assumption is not correct – not everything that purports to be SDWAN meets the MEF standards.
To ensure that SDWAN Solutions only offer the best true vendor solutions, we rate all SD-WAN services against our own SD-WAN functionality test, and only work with services that finish with a score of over 85% to guarantee expected functionality and suitability.