The 3 types of SD-WAN architecture


If you’re contemplating whether SD-WAN will improve your company’s Wide Area Network, I’ve learned it’s important to first get a grasp of the different SD-WAN architectures.

As a long-time business ISP and cloud broker, I’ve had the best seat in the house for watching the SD-WAN craze take flight. As dozens of SD-WAN product offerings pop up, I have the enviable job of making sense of it all. [sigh]

In my observation, there are 3 main buckets of SD-WAN architecture, each of which benefit certain types of companies. Which architecture is “best” depends on the applications your company is accessing through your WAN.

1. On-prem-only

An “on-prem-only” SD-WAN architecture is exactly like it sounds. Your company has an SD-WAN box (essentially a plug ‘n play router), performing real-time traffic shaping at each site… and that’s it.

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