What is SD-WAN?

The growth of Cloud based applications and services is changing the data flow in most organisations. Traditionally, organisations located the majority of their applications and data in server rooms located in key buildings or private / 3rd party data centres.


As a result, the typical flow of data was from office locations that accommodated most of the users through to these centralised computer and storage facilities.

 

Internet services, connectivity to 3rd parties and mobile users usually made up a smaller percentage of the overall traffic volume, and so were connected and secured via a security perimeter within the Data Centre.

As user to application connectivity within the network is typically deemed secure, private networks were the ideal solution for organisations to connect users to applications, either direct circuits (point to point) that created hub and spoke or mesh topologies or MPLS networks, usually provided by telco’s as managed services.


However, there has been two significant changes over recent years, the growth of Cloud services, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS has led to a decrease in the number of applications hosted on client’s infrastructure also users are becoming more mobile and homebased. As a result, a larger proportion of the users are outside of the private network and are accessing a greater number of applications that are being hosted outside of the private network as well.


This gradual but accelerating shift is being accommodated in many organisations by scaling the capability and capacity of centralised security infrastructure and associated clients etc. But fundamentally this is working against the logical objective of connecting clients to applications with the shortest path possible.