Virtual WAN (vWAN) are a subset of the SD-WAN technology. This technology is available in both the virtual and physical form. It is designed to perform three functions namely to secure, optimize and aggregate. It is an on premise product unlike the cloud-based SD-WAN.
The vWAN traffic is secured by encryption as it is being transmitted across public networks. The technology can provide additional security through the secure socket layer offload. The vWAN makes the WAN links such as broadband and other public links to perform as a single large link while making utilizing the applications which use the connectivity.
The vWAN optimizes in the following ways:
– They can load balance across aggregated communications channels.
– The technology will select the route flows or packets depending on the performance of a link at the moment.
– It defines the traffic flowing through it by looking at the destinations, specific services, or users.
The Hybrid WAN features multiple types of connections- such as the multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) and the carrier Ethernet together with T3s. The Hybrid WAN is a WAN which combines the dedicated private connections with Internet connections. This means that some branches of this network will have the private (usually MPLS) connections only, others have internet connection only while others have both internet and private connections.
Limitations of the WAN
With all the benefits and flexibility that the SD-WAN technology offers, it still has a number of short comings. The technology can be compared to the VOIP networks when it comes to the constraints that come with the on-site costs. SD-WAN appliance stacks also needs some close monitoring which will add a bit of complexity to its daily operations. Office managers however find it better having separate hardware and software designs to handle. This fact increases the business mobility and frees up time to work on other aspects of the network. So despite the shortcomings, the benefits of the technology by far outweigh the disadvantages.
SD-WAN technology Issues Being Addressed
– Outages and disruptions are not a frequent occurrence with the technology but they do occur. Tech teams are now working on preventing them from occurring in the office space.
– Office employees may note software failures or connectivity problems. However software problems are addressed as the software versions go higher with each update installed. The new innovations are always tested on the field before they are released to minimize the chances of failure and rectify any problem observed during the field test.
There is a growing number of SD-WAN vendors who are currently offering SD-WAN services. Some of the top vendors include VeloCloud, CloudGenix, Viptela and Saisei. The traditional MSPs and application optimization vendors have also added the SDN functionality to their exisiting WAN products due to the demand. These are Avaya, Juniper, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco and Silver Peak. Major vWAN vendors include, Talari, Mushroom and Elfiq.