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The big idea for SD-WAN is that multiple physical WAN links of any sort can be used to carry traffic without the network engineer having to do much engineering. Rather, the SD-WAN solution runs an overlay (tunneling) on top of the physical infrastructure, abstracting the actual links away.

SD-WAN forwarders (somewhat analogous to routers) monitor the performance of each physical link, and forward individual flows to remote SD-WAN forwarders across the link best able to handle that flow’s SLA requirements. Where did it get the SLA requirements? A network operator defined them in a central controller, which distributed that policy to all of the SD-WAN forwarders.

The practical upshot of all this? A company can reduce spending on private WAN links by adding cheaper broadband links to the WAN mix.

The Packet Pushers have heard from the following list of companies. Some of these vendors are Packet Pushers sponsors or podcast guests, meaning you can search our site to find more detailed information about their products and services.

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