Understanding the benefits of a hybrid-cloud SD-WAN strategy

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Flexible, secure branch-to-internet connectivity has become a business imperative. Nearly every organization, distributed or otherwise, now relies on cloud-based technology, including software-as-a-service applications, cloud storage, or other cloud infrastructure, for mission-critical business activities.

Multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) services, leased lines, virtual private networks (VPNs), and other specialized connectivity options are among the traditional mechanisms that enterprises have employed for WAN connectivity. But because the need for secure, reliable access to the cloud has become so crucial, many distributed enterprises have begun to reassess legacy branch connectivity choices in favor of more flexible and affordable alternatives.

Software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) has quickly risen in popularity as an efficient, cost-effective alternative to the limitations of traditional WAN infrastructures. SD-WAN bundles a variety of capabilities such as routing, load balancing, network address translation, and many other features in a single virtual networking solution.

Furthermore, SD-WAN enables organizations to abandon their costly and inflexible MPLS services, leased lines, and other legacy connectivity options. By allowing use of shared underlying networks, it makes it possible to transition to a mix of cost-effective access and transport technologies including cable, DSL, fiber, 4G, and eventually 5G