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What is SD-WAN?

When business managers shop for new telecom services, more often than not they encounter the networking term SD-WAN.  So what is SD-WAN?   SD-WAN is an acronym for Software Defined Wide Area Networking.  This term represents a relatively new development in the telecommunications industry, and describes the functions of optimizing data transport and Internet transit services.  It incorporates Software Defined Networking (SDN) applications into WAN connectivity solutions.  SD-WAN functionality, physical WAN links from multiple vendors, and various transport types (cable, copper, fiber, wireless), can be aggregated via customer premise equipment to more efficiently carry WAN network traffic.  From a practical point of view, a company can save significantly on telecom expenditures by adding less costly broadband links into its network infrastructure.  This enables a company to price shop for a least cost end point connection(s) at each WAN edge location where Internet service is needed.  Traffic no longer needs to be backhauled to a corporate headquarters location for users to access hosted applications and services.  The result is a better user experience for company employees working in a distributed data environment.


When considering connectivity solutions, a company can choose between numerous SD WAN vendors offering various types of service.  Many of the sellers in the current marketplace have business roots embedded in equipment manufacturing and distribution.  So development of SDN feature sets into SD WAN products is an evolutionary process that addresses the customer’s ever changing needs. 


Certain customers want to retain total control of their networks, while other customers want to outsource network responsibilities to a trusted service provider.  So SD WAN solution providers fall into several categories as follows:

  • Equipment manufacturers offering products with embedded SDN feature sets, with the end user customer being responsible for obtaining carrier network services.
  • Equipment manufacturers offering products with built in SDN feature sets, and also providing certain management oversight functions of the network and nodes. The customer will still be responsible for contracting carrier network services.
  • SD-WAN as-a-Service Providers are responsible for most network infrastructure, service bandwidth offerings and network management. Service providers typically build their networks with commercially available products, and own or lease the underlying network grid. Therefore the SD-WAN Service Provider is not transport agnostic, desiring to retain as much data traffic as possible on its own network.

Here is a list of SD WAN Vendors and SD WAN Service Providers:

1. Barracuda Networks

2. Cata Networks

3. Cisco iWAN

4. Citrix NetScaler

5. CloudGenix


6. Cradlepoint (Pertino)

7. Ecessa

8. Elfiz

9. FatPipe Networks

10. Huawei


11. Juniper

12. Nuage Networks

13. Riverbed

14. Sonus Networks

15. Talari Networks


16. TeloIP

17. VeloCloud

18. Versa Networks

19. Viptela (Cisco)

20. ZeroOutages


aryaka sd-wan


Aryaka is a SD-WAN company that provides globally distributed enterprise services for network connectivity and application delivery.


Silver Peak

Silver Peak develops SD-WAN products for WAN optimization and data security to augment or replace MPLS networks.

maserrgy sd-wan - usaccess


Masergy provides next-gen SD-WAN global services featuring advanced security and cloud-based unified communications.


Bigleaf Networks

Bigleaf Networks provides Cloud-first SD-WAN services to manage real-time cloud access and internet performance.

Curious about comparing SD-WAN vs MPLS?

About 15 years ago MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) networks revolutionized the way data was transported over the WAN.  MPLS networks are high performance networks that direct data based upon short path labels, which significantly improve router functionality.  However, compared to SD-WAN, bandwidth pricing and management overhead on MPLS networks is very expensive.


There are many recognizable benefits when comparing SD-WAN vs MPLS that shape buyer decisions.  Decision makers will focus on many variables including price, time to install, network performance and service provider reputation.  Buyers will also assess how the service is managed and the level of security for data traveling across the WAN.  Here is a list of advantages of SD-WAN vs MPLS that improve network agility, uptime availability and cost-effectiveness:

  • Single unified platform for Private WAN (MPLS/DIA) and public WAN (Cloud/SaaS)
  • Can reduce operating expenses and CAPEX up to 50%
  • Interconnect Domestic and International Sites
  • Best network path routing, and sub-second failover reliability
  • Safe and fast turn-up of circuits (days not months)
  • WAN optimization (caching, deduplication, compression, TCP acceleration)
  • Accelerate application performance up to 10X (O365, AWS, Salesforce, Citrix, VoIP etc.)
  • Smart QoS reduce jitter and lower latency
  • Granular visibility, management and control
  • Secure cloud gateways enhance perimeter security and traffic segmentation
  • Encrypted connectivity with best practices key management

SD-WAN as a Service

SD-WAN as-a-Service is an excellent low cost alternative to customer managed MPLS and DIA networks.  International Data Corp projects worldwide SD-WAN revenues in 2020 will exceed $6 billion.  Gartner predicts 30% of enterprises will deploy SD-WAN technology in their branches by 2020.

About USAccess, LLC

USAccess, LLC is a telecom agency and has been in business since 1997.  We represent over 40 carriers serving domestic and international markets.  Partner relationships include SD-WAN product manufacturers and service providers.   Our technical resources can assist you with network design, data security and cloud infrastructure.


USAccess provides Free Multi-Source Telecom Quotes for existing contract renewals and new service requirements. 


Click here to receive SD-WAN Pricing for your service requirements.

"USAccess was great in providing us with several SD-WAN solutions to choose from. Would love to do business with them again."
Victor M.
Telecom Director
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Ella C.

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