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Special Edition, April 2017, Vol. 1, No. 2

SD-WAN helps secure hybrid networks

S. Smith got one of those rare opportunities that most network engineers can only dream about -- the chance to completely redesign his company's legacy branch architecture. All 3,000 branches belonging to the financial services company he works for had routed its wide area network (WAN) traffic over MPLS. An Internet connection was available as a backup, but only as a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency alternative if the MPLS link went down. While it met the company's strict security requirements, it was expensive to maintain. As Smith and his team worked on how they could make their WAN more efficient without increasing their reliance on MPLS, software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) caught their attention. This new technology enables enterprises to create hybrid networks that aggregate multiple access technologies, including commercial Internet services, and dynamically route traffic across the best one depending on real-time availability and performance, or other custom policies. After running lab tests and a small pilot in their ...

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