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A software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solution can give you the foundation you need to not just survive digitization but thrive in the face of it.

Today, 90 percent of most organizations' revenue is attained at the branch office, where 80 percent of customer-facing employees work and create value. To succeed in this era of digitization, it's essential that organizations have a modern WAN platform for their branch offices that can effectively deliver digital services.

Watch our latest TEC37 Webinar: Drowning in Digitization? How an SD-WAN Solution Can Help to explore the latest trends in delivering digital services from branch offices and hear about the benefits of SD-WAN adoption.

Watch "Drowning in Digitization?" on demand.

The webinar is available for viewing on demand or you can subscribe to our #TEC37 podcast channel to listen to the audio while you're on the go. You can also see what was on attendees' minds by checking out the FAQs.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What is application-based topology? Different vendor solutions are based on specific topologies like a hub and spoke, a full mesh, partial mesh, etc. There are a couple vendors that offer customers the ability to choose a topology based on the application. So, let's say you have voice traffic that needs to go branch to branch, but you don't want to send it through your data center. You can set up a full mesh topology so you can easily talk to different branches. For applications that reside only in the data center, you can set up separate a hub and spoke topology.The ability to add your business applications to different types of topologies really offers a lot of flexibility for your business.
  2. Is Cisco IWAN considered an SD-WAN? There are a lot of different considerations of what makes an SD-WAN solution – open networking user group has certain requirements, Gartner has four requirements, etc. It really boils down to four different technologies: transport independence, application intelligence, application visibility and security (discussed in more depth during the webinar). If the vendors meet those requirements, then it's considered an SD-WAN solution.
  3. Is SD-WAN an evolution of traffic engineering? If you're talking about traffic engineering from a service provider perspective, then yes, it could be considered that way, but in branch campus language. Traditionally, service providers think a little bit differently then the engineers that work on that type of equipment, like your branch campus network engineers. So it's accomplishing the same outcome but in a language that branch campus engineers understand.It could definitely be considered a form of traffic engineering since you can dynamically send traffic one way or another based on what's happening in your environment, rather than a manual intervention to change that route.
  4. What type of equipment goes in at the branch location? It's dependent on the different solutions and varies by organization.The best place to start would be a workshop, where you can really understand the components in your branch and what your needs are going forward. In working with customers, we've seen three kinds of solutions happening in the branch. On one end of the spectrum, routers may have small compute blades to host virtual services, while on the opposite end, customers have x86 platforms running all their software services. And then, somewhere in the middle is a hybrid approach of mainly software services but with some specialized hardware acceleration functions.Which you choose really just depends on your business goals.
  5. What security functions do I need in an SD-WAN solution? All security mechanisms traditionally sit in the data center, like a firewall, IPS or proxy services. With SD-WAN and sending traffic directly out to the internet from the branch, you still want to ensure your providing the same level of security. So organizations will want to consider moving these security protocols into a branch through a portal or even a physical piece of hardware to provide that level of security.

Additional resources

Contact our experts to learn more about this topic or request our Software-defined WAN Workshop to start your digital journey today!