SD-WAN - What is it and why your organisation might need it

This article will help you understand what SD-WAN is, why you might need it and how to best go about implementing it in your organisation.

What is SD-WAN?

According to Wikipedia, SD-WAN is defined as “an acronym for software-defined networking in a wide area network (WAN). An SD-WAN simplifies the management and operation of a WAN by decoupling (separating) the networking hardware from its control mechanism.”

SD-WAN is already a big thing and many players, both new and established, have been attracted to this potentially billion dollar market. IDC have predicted the market for SD-WAN will be worth $8billion by 2021.

Why do you need it?

The biggest drivers of SD-WAN adoption are cost, reliability and security. An article in SDX Central states that "the main goal of SD-WAN (SDWAN) technology is to deliver a business-class, secure and simple cloud-enabled WAN connection with as much open and software-based technology as possible."

Open source and software based are critical here as open source helps an enterprise avoid lock-in to proprietary systems, and software control can reduce hardware cost.

DIY or managed SD-WAN

SD-WAN technologies are sold partly because of their ease of management and the higher levels of automation they deliver. Despite this, 80% of enterprises have chosen managed SD-WAN, compared to 20% choosing the DIY SD-WAN route according to recent research by Frost & Sullivan.

Our recent blog deals with this conundrum in more detail.


By going down the multisourcing service integration (MSI) route, enterprises basically eliminate all of this complexity by enabling a service integrator to take over the management of the contracts, while the enterprises remain owners of sourcing and contract management.

Here’s a blog that explains the benefits of MSI for SD-WAN deployment.

MSI allows you to regain control over your suppliers, costs and IT estate, while ensuring that all services work in harmony. To find out more, watch our video here.

Dive deeper into SD-WAN

We've produced an e-book to help you better understand and meet the challenges of the digital future with the help of SD-WAN. You can download it here.


Flexible SD-WAN

Flexible SD-WAN from Orange Business is an agile connectivity solution for your digital transformation.


Glenn Le Santo
Glenn Le Santo

Editor in Chief, International, at Orange Business. I'm in charge of our International website and the English language blogs at Orange Business. In my spare time I'm literally captain of my own ship, spending my time on the wonderful rivers and canals of England.