SD-WAN vs Hybrid WAN

  • Most enterprise WANs have historically used MPLS, but with the proliferation of cloud resources and mobile users, organizations are realizing the need to facilitate more flexible connectivity. They are faced with many options when making this decision, but one of the first that must be considered is whether to go with a hybrid WAN or SD-WAN.

    With a hybrid WAN, two different types of network services connect locations. Usually, one network service is MPLS while the other is typically an Internet connection. While some enterprises will have an active MPLS connection with an Internet/VPN connection for failover, hybrid WAN actively uses both connections.

    Hybrid WAN configurations allow for easy increase in bandwidth by inserting Internet connections alongside an existing MPLS network. Offloading traffic from MPLS allows for reductions in monthly bandwidth costs and to turn up new installations faster by leveraging indigenous Internet access link. Regulatory constraints mandating MPLS can continue to be met.