Network World notes that there are three main types of SD-WAN architecture, each with its own benefits that are generally rooted in how they use WANs. These three types of SD-WAN architectures are:
- On-premises only architecture
- Cloud-enabled architecture
- Cloud-enabled plus backbone
On-premises only architecture
True to its eponymous name, an SD-WAN on-premises architecture is found onsite and established using a SD-WAN box or similar plug-and-play router that performs traffic shaping from its location in real time. This onsite SD-WAN box doesn’t connect to a cloud gateway and only connects to your enterprise’s sites.
What are the benefits of on-premises only architecture?
Some of the benefits for SD-WAN on-premises only architecture include the following:
- Low to zero SD-WAN cloud-enablement monthly bandwidth costs
- Multicircuit load balancing and failover
- Internet service provider (ISP) load balancing
- Real-time traffic shaping that helps increase WAN app performance
- Increased connectivity backup, which helps with disaster recovery (DR)
Unlike on-premises SD-WAN architecture, cloud-enabled SD-WAN architecture uses an onsite SD-WAN box that connects to a cloud gateway. This cloud gateway networks to the major cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Office 365 or Salesforce, and helps increase the performance and reliability of your enterprise’s cloud applications.
What are the benefits of cloud-enabled architecture?
Cloud-enabled architectures offer some of the same benefits of on-premises architecture, including real-time traffic shaping, increasing the performance of all WAN apps, multi-circuit load balancing, and increasing connectivity backup that improves DR.
If your enterprise’s internet circuit fails when you’re using a cloud app, then the cloud gateway can maintain that cloud session’s activity. If there’s another internet circuit, then the cloud gateway can prevent any interruption by instantaneously rerouting the cloud app to that internet circuit. With cloud-enabled architecture, cloud gateways can help improve both the performance and the reliability of cloud apps.
Cloud-enabled plus backbone architecture
The next level of cloud-enabled architecture, cloud-enabled plus backbone SD-WAN architecture, provides an onsite SD-WAN box that connects your enterprise’s site with the SD-WAN provider’s closest network point of presence (PoP). A PoP is where your enterprise’s traffic gets on the SD-WAN provider’s private, fiber optic network backbone. During the period when your enterprise’s WAN traffic is navigating the SD-WAN provider’s private backbone, it’s more likely to maintain lower levels of latency, jitter and packet loss. Lower levels of latency, jitter, and packet loss usually produce increased network traffic performance, most often with voice, video, virtual desktop and similar real-time traffic.
The SD-WAN provider’s private backbone is also directly connected with major cloud providers, such as AWS, Office 365 or Salesforce. As with non-backbone cloud SD-WAN architecture, this direct connection to major cloud providers helps increase the performance and reliability of cloud apps.
What are the benefits of cloud-enabled plus backbone architecture?
In addition to increased performance and reliability of cloud applications and increased performance of all network applications, including real-time apps, cloud-enabled plus backbone SD-WAN architecture has some other benefits. Benefits include multicircuit and ISP load-balancing, and increased DR capacity, as a result of boosted connectivity backup.