A hybrid WAN, in a nutshell, is made up of two independent WAN circuits that transmit traffic between branches and data centers. Traffic will be diverted to a second WAN circuit if one circuit fails or becomes delayed due to congestion.
Various network combinations can be used in a hybrid WAN design, including two independent MPLS circuits, an MPLS and Internet circuit, two different Internet circuits, or an Internet and LTE circuit. Enterprises use hybrid WANs to add an extra layer of stability and resiliency to branch-to-data-center communication, ensuring business continuity.
Benefits of a Hybrid Wide Area Network
What are the advantages of hybrid WAN now that you know the answer to “What is Hybrid WAN?” By providing cost-effective broadband Internet and LTE, a Hybrid WAN offers various benefits, including reduced bandwidth expenditures.
It can also provide more adaptable and efficient bandwidth usage. Internet traffic can be managed without going via the data center for non-critical applications, but this adds latency and degrades performance.
A hybrid WAN can employ path selection to control traffic over the best performing WAN circuit for reliability and robustness. Based on the underlying network parameters, you can determine which circuit is the optimum way for various traffic kinds.
While a hybrid WAN offers some benefits, it also has some drawbacks. Today’s rising mobile workforce and cloud deployments add complexity and security risk to an already complicated network environment. Hybrid WANs aren’t well suited to dealing with these increased demands.
SD-WAN gives hybrid WANs insight.
Each WAN circuit’s essential qualities and characteristics are preserved in a hybrid WAN. On the other hand, MPLS is expensive, rigid, and controlled by a single service provider.
A hybrid WAN design contains relatively little operational intelligence. They always send traffic down the same path and only switch to a second path when the primary one is blocked. The hybrid WAN benefits from operational intelligence provided by SD-WAN.
All applications and distributed workloads and all WAN circuits may be carefully built and regulated to guarantee that traffic is always routed over the most appropriate and high-performing WAN circuits. This is achieved by using business intent policies that adapt to changing network conditions and application performance needs.
A software overlay maintains all SD-WAN-enabled circuits, apps, and users, allowing WAN circuits to be virtualized. Everything is choreographed, automated, and managed to improve application performance and give a more predictable and better user experience.
SD-WAN improves the hybrid WAN’s bandwidth efficiency.
SD-WAN allows for more efficient bandwidth utilization by routing traffic to the best available connection depending on corporate policies. For example, a company having an MPLS and broadband circuit and branch offices using cloud software such as Microsoft Office 365 and Salesforce no longer need to route Internet traffic to the cloud through the corporate data center. SD-WAN allows them to transfer traffic straight to cloud gateways across either circuit while maintaining security and performance.
SD-WAN with application awareness gives you more control over your hybrid WAN.
Network connectivity will be aligned with application performance. An application-aware SD-WAN manages user sessions, changes traffic flows automatically, and integrates QoS. These capabilities help ensure that application performance is maintained even when network conditions change rapidly.
SD-WAN makes provisioning, implementation, and management of remote offices and branch offices easier. A central controller and orchestrator provide operational intelligence and automatic zero-touch deployment to remote locations. Through a single-pane-of-glass for all of their scattered offices over the WAN, IT teams receive easier policy-based management.