Why Does Your Business Need SD-WAN in CDNs?

What is SD-WAN?

As the name implies, a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is a virtual wide area network (WAN) architecture that enables enterprises to securely connect users to applications. In order to do that, it leverages any combination of transport services, such as Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS), Long-Term Evolution (LTE), and broadband internet services.

SD-WAN direct internet access, or DIA, is used to describe the underlay connectivity, which may consist of Ethernet leased lines, broadband, and LTE. 

Characteristics of SD-WAN

According to Gartner, it has 4 characteristics:

  1. Has to support multiple connection types (MPLS, Internet, LTE, etc.)
  2. Can choose a path dynamically. (Allows load to be shared across multiple WAN connections.)
  3. Provides a user-friendly interface for WAN management. (At a branch, SD-WAN must be able to provide zero-touch provisioning.)
  4. Must back up VPNs to leverage public internet bandwidth at cost-effective prices.

Apart from these 4 features, zero-touch provisioning can be mentioned as a game-changer quality

The Zero-Touch Provisioning capacity of an SD-WAN eases the network management to generate configurations and policies once and then push them to all networking tools across their WAN assets. 

This characteristic eliminates the need for engineers to configure multiple networking devices at several locations using the standard Command Line Interface (CLI). 

This capability not only lets you swiftly deploy the network tools, but also decreases costs and increases productivity by ensuring the most effective utilization of specialized Information Technology resources. 

Besides, it minimizes the risk of human error that translates into consistency and standardization of networking configurations and policies across the enterprise.

Differences between MPLS and SD-WAN

When SD-WAN comes into question, it is frequently compared with the MPLS due to strong similarities. MPLS technology gave rise to SD-WAN. 

It is a software abstraction of MPLS technology that is applicable to a broader range of scenarios. 

It provides secure, private connectivity that is cloud-aware and agnostic to all types of interconnections and providers. WhileMPLS uses backup links to manage failure scenarios, SD-WAN uses real-time traffic steering based on centralized policies. 

Furthermore, since it combines the whole WAN connections, it provides global analytics across the network.

SD-WAN image 1

The difference between SD-WAN and MPLS (PE stands for Provider Edge)

Differences Between SD-WAN and Hybrid WAN

A hybrid WAN points out the specific usage of an SD-WAN that mixes Internet and private data services. Hybrid WANs basically utilize both MPLS and Internet connections. They’ll run connections in active-active and rely on the SD-WAN’s intelligence to distribute the wan traffic appropriately between MPLS and the Internet.

Differences between Traditional WAN and SD-WAN

The typical WAN function was to connect users at branch offices or campuses to applications located on data center servers. Dedicated MPLS circuits were typically utilized to assist security and dependable connections. 

In a cloud-centric environment, traditional WAN does not work. Dependent upon your business needs, a traditional WAN may hinder growth and the need for agility. 

Because of that, with the emergence of cloud services management and machine learning applications, data analysis came to the forefront. With the help of SD-WAN, the WAN backbone is enabled to be centralized, controllable, autonomous, and intelligent.

SD-WAN image 2

Pros of SD-WAN

The newly evolving SD-WAN technology has its own pros and cons. When its pros are analyzed, it might be a good approach to categorize it into four groups:

1. Improved App Experience

  • Have high availability and predictable service.

  • Available several hybrid active-active links for many network configurations.

  • Dynamically routed application-aware routing for faster delivery and a better user experience.

  • Reduces OpEx by replacing pricey MPLS services with more cost-effective and flexible broadband options.

2. Increased Security

  • Application-aware policies, with end-to-end segmentation and real-time access control.

  • Integrated threat protection imposed at the appropriate location.

  • Secure data transmission over broadband Internet and onto the cloud.

  • Distribute security to branch and distant endpoints through the use of NGFW, DNS security, and NGAV.

3. Improved Connectivity to the Cloud

  • A single, centralized, cloud-based management dashboard for WAN, cloud, and security setup and administration.

  • Zero-touch provisioning based on templates for all locations.

  • For business analytics and bandwidth forecasting, detailed reporting of application and WAN performance is available.

4. Easy Management

  • Extension of the WAN to many public clouds in real-time.

  • Real-time speed optimization major SaaS services.

  • Workflows for cloud platforms have been optimized.

Cons of SD-WAN

The disadvantages of SD-WAN technology predominantly suffer from being novel and still developing. Herein, the cons of SD-WAN can be summarized as follows:

  • SD-WANs are generally a do-it-yourself operation. That means before the implementation of SD-WAN you need a knowledgeable IT team that knows how SD-WAN works.

  • SD-WANs are still not widely used yet.

  • There is no security functionality on-site.

  • SD-WAN networks are not affected by slow performance.


An SD-WAN optimizes the distribution of business applications and data, whereas a dynamic CDN optimizes the distribution of content and applications to the clients they serve.

For worldwide connection, a company might establish an SD-WAN in a matter of days. However, some SD-WAN devices rely on the public Internet as a last resort for long-distance connection, which severely impacts mission-critical application performance when employed as a transport. SD-WAN on a private network optimizes and routes traffic via a dedicated and secure WAN backbone. This leads to faster and more consistent application response times for end-users, regardless of where they are in the world.

CDNs, on the other hand, are commonly used to stage material closer to users. For example, an e-commerce company may be concerned that significant discounts could overwhelm centralized web servers. By signing up for a CDN, it will be able to replicate and cache its material on servers all over the world. When the discounts begin, visitors will be served from local servers, with minimal possibility of service being delayed or stopped.

SD-WANs and CDNs play quite different functions. Therefore, they can be used together. A company that utilizes a CDN to distribute content across the world may also elect to employ an SD-WAN to rapidly extend the bandwidth of its WAN backbone while improving the performance of apps accessed by users over that network.

As Medianova, we are always looking for cutting-edge technologies to make our CDN backbone more robustflexiblefast, and intelligent. Get in touch with us to learn more about how Medianova can build and manage an optimized and dedicated CDN for you.

Get in touch with us to learn more about SD-WAN in CDN and how Medianova can help you deliver the best online experiences.

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