The best sd-wan vendors: The 3 types

December 4, 2018 Mike Smith

You’ve heard about SD-WAN and you’re wondering if it’s the right technology for your company’s WAN. As you research SD-WAN, however, you’ve noticed that everyone’s solution seems to be different. So, if every solution is different, what is the true SD-WAN and/or which SD-WAN solution is best for your company?

In this video, Mike gives you a wonderful way to categorize SD-WAN into 3 different types of architecture. Then, he explains each architecture and helps you understand which might be the best fit for your company’s network.

Need a little more help deciding which is best for your company? Click the button below.


About the Hostmikesmith
Mike Smith is the Founder and President of AeroCom and has been helping companies with telecom and cloud services since 1999. He has been the recipient of numerous business telecommunications industry awards and in 2011, he was honored as one of the top 40 business people in Orange County, CA., under 40 years old. Follow Mike on LinkedInTwitter or SpiceWorks.




Hi, this is Mike Smith, President of AeroCom, the easiest way for your company to shop and purchase telecommunications, cloud and Internet service.

Okay, so today I’m gonna continue on my video series on the best SD-WAN vendors. Today I’m gonna cover what I consider to be the three main types of SD-WAN solutions out there. All the vendors, you gotta really talk to them, because they all offer a little bit of a different flavor of SD-WAN. I’ve been looking at SD-WAN for a couple years now, and I’ve really tried hard to figure out what’s the difference between all of these providers. I’ve come up with the fact that there are three main categories, or types of architecture, that these SD-WAN solutions have. On-prem only, cloud-enabled, and cloud-enabled over a fiber optic backbone. Let me explain them each.

All right, so an on-prem only SD-WAN solution is when the service provider gives you an appliance at every single site, and that appliance is stand-alone. It doesn’t connect up to anything in the cloud. It just is sitting at each individual site. That’s on-prem only. Some of those solutions, or a lot of them, are a one-time purchase, like Meraki, or some of the other main SD-WAN firewalls out there. But some of them are actually a monthly service fee as well, so whether or not it is OPEX or CAPEX, there’s both solutions out there with on-prem only solutions. But the main thing I want you to know is on-prem only, just like it says, they give you an appliance at every site, and most of those solutions only control your outbound traffic, because, obviously, it’s not connecting up to anything. I only know a couple providers who have a unique on-prem only solution that can actually, also, control your inbound traffic.

All right, speaking of inbound traffic, the second type of SD-WAN architecture, in my opinion, is an on-prem solution that connects up to a cloud gateway. I call these solutions, cloud-enabled SD-WAN solutions. The service provider, you usually buy these solutions from a service provider, and it’s an OPEX situation, where you’re paying a monthly fee for the service. The service provider sends you an appliance for every single site that you have and that appliance connects up to that service provider’s nearest cloud gateway, in essence, a router sitting in their nearest data center. Because it’s connecting up to a router sitting in the cloud, now it can do two-way load-balancing, QOS, failover, all types of cool stuff. I think these solutions are really neat, because it can really help your traffic outbound and, also, inbound. That’s what makes it really different from the SD-WAN solutions that you can get from firewalls out there, okay? So, that’s the second type of architecture that I would consider.

The best sd-wan vendors - the 3 types

The third type of architecture is a cloud-enabled SD-WAN solution, so you have an on-site appliance connecting up to a cloud gateway, and then the cloud gateways themselves are connected over a private fiber optic backbone network. In that way, it’s kinda like MPLS. Your traffic is always controlled. It’s going from your site to the provider’s nearest cloud gateway, and then it hops on their backbone and travels between cloud gateways, so it’s a little bit more of a step up from your typical cloud-enabled SD-WAN solution. That’s a good solution if, say you’re coming off MPLS, and you’re a little leery about going directly to the public Internet sending all your traffic. You might wanna go to a cloud-enabled solution that’s also connected through a fiber optic backbone private network.

All right, so those are my opinions of the three main architectures for SD-WAN service providers out there.

If you wanna find out which providers offer these different types of architecture, go to our website, type in “SD-WAN” in the search bar, and you’ll go to our SD-WAN provider-finder, where you can actually search over 100 different SD-WAN providers to find out which are cloud-enabled, which are on-prem only, which are cloud-enabled plus a backbone.

As always, if you have any questions, shoot me an email. Give me a call, at 877-465-3505. Just let me know. I’m happy to answer any questions you have, and I’d also love to give you a quote on whatever SD-WAN solutions you’re looking at. So, if you need pricing and need some recommendations on an SD-WAN provider for your company, let us know.

All right, I hope that was helpful, and I will catch you next time.


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