What is SD-WAN?

SD-WAN is the application of software based network technologies that virtualize WAN connections. SD-WAN decouples network software services from underlying hardware to create a virtualized network overlay. Enabling the connection of users anywhere to applications, SD-WAN offers flexibility, simplicity, performance, security, and cloud scale. It also boasts ease of deployment, central management and control and assured application performance.

SD-WAN Simplified

Learn about Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) in simplified terms, why it’s being rapidly adopted, and the benefits realized by enterprises.

2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for SD-WAN

For the fifth consecutive year, VMware is a leader in the Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for SD-WAN.


By optimizing traffic over multiple available connections, SD-WAN delivers a better user experience, anywhere. SD-WAN dynamically steers traffic to the best available link and remediates if transmission issues arise to ensure high performance of applications.

Performance and Reliability

Deliver hybrid WAN with high performance reliability, transport, and provider flexibility to assure optimal performance even for demanding applications, such as voice and video.

Cloud Network

Eliminate data center backhaul penalties with a cloud-ready network to provide an optimized direct path to public and private enterprise clouds.

Virtual Service Platform

Reduce the branch office footprint with a single click. VMware SD-WAN enables seamless insertion and chaining of virtualized services on-premises and in the cloud.

Automation and Orchestration

Centralized monitoring, visibility and cloud control enable zero-touch branch deployment while delivering automatic business policy and firmware updates, link performance, and capacity measurements.

Benefits of SD-WAN

SD-WAN solves network complexity while cutting total cost of ownership. SD-WAN simplifies operations through rapid zero touch provisioning and cloud management, optimizes app performance over any WAN link, accelerates cloud adoption through managed on-ramps, and offers robust edge security.

Enables Migration To the Cloud

SD-WAN delivers hybrid, multi-cloud, and SaaS functionality to support the needs of businesses today.

Simplified WAN Operations

Branch and remote site deployments are made simple with global WAN visibility, agility, and scale delivered through an automated platform.

End-to-End Virtual Services Platform

SD-WAN connects any device or any user to any application across any location on the WAN with in-depth network analytics and security via a network overlay.

Choices in Edge Security

Cloud security is paramount to SD-WAN and achieved through end-to-end segmentation and security VNFs via the SD-WAN platform.

Solution Components

VMware SD-WAN Gateway™

VMware SD-WAN™ incorporates a distributed network of service gateways deployed at top tier cloud data centers around the world, providing scalability, redundancy and on-demand flexibility. VMware SD-WAN Gateways™ provide optimized data paths to all applications, branches and data centers along with the ability to deliver network services from the cloud.

VMware SD-WAN Edge™

The VMware SD-WAN Edges™ are zero-touch enterprise-class appliances that provide secure optimized connectivity to private, public and hybrid applications, compute and virtualized services. VMware SD-WAN Edges™ perform deep application recognition, application and packet steering, performance metrics and end to end quality of service in addition to hosting virtual network function (VNF) services.

VMware SD-WAN Orchestrator™

The VMware SD-WAN Orchestrator™ provides centralized enterprise-wide installation, configuration and real-time monitoring in addition to orchestrating the data flow through the cloud network. The VMware SD-WAN Orchestrator™ enables one-click provisioning of virtual services in the branch, the cloud, or the enterprise data center.

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Frequently Asked Questions

SD-WAN stands for software-defined wide area network (WAN).

SD-WAN offers flexibility compared to VPNs. It enables optimized traffic routing over multiple transport media, such as MPLS, cellular/5G or broadband, depending on the business need. VPNs are typically designed to send all traffic over a single network link.

MPLS is expensive and inflexible compared to SD-WAN. MPLS takes longer to deploy and is not built for the cloud. It requires backhaul through the data center, which slows traffic and negatively impacts the user experience.

SD-WAN adds enhanced security and control to the network. Traditional WAN is an unencrypted VPN and requires security add-ons.

Software-defined networking (SDN) is an architecture, whereas SD-WAN is a technology and solution that is built on the foundational concepts of SDN.

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