Most enterprises rely on a combination of MPLS and IPsec to implement virtual private networks (VPNs) across the organization’s wide area network (WAN). But the emergence of mobile devices and cloud-based applications, along with enormous growth in data volumes, has them scrambling for more flexible, more cost-effective options. Many expect software-defined network (SDN) technologies, and in particular SD-WANs, to provide the solution, but sorting through all the options can be a challenge.

Backed by venture capital, SD-WAN appliance vendors have been popping up all over the place. But appliance-based point solutions represent somewhat of a do-it-yourself scenario, and it’s important to understand whether they’ll inhibit or enhance what an enterprise can gain from SD-WAN deployment.

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