This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter’s approach.

Software Defined WAN technology makes it possible to create a transparent, logical enterprise IP network across a mix of service provider technologies and add advanced features such as application-based traffic routing or custom security provisions to meet strict compliance requirements.

However, operating such a network on top of various underlying network architectures—at scale—remains difficult, and SD-WAN overlay networks cannot, per se, address poor-performing WAN connections. The key is being able to manage the underlying network architecture, which is handled differently by the various vendors in the business, each of which has its particular focus and strengths. In general, they can be classified as follows:

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How to make the transition to a software defined WAN