Traditional WAN vs. SD-WAN: Here’s What You Need to Know

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Technology is slowly extending fresh possibilities for individuals and enterprises alike. Among the chief developments in technology is the rise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution; this is a wave of technology that is transforming businesses through developments like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, robotics, cloud computing, big data analytics, additive manufacturing, IoT, and autonomous robots.

Many people marvel at new possibilities for businesses. One of the many wonders is the possibility of running, managing, monitoring, storing, and manipulating data for decision-making. It is a spectacular phenomenon. Small and medium-sized enterprises are growing fast, thanks to the power to seamlessly manage and track their transactions through developments in storage and cloud computing. Even as we marvel at these wonders, we can comfortably say that no magic would be possible without the wireless area network (WAN), the architecture that powers all these developments.

The traditional WAN is a telecommunication network extending over a large geographical area for computer networking. Like everything else, not all WANs have a similar design. Selecting the right WAN for your business or organization means scrutinizing its needs against what it is technically capable of doing. 

Understand the fundamentals of how the traditional WAN works vis-à-vis the software-defined, or SD-WAN. 

Purchase and Installation

When purchasing new technology for your business is the ease of use. Indeed, the ease of use is identified as a metric for consumer adoption under the Technology Adoption Model. Traditional WAN worked through the installation of circuits to route IP services to clients. The purchase and installation of circuits required huge layers of the underlying hardware to make the circuits complete. Unfortunately, the scope of traditional WAN networks made the management of IT staff cumbersome and made regular maintenance a nightmare. Luckily, a classic alternative to the conventional WAN is the SD-WAN that uses tunnel solutions in pre-existing networks to scale business operations. The SD-WAN offers simplified branch services that extend flexibility to businesses regarding purchase, installation, and maintenance.

Traffic Management

Network traffic is proving to be a serious issue for businesses that fast-track transactions and handle vast amounts of data. The network traffic is the amount of data that moves across a network at a specific period. Although clients love big data, there is compelling evidence relating big data to high traffic, particularly in public WAN networks and similar unmonitored networks. A key difference between WAN and SD-WAN is that the SD-WAN uses internet and cloud capabilities. This makes it easier to manage traffic between headquarters and corporate offices. Back in the day, traffic management was a nightmare for traditional WAN users. It required planning, logistics, and machinery to scale the network and continuously monitor incoming traffic.

Application Prioritization

In traditional WAN networks, the device policies had to be configured per-device basis. This was done for users to be compliant with the WAN policies at the time. Luckily, the SD-WAN provides fresh opportunities in application prioritization. Most SD-WAN providers and vendors like Edafio Technology Partners prioritize the quality of their services and prioritize the SD applications for their clients. The ability to prioritize the application of these networks has extended further opportunities for businesses that use SD-WANs. Nowadays, SD-WAN provides real-time high traffic monitoring in case of brownouts and initiates a switchover immediately. This automated switchover capability of SD-WAN makes it a win for clients that want rapid switchovers during brownouts.

Operational Costs

Cost is a critical factor in a consumer purchase decision. In information technology, clients eye cost-effective and efficiency-driven solutions that generate value and build trust. The SD-WANs emphasize high-speed efficiency and low-cost provisions. Clients who buy SD-WANs from Edafio Technology Partners take advantage of a wide range of options like DSL and broadband. By taking advantage of such sumptuous alternatives, they can eliminate MPLS circuits and scale their network plans at no cost. In traditional WAN networks, lead-time was required to set up new circuits at different branch offices. This lead-time required months of planning, heavy logistics, and expertise to install hardware overlays, manage teams, and supervise technical roles.

Virtualization: Remote or Centralized?

The SD-WAN architecture is designed as a unified bandwidth pool provided by many service providers. This common resource allows for greater resource use when data migrates from one office to another. The traditional WAN provided less data mobility because the system was heavily dependent on centralized data centers. Centralization and overreliance on data centers force traffic backhauling and clog the data traffic. So, SD-WAN remote architecture provides flexibility for individual users who want to migrate data across a supervised ecosystem of computers, offices, networks, and headquarters.


As you embark on any purchase, remember that the SD-WAN network is not restricted by the hardware’s limitations comprising the network. Data centers are limited in verifying the incoming connections from cloud platforms, leading to a data breach. As you well know, data security is as much a strategic priority as the business itself. Therefore, breaches from a frail and failed traditional WAN network are the worst nightmare for any business. The SD-WAN provides much-needed security by preventing unauthorized connections from unknown centers and platforms.

Find the Right Partner for your WAN Network

The Edafio Technology Partners exist to design and provide intelligent technology solutions for clients and organizations to protect themselves. Dealing with a group of vendors is not an option anymore for businesses that desire fast, long-term, and actionable solutions. Finding the right partner requires collaboration with a trusted partner who can deliver turnkey solutions to pressing technical problems.

The Edafio Technology Partners braces itself for the task of transforming businesses through intelligent technology solutions. As companies eye transformative solutions in cloud computing, cybersecurity, big data analytics, and networking, leveraging remote and reliable SD-WAN networks is not an option. At Edafio Technology Partners, our solemn belief is that our technological excellence shall bridge your IT business landscape through innovative solutions. Join us and be part of an incredible journey.


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