Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN)



3 out of 9 Products Achieved
a Recommended Rating

TCO per MBps Ranged
from US$5 to US$496

Quality of Experience (QoE) for
Video Ranged from 1.10 to 4.47

Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN)

What is Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN)?

The marriage of software-defined networking (SDN) benefits to WAN technology yields the software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), which allows consumer-grade links (or links without assured performance) to be leveraged for business-class services. Through the use of common VPN capabilities and the separation of data and control planes within SDN, software-managed connections can be established and managed between multiple sites over any number of link types (e.g., fixed circuit, DSL, cable, mobile, MPLS, and so on) without the operational challenges of having to manage different links.

SD-WANs easily establish links, manage traffic over links according to application or service requirements (e.g., VoIP vs. Facebook), and enforce policy control capabilities (e.g., limit web-based traffic to 50% of a given link), and they are simple to manage. SD-WAN options are part router, part WAN optimization, and part firewall. In addition, some SD-WAN offerings provide robust security, which makes for a compelling alternative to the multiple-appliance approach that is often required at remote locations.

What We Tested

NSS Labs' Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) Group Test evaluates market-leading SD-WAN products on total cost of ownership (TCO) and Quality of Experience (QoE) for the VoIP quality and video quality of tested products. The SD-WAN Group Test provides individual Test Reports and Comparative Reports that enable enterprises to make informed decisions to evolve and rationalize their cyber risk programs.

What You Get
SD-WAN Product Test Reports

Performance Comparative Report

The Performance Comparative Report provides analysis of various performance metrics for tested SD-WAN products. The report contains comparisons of WAN impairment and failover, dynamic path selection and conditioning, link saturation, raw packet processing and maximum capacity.

Using the Performance Comparative Report, enterprise networking teams can compare performance across SD-WAN products and select those products that will support their volume and type of network traffic.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Comparative Report

The TCO Comparative Report provides a comparison of the costs associated with product purchase, installation, maintenance, and support.

Using the TCO Comparative Report, the enterprise C-Suite and management can understand the true TCO of a product over a three-year period, incorporating product purchase cost, product operational cost, and the overall capability score of a product.

Value Matrix Comparative Report

Empirical data from individual Test Reports and Comparative Reports is used to create NSS Labs’ unique Value Matrix. The Value Matrix illustrates the relative value of security investments by mapping the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) per Mbps and the Quality of Experience (QoE) of tested product configurations.

The Value Matrix Comparative Report provides an aggregated view of the detailed findings from the NSS Labs group tests. Using this report, enterprise security decision makers can see the relative value of security investments.

Individual Test Reports

Test Reports provide detailed analysis for each product tested. Data from these reports is used in the NSS Labs Comparative Reports.

Test Reports enable enterprise security teams to understand the impact of features and limitations across different products. These reports are used to shortlist products for further evaluation and proof-of concept testing.