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What is SD-WAN and how does it work?

SD-WAN stands for Software Defined Wide Area Network, which means that the software used decides on which WAN connection it sends specific LAN traffic.

This is much like Policy Based Routing (PBR), which is based on policies set by a network administrator – but only using your WAN (internet) connections. So, you can use multiple different WAN connections such as leased line, Broadband, 4G, LTE, Wireless or even MPLS.

These connections can be used in a variety of ways

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Load balancing

Simultaneously utilise all lines with a 50/50 split of traffic or a 70/30 split for example.

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You can define specific traffic or APPs go out of certain links. Such as VOIP over one, and data over another. Or, you could opt for data centre traffic through one and all other out of another.

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All this can be configured to “fail-over” to the other link/s if their links fails. This means you can utilise all links to their capacity and not have links just sitting there as a backup.

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These can be configured for a single site or used to connect multiple sites/datacentres over large geographical distances.

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One device

This is done through one device – an SD-WAN router or Firewall. This means you can have SD-WAN & NGFW (Next Generation Firewall) capabilities in
one box.

Benefits of choosing Performance Networks
for your SD-WAN

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Experts in our field

We have many years of experience in implementing successful network solutions for businesses across the UK.

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UK Based Support

Our friendly support desk is UK based, we proactively monitor all of our managed WiFi and fixed networks.

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Dedicated Account Management

You’ll receive a consistent account management experience, right from an initial enquiry through to post-installation.

Need help with your
SD-WAN solution?

Our team are here to help.

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What Performance Networks can do for you

As your UK based SD-WAN experts, Performance Networks can get your business or large property setup on a safer, cheaper and more robust network, no matter how many sites you have.

Advantages and disadvantages of SD-WAN (Software Defined Wide Area Network)


  • Higher bandwidth and resilient connections – more possibilities/diverse connections
  • PBR (Policy Based Routing) based on WAN packet loss/static PBR based on type of traffic/destination/app etc
  • Cost – it’s cheaper
  • No long contracts
  • Granular security policies
  • Can have different providers
  • Some QoS at the edge
  • Short lead times – days/weeks
  • Any location is possible
  • Simple management / operation / maintain / visibility – easy to setup new sites and to see what is happening to the traffic


  • No full path QoS – it can only select the best path out of available WAN links
Advantages and disadvantages of MPLS (Multi Protocol Label Switching)


  • MPLS is trusted as it has been in place for many years
  • QoS (Quality of Service) – through the network
  • Traffic separation
  • Secure (Private Network) – central firewall/Public facing – site to site traffic does not traverse this


  • High cost & contractual obligations
  • Long lead times – weeks to months
  • Must use the same provider at all connected sites
  • Security through isolation only, unless VPNs are also used
  • It’s possible to keep your MPLS network and just add it as one of your WAN connections

Let’s get connected

We’ll find the solution, performance guaranteed.
Get in touch to find out more.