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Cisco SD-WAN vs. Traditional WAN: Which is Right for Your Business?

In the world of networking, there are many options available for businesses to choose from.

One of the biggest decisions that businesses have to make when it comes to networking is whether to go with a traditional WAN or a newer technology like Cisco SD-WAN.

There are pros and cons to both options, and it's important to understand the differences before making a decision.

Understanding the Differences

Traditional WAN refers to the established way of networking that has been around for years. It typically involves connecting branch offices to the main data center using dedicated MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) lines. This approach has been reliable, but it can be expensive and inflexible.

Cisco SD-WAN, on the other hand, is an emerging technology that uses software to create a virtual WAN. It allows businesses to connect their branch offices using any type of network, including broadband, LTE, and even satellite. It's a more flexible and cost-effective approach to networking.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Cisco SD-WAN and Traditional WAN

When it comes to choosing between Cisco SD-WAN and traditional WAN, there are several factors to consider.


Traditional WAN can be expensive, especially when it comes to dedicated MPLS lines. Cisco SD-WAN, on the other hand, is more cost-effective, as it allows businesses to use any type of network.


Traditional WAN is generally considered to be more secure, as it uses dedicated lines to connect branch offices. However, Cisco SD-WAN can be just as secure, as it uses encryption and other security measures to protect data.


Traditional WAN can be difficult to scale, as it requires adding more dedicated lines as the business grows. Cisco SD-WAN, on the other hand, is more scalable, as it allows businesses to add new branch offices quickly and easily.

Management and Control

Traditional WAN can be more difficult to manage and control, as it requires a lot of manual configuration. Cisco SD-WAN, on the other hand, is more automated, which makes it easier to manage and control.


Traditional WAN can be reliable and consistent, but it can also be slow and inefficient. Cisco SD-WAN, on the other hand, can provide faster and more efficient performance, as it uses any type of network available.

As an experienced and Cisco certified network security engineer, I have had personal experiences with both traditional WAN and Cisco SD-WAN. In my opinion, Cisco SD-WAN is the better option for businesses that are looking for a more flexible, cost-effective, and scalable approach to networking. It allows businesses to use any type of network available, which makes it easier to connect branch offices and expand the network. Additionally, Cisco SD-WAN offers better performance, as it uses multiple networks to provide faster and more efficient performance.


In conclusion, choosing between Cisco SD-WAN and traditional WAN can be a difficult decision for businesses.

However, by considering factors such as cost, security, scalability, management and control, and performance, businesses can make an informed decision.

If you're interested in learning more about Cisco SD-WAN and how it can benefit your business, I highly recommend taking Orhan Ergun's course. The course is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of Cisco SD-WAN and how it can be used to improve business networking.

Created by
Stanley Arvey

I am a certified network engineer with over 10 years of experience in the field. I have a deep understanding of networking and IT security, and I am always looking for new challenges.

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