SDN Premise vs. SDN Provider Based

Every day you hear of the next latest and greatest SDN/SD-WAN provider to come to market. What exactly is a SD-WAN provider and how is this different than deploying SDN functionality internally? Is SDN truly better than MPLS/IPsec or is this just the telecom industries last-ditch hope to stop the bleeding from getting crushed by SD-WAN and Next Generation Appliance Operating Systems?

What is a SDN Provider?

SD-WAN (SDN Provider Based) is when a network provider deploys appliances or software applications that control network connections via software built into appliances/virtual appliances. An SDN Provider uses this technology to create virtual private tunneling between the customer location and the SD-WAN provider data center. SD-WAN Provider’s value proposition in many cases is quick deployment (they are using existing bandwidth so typical turn up is a few days), direct connections to cloud providers, WAN optimization, customizable rules and logarithms and the ability to guide data, cloud application and voice traffic thru least path of resistance or identified priority. SD-WAN Provider technologies are billed to the customer in a monthly recurring model/subscription basis. The typical customer will save 15-30 percent versus current MPLS spending.

Examples of SDN Providers are Aryaka, Big Leaf, Expereo and the list goes on….

What is a SDN Appliance?

SDN (SDN Appliance-Based) is the process of using appliances built in software/operating systems that define paths/rules that create tunneling, WAN optimization, next-generation functionality between physical appliances and virtual appliances. In most cases, all of these tools are built into the appliance operating system. With a small amount of technical training, your IT Team can manage IPsec and Wan optimization internally at no additional cost or hire an MSP (managed service provider) such as HTG ( to manage your network. SDN is the most cost-effective way of providing private networking, WAN optimization, and next-generation functionality. The typical customer will save 50-70 percent per month versus current MPLS spending.

Examples of SDN Appliances: Cisco, Meraki, Fortinet and the list goes on….

What types of the organization should deploy SDN or SD-WAN technology?

Multi-location customers
Customers with bandwidth utilization requirements
Customers with mission-critical environments such as Hosted VOIP, Internal VOIP, Cloud Applications, ERP
Customers looking to seek an alternative to MPLS
Customers looking to save monthly bandwidth spending
Customers seeking redundancy
International Customers
Now you’re probably asking yourself, “Do I deploy SDN Provider Based or SDN Premise Based?”

Great Question. Both technologies are robust, cost-effective, problem-solving and non-disruptive. Both technologies achieve the same goal overall. Both technologies can be managed by a carrier, managed service provider or internally.

The main differences are whether you would like a fully customizable solution or an out of the box solution. SD-WAN Providers offer a monthly subscription service or recurring cost. In most cases, the SDN Provider will ship you an appliance that will be plugged into your network and controlled by the provider with pre-set configurations and network optimization settings already defined.

Whereas, the SDN Premise-based is the least cost investment over time versus the SDN Provider based. SDN Premise does have a higher cap-ex cost upfront. The other difference is that SDN Premise will take technical knowledge of what functions and features can be customized and fit your IT Departments exact requirements.

Are you interested in learning more about SDN, SD-WAN or MPLS and the impact on your network? Contact HTG 360 ( or 866-278-5578.

About HTG 360 (HTG):

Since 2008, HTG’s Technology Team has been helping enterprise organizations uncover technology barriers to business growth. HTG engineers use their unique blend of business and technology experience to solve your unique challenges. HTG 360 offers an “All-In” technology experience to our clients.

HTG offers full-service solutions comparability, addressing not only the technology transformation but equally as important, the impact of new technology on your organization. Our experts will work with your team to refine your processes, workflows and management systems that are impacted by technology change and help provide a smooth transition.

Published by:

Chris Ichelson

Chief Executive Officer

HTG 360



Global Leader in Providing Technology Enabled Business Solutions & Services

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