July 18, 2024

WAN Optimization Integrated SDWAN Deployment vs Standalone SDWAN Deployment

8 min read
Discover the key differences between WAN Optimization Integrated SDWAN Deployment and Standalone SDWAN Deployment in this informative article.
Two computer networks

Two computer networks

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, a reliable and efficient network is crucial for success. Companies are constantly seeking new ways to optimize their network infrastructure to achieve maximum performance and cost-efficiency. Two popular approaches to achieving this are WAN optimization integrated SDWAN deployments and standalone SDWAN deployments. In this article, we will delve deep into these two solutions and compare their pros and cons, as well as their costs and benefits.

Understanding the basics of WAN optimization and SDWAN deployment

WAN optimization is an essential technique for enhancing the performance of enterprise networks. It involves the use of various technologies such as data compression, caching, and traffic shaping to reduce network latency, improve application speeds, and optimize bandwidth utilization. SDWAN, on the other hand, is a more recent development that focuses on automating and efficiently managing WAN connectivity to reduce costs and enhance flexibility. It uses software-defined networking (SDN) to dynamically route traffic over multiple network paths, including broadband internet connections, to achieve optimal performance and uptime.

One of the key benefits of SDWAN deployment is its ability to provide greater visibility and control over network traffic. With traditional WANs, it can be difficult to monitor and manage traffic flows, leading to potential bottlenecks and performance issues. SDWAN solutions, however, offer centralized management and monitoring capabilities, allowing network administrators to easily identify and address any issues that may arise. Additionally, SDWAN can help organizations reduce their reliance on expensive MPLS connections, by leveraging lower-cost broadband internet connections without sacrificing performance or security.

Benefits of implementing a WAN optimization integrated SDWAN deployment

A WAN optimization integrated SDWAN solution combines the advantages of SDWAN and WAN optimization technologies into a single platform. This approach offers several benefits, including:

  • Improved application performance – WAN optimization technologies such as compression and caching reduce application latency, making them faster and more responsive.
  • Better network security – Integrated SDWAN solutions can offer enhanced security features such as encryption and firewall protection.
  • Increased network uptime – The flexibility of SDWAN reduces failures since it supports failover routing between multiple network paths, thus maintaining network availability.
  • Comprehensive network visibility – Integrated SDWAN solutions usually offer advanced analytics and monitoring tools that give network managers real-time visibility into network performance.

Another benefit of implementing a WAN optimization integrated SDWAN deployment is cost savings. By combining the two technologies, organizations can reduce the number of devices and services needed to manage their network, resulting in lower operational costs.

Furthermore, WAN optimization integrated SDWAN solutions can improve the user experience for remote workers. With the ability to prioritize traffic and route it through the most efficient path, remote workers can access applications and data faster, regardless of their location.

Advantages of a standalone SDWAN deployment over a WAN optimization integrated solution

A standalone SDWAN deployment, as opposed to a WAN optimization integrated solution, has its unique advantages, including:

  • Increased network flexibility – Standalone SDWAN deployments are more flexible than their integrated counterparts, as they don’t rely on proprietary hardware or software. This flexibility enables businesses to select the best-of-breed technologies to suit their specific needs.
  • Cost-effectiveness – Standalone SDWAN solutions are often more affordable to deploy and maintain than integrated WAN optimization SDWAN solutions. This is because standalone vendors cater to different market segments and offer solutions at different price points.

Another advantage of standalone SDWAN deployments is that they offer greater control and visibility over network traffic. With a standalone solution, businesses can easily monitor and manage their network traffic, ensuring that critical applications receive the necessary bandwidth and that non-critical applications don’t consume too much bandwidth. This level of control and visibility is often lacking in integrated WAN optimization SDWAN solutions, which may prioritize traffic based on pre-defined policies rather than real-time network conditions.

Comparison of costs between WAN optimization integrated SDWAN deployment and standalone SDWAN deployment

The cost of deploying and maintaining an SDWAN solution varies between an integrated and standalone solution. While integrated solutions typically attract high initial costs, they are often more cost-effective in the long run. This is because they offer comprehensive network functionalities that eliminate the need for additional expenses on separate devices. Standalone solutions, on the other hand, have low initial costs but may require additional devices and services to achieve the same network functionalities as integrated solutions.

Another factor to consider when comparing the costs of integrated and standalone SDWAN solutions is the level of expertise required to manage them. Integrated solutions often require specialized skills and knowledge to manage, which may result in additional expenses on training and hiring skilled personnel. Standalone solutions, on the other hand, are often easier to manage and may not require specialized skills, which can save on costs.

It is also important to note that the cost of SDWAN deployment and maintenance may vary depending on the vendor and the specific features and functionalities required. It is therefore essential to conduct a thorough analysis of the costs and benefits of each solution before making a decision.

How to choose the right SDWAN solution for your business needs

Selecting the right SDWAN deployment can be challenging. However, with the right approach, businesses can identify a solution that aligns with their specific needs. Key considerations when selecting an SDWAN vendor include:

  • Vendor stability and experience – Businesses should consider vendors with a good track record of deploying SDWAN solutions in the market segment they operate.
  • Technical capabilities – A good SDWAN solution should support advanced functionalities, including application-aware routing, traffic segmentation and shaping, and automatic failover.
  • Cost-effectiveness – Companies should evaluate vendors that offer cost-effective solutions that provide value for money.
  • Security – The vendor’s SDWAN solution should provide enhanced security features that guarantee high privacy and protection for company data.

Top use cases for a WAN optimization integrated SDWAN deployment

WAN optimization integrated SDWAN solutions are ideal for use cases where businesses need to achieve maximum network performance and security. Some common use cases for an integrated SDWAN deployment include:

  • Accessing cloud-based applications – Integrated SDWAN solutions ensure faster and more secure access to cloud applications despite network complexity.
  • Remote office access – Integrated SDWAN solutions can provide secure access to remote offices via VPN, thus enhancing network connectivity.
  • Reducing network costs – A WAN optimization integrated SDWAN solution can reduce WAN costs by combining various connections such as broadband, LTE, and MPLS to achieve better network performance.

Best practices for implementing a standalone SDWAN deployment

Implementing a standalone SDWAN deployment requires careful planning and execution to achieve optimal network performance. Some best practices include:

  • Conducting a comprehensive needs assessment of your network – Identify the current network topology and usage patterns to develop a comprehensive SDWAN deployment plan that is specific to your needs.
  • Selecting the right vendors – Always work with SDWAN vendors that understand your network pain-points and can provide SDWAN solutions that align with your specific needs.
  • Employing advanced edge capabilities – More advanced SDWAN features at the edge, such as capabilities such as traffic identification and prioritization, provides a better network management experience.

Key considerations when selecting an SDWAN vendor

Choosing the right SDWAN vendor can determine the success of your WAN optimization efforts. Considerations when selecting an SDWAN vendor include:

  • Vendor stability and experience – Ensure the vendor you choose has proven experience in deploying SDWAN solutions that align with your need.
  • Technical capabilities – The vendor’s SDWAN solution should provide advanced network features such as application prioritization, traffic segmentation, and network security.
  • Cost-effectiveness – Evaluate vendors and their pricing models to ensure that you receive a cost-effective solution that delivers value for your money.
  • Scalability – Ensure that the vendor’s SDWAN solution can accommodate future growth and network demand without requiring a comprehensive upgrade or replacement.

The role of WAN optimization in enhancing the performance of your network

WAN optimization plays a crucial role in achieving optimal network performance and reducing network costs. Some key benefits of WAN optimization include:

  • Increased application speeds – WAN optimization reduces application latency by minimizing the amount of data transmitted over the network.
  • Better network performance – WAN optimization reduces network congestion, ensuring that critical applications always run smoothly.
  • Reduced bandwidth usage and network costs – WAN optimization reduces the amount of bandwidth required to transmit data, reducing network costs and freeing up network resources for other applications.

Real-world examples of successful deployments of WAN optimization integrated SDWAN solutions

WAN optimization integrated SDWAN solutions have been implemented successfully in many enterprises to achieve maximum network flexibility and performance. Some real-world use cases of WAN optimization integrated SDWAN solutions include:

  • A global financial institution deployed an integrated SDWAN solution to reduce WAN costs by 70% and improve application speeds by over 80%.
  • A global retail company deployed an integrated SDWAN solution to optimize the performance and security of its cloud-based infrastructure, significantly improving business productivity.

Case studies on successful implementations of standalone SDWAN deployments

Standalone SDWAN deployments have helped many businesses achieve greater network flexibility and cost-effectiveness. Two examples of successful standalone SDWAN deployments include:

  • A global manufacturing company deployed a standalone SDWAN solution to reduce WAN costs and improve network uptime, enhancing production efficiency in multiple sites worldwide.
  • A multinational technology company deployed a standalone SDWAN solution to eliminate the need for costly MPLS links, reducing WAN costs by over 50%.

Future trends in the market for WAN optimization integrated SDWAN solutions

The market for WAN optimization integrated SDWAN solutions is set for significant growth in the coming years. Some trends that are likely to drive this growth include:

  • Increased demand for cloud-based applications – The need to access cloud-based applications securely and efficiently from various locations globally will drive demand for integrated SDWAN solutions.
  • Technological advancements – Advancements in technology, such as the shift to 5G networks, software-defined security, and artificial intelligence, will enhance the capabilities of integrated SDWAN solutions, making them more efficient.
  • Cost reduction – Integrated SDWAN solutions are expected to become more affordable in the future, opening up new opportunities for businesses to implement these solutions with ease.

Challenges that organizations face when deploying an SDWAN solution with or without WAN optimization integration

Organizations may encounter several challenges when deploying SDWAN solutions with or without WAN optimization integration. Some common issues include:

  • Security and compliance issues – SDWAN solutions that do not adequately address security vulnerabilities and non-compliant applications may expose businesses to hacks and other cyber threats.
  • Integration complexity – Simplifying the deployment and integration of SDWAN technology into existing network infrastructures is essential.
  • Network visibility – Understanding what happens on the network and monitoring it is critical for ensuring optimal performance and identifying potential network weak points to address proactively.

Tips for optimizing your network performance with both standalone and integrated solutions

To optimize your network performance, whether through standalone or integrated solutions, consider implementing the following tips:

  • Regular network assessment – Conduct periodic network assessments and testing to identify any bottlenecks and plan for future infrastructure upgrades.
  • Implementing network monitoring tools – Implementing network monitoring tools to provide real-time analytics is critical for ensuring optimal network performance.
  • Testing new updates and changes – Always test new updates and changes thoroughly before deployment to avoid causing network disruptions and downtime.


The choice between standalone and integrated SDWAN solutions remains a crucial decision for businesses seeking to optimize their network infrastructure. Both solutions offer unique advantages and challenges that require careful consideration to align with specific business needs. Ultimately, businesses seeking to achieve optimal network performance and cost-efficiency must evaluate their network needs comprehensively before selecting a suitable SDWAN solution.

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