๐Ÿ’ฐThe Financial Benefits of Deploying Last Mile SD-WAN ๐Ÿ‘ฎ

๐Ÿ’ฐThe Financial Benefits of Deploying Last Mile SD-WAN ๐Ÿ‘ฎ

Security-centric marketing by firewall vendors hides the true network advantages of Last Mile SD-WAN


3 min read

In the rapidly evolving world of digital transformation, SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) stands out not as a security solution, but as a network engineering marvel. The core value of SD-WAN lies in its ability to meet the dynamic needs of businesses, enabling them to deploy and manage service-based networks efficiently. However, the narrative has been skewed by firewall vendors trying to assimilate SD-WAN into their security-centric offerings, diverting attention from the essential network engineering benefits.

Network Engineering at the Core

SD-WAN solutions are designed to optimize WAN (Wide Area Network) performance, providing a robust platform that caters to the unique requirements of modern business networks. Unlike traditional VPNs and outdated proxy solutions, SD-WAN offers:

  • Enhanced Agility: Small businesses need flexibility to scale operations, adapt to changing demands, and support various application capacities. SD-WAN delivers this agility, enabling businesses to grow and evolve seamlessly.

  • Optimized Performance: Modern Linux kernels incorporate advanced networking and security optimizations that surpass proprietary developments. SD-WAN stacks leverage these advancements to ensure optimal WAN performance, unlike firewall stacks which primarily facilitate basic site-to-site VPNs.

The Misguided Security Play

Firewall vendors have tried to position their SD-WAN offerings as high-end security solutions, but this approach misses the mark for several reasons:

  • Restricted Platforms: These security-centric SD-WAN solutions are often tied to specific firewall deployments, limiting their applicability and scalability for small businesses.

  • Complex Management: The intricate and cumbersome interfaces of firewall-based SD-WAN solutions can be overwhelming, making them impractical for efficient network management.

The Economic Argument

From an economic perspective, using firewalls for SD-WAN is questionable:

  • Network Outages and Brownouts: Firewalls are not engineered to mitigate network outages and brownouts effectively. In contrast, specialized SD-WAN solutions are designed to handle such issues, ensuring consistent network performance.

  • Provisioning Speed: SD-WAN excels in orchestrating and provisioning links rapidly. The complex user interfaces of firewall solutions, often requiring navigation through numerous screens, make quick provisioning a painstaking process.

  • Cost Efficiency: Sticking with legacy MPLS solutions or adopting firewall-based SD-WAN does not offer the same cost savings and performance benefits as a dedicated SD-WAN stack. The latter can optimize network traffic, reduce latency, and improve overall network reliability, providing a better return on investment.

The True Value of SD-WAN

The true value of SD-WAN lies in its ability to provide a serviceable and scalable networking platform. It enables businesses to leverage direct internet connections, optimize traffic, and ensure seamless operations across multiple sites. By focusing on network engineering rather than security, SD-WAN offers:

  • WAN Optimization: Advanced data transfer efficiency and last-mile packet loss mitigation ensure zero or minimal packet loss, crucial for latency-sensitive applications.

  • Aggregation and Bonding: Authentic SD-WAN solutions provide both per-packet and per-flow aggregation and bonding, optimizing bandwidth use and improving network resilience.

  • ISP Link Adaptability: Genuine SD-WAN solutions seamlessly integrate with various ISP links, providing businesses the flexibility to choose the best options available in different regions.


Wrapping up, while SD-WAN is often mistakenly viewed through the lens of security, its true strength lies in network engineering. Businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, stand to gain significant financial benefits by deploying specialized SD-WAN solutions. These solutions offer the agility, scalability, and performance needed to thrive in today's fast-paced digital landscape, far surpassing the capabilities of firewall-based SD-WAN offerings. By focusing on the core networking functionalities of SD-WAN, businesses can ensure robust and efficient connectivity, driving growth and success.

The bottom line is that a well engineered SD-WAN offering can be service chained into any firewall solution in an agnostic manner but the reverse is not true.

Ronald Bartels ensures that Internet inhabiting things are connected reliably online at Fusion Broadband South Africa - the leading specialized SD-WAN provider in South Africa.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Learn more: Contact Fusion ๐Ÿ’ผ๐Ÿš€