devxlogo

Hybrid WAN

Definition

Hybrid WAN refers to a wide area network architecture that combines multiple types of connectivity technologies, such as MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching), broadband Internet, and 4G/5G mobile networks. This approach effectively balances cost, performance, and resiliency in an organization’s network infrastructure. By leveraging multiple connectivity options, Hybrid WAN allows companies to dynamically route traffic based on network conditions and demands, ultimately improving efficiency and overall network performance.

Phonetic

In the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), the phonetics for the keyword “Hybrid WAN” can be represented as:/ˈhaɪbrɪd ˈwæn/

Key Takeaways

  1. Hybrid WAN combines the benefits of both public internet and private leased lines, providing businesses with increased speed, reliability, and cost-effectiveness for their wide area networks.
  2. By utilizing multiple connectivity options and intelligent routing algorithms, Hybrid WAN can optimize network performance, enhance application delivery, and improve data transmission among branch offices and data centers.
  3. As Hybrid WAN solutions continuously monitor network conditions, they can make real-time adjustments and perform automated failover to ensure optimal bandwidth utilization and uninterrupted access to critical applications and services.

Importance

The technology term Hybrid WAN is important because it represents a significant advancement in wide area network (WAN) management and deployment.

Hybrid WAN combines the benefits of traditional Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) connections with the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of public Internet connections, providing enterprise networks with efficient, reliable, and secure connectivity.

By intelligently managing and routing traffic across these multiple connection types, Hybrid WAN optimizes network performance, reduces bandwidth costs, and enhances overall system resilience.

Additionally, it enables businesses to adapt quickly to changing needs and maintain uninterrupted operations, making it an invaluable solution for organizations seeking improved agility, scalability, and cost management in their networking infrastructure.

Explanation

Hybrid WAN serves as a crucial component in the modern networking world by efficiently addressing the challenges related to the expanding business requirements and complexities. Its primary purpose is to seamlessly combine traditional networking infrastructure, such as Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), with internet-based connectivity, delivering the highest-quality performance for business applications.

Its innovative design accommodates the increasing demand for bandwidth, improving application performance by leveraging diverse connectivity options, including leased line, broadband, LTE, 4G, and 5G networks. This integration ensures that the communication remains continuous, secure, and flexible, enabling enterprises to offload non-critical and data-intensive applications via the public internet, reducing network congestion and operating costs.

In addition to offering better resource allocation through load-balancing, Hybrid WAN’s intelligent network management also ensures that the prioritization and routing of data packets adhere to different quality metrics such as latency, jitter, and packet loss. This results in superior performance for real-time applications like voice, video-conferencing, and collaborative tools, augmenting end-user experience.

As organizations expand their geographical footprint and integrate with cloud-services, Hybrid WAN holds the key to rapid scalability, centralized control, secure transmission, and simplified management of diverse IT environments. Its role in enabling a seamless transition to digitalization and embracing emerging trends, such as IoT, edge computing, and AI, ultimately contributes to an organization’s competitive advantage and supports its long-term growth strategy.

Examples of Hybrid WAN

Retail Chain Deployment: A large retail chain implemented Hybrid WAN to connect hundreds of their physical store locations to the company’s data center and cloud applications. By utilizing a mix of public internet connections, private MPLS circuits, and LTE backup links, this retail business was able to prioritize essential traffic such as Point-of-Sale (POS) transactions and securely transmit sensitive customer data. The Hybrid WAN solution also improved application performance for both customers and employees, enhancing overall business productivity.

Healthcare Organization: A major healthcare organization with multiple hospitals, clinics, and remote offices deployed Hybrid WAN to improve network performance and reliability while reducing costs. The Hybrid WAN solution combined their existing MPLS connections with broadband internet links to create a centralized, secure, and reliable network for Electronic Health Records (EHR), telemedicine applications, and secure communications between doctors and patients. This deployment enabled the healthcare organization to ensure low-latency and high-bandwidth connections to support their critical services while providing flexibility for future growth and technology upgrades.

Financial Institution: A large financial institution with multiple regional branches and data centers adopted Hybrid WAN to optimize their network infrastructure and ensure the highest possible performance and security for their mission-critical applications. By integrating private MPLS connections with internet broadband links, the financial institution was able to prioritize traffic for trading platforms, online banking services, and global finance applications, ensuring minimal downtime and supporting compliance with industry regulations. Additionally, the Hybrid WAN architecture provided built-in redundancy and improved connectivity to cloud-based services, helping maintain business continuity and improve overall operational efficiency.

Hybrid WAN FAQ

1. What is Hybrid WAN?

A Hybrid WAN is a wide area network that combines different types of network connections, such as MPLS, broadband internet, and LTE. This approach allows organizations to optimize network usage, improve application performance, and increase network resiliency.

2. What are the benefits of using Hybrid WAN?

Hybrid WAN offers several advantages, such as: increased network flexibility, optimized bandwidth usage, improved application performance, lower costs, and enhanced reliability. This approach enables businesses to manage and allocate network resources more efficiently, ensuring a better user experience.

3. What are the main components of a Hybrid WAN architecture?

The main components of a Hybrid WAN architecture include:

  • Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) connections for mission-critical applications
  • Broadband internet links for non-critical applications and internet traffic
  • Wireless connections, such as LTE, for backup and failover connectivity
  • WAN optimization technologies to prioritize traffic and improve overall performance
  • Centralized management tools for monitoring and controlling the network

4. How does Hybrid WAN improve application performance?

Hybrid WAN allows organizations to prioritize network traffic based on application requirements, user demands, and available bandwidth. By utilizing different types of connections, businesses can ensure that critical applications receive priority and optimal performance, while less important traffic can be offloaded to other available links. This approach can also help reduce latency, improve response times, and enhance user experience.

5. How does Hybrid WAN enhance network resilience and reliability?

Hybrid WAN leverages multiple network connections to prevent single points of failure and improve network resilience. In the event of an outage or performance issue with one connection type, traffic can be rerouted to available alternatives. This approach ensures continuous connectivity and minimizes downtime, even in the face of network failures.

Related Technology Terms

  • Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN)
  • Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)
  • Bandwidth Aggregation
  • Dynamic Path Selection
  • Policies and Quality of Service (QoS)

Sources for More Information

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents

More Terms