Today, there is a growing demand for improved communications technologies, so businesses can deliver best-in-class customer experiences. End users want to stream videos, use mobile applications and talk on the phone—all at the same time. However, as end users use more and more of these bandwidth-intensive applications over the cloud, the traditional networks for managing and delivering this bandwidth have come under strain.

As a result, the satellite industry has begun to look into new ways to manage bandwidth delivery that would improve efficiencies and make satellite services more interoperable. One strategy is to shift traditional VSAT platforms to Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN).

Traditional wide area network (WAN) architectures rely on physical network hardware configurations to organize bandwidth distribution. As a result, they have become time-consuming and costly to manage in a cloud-based world. Convsersely, SD-WAN allows users to manage WAN networks over a centralized, virtual platform. This means SD-WAN can connect more than one type of trans-port technology, such as cellular, MPLS and satellite. One of the greatest benefits of SD-WAN is that it’s dynamic. SD-WAN uses real-time data to optimize and adjust the flow of data, depending on end-user requirements and environment.

This flexibility makes SD-WAN ideal for onshore and offshore markets. In many ways, SD-WAN is similar to virtualization in the computing world, which created an abstraction layer between the operating system and the underlying hardware.