Wide Area Networks are computer networks that cover a large geographical area hence employs the use of other telecommunication lines, other than your own. This is what enables businesses and governments to carry on their daily activities currently, across international borders. An example of a wide area network is the internet.
Based on this, software defined networking came to be. SDN is meant to allow computer network administrators all over the world to create virtual networks that do not depend entirely on the usual basic hardware configuration to function as data is passed through the network. The concept of virtual networks, deployed across a wide area network is what can be concluded as Software-defined WAN. With software defined WANs, centralized control of the network has been extended to assist in applying security solutions centrally and then distributing those policies involved across the entire WAN, very fast and efficiently.
Cloud wide area networks, often referred to as the carrier cloud, is an integration of numerous wide area networks and high grade network traffic attributes so that the deployment of applications that have a lot of traffic is made possible and efficient. Unlike in simple cloud computing where the data center is of focus, the network connecting the various cloud users and the respective data centers is factored in.
In response to the movement towards the software defined Hybrid WAN technologies and massive cloud computing uptake, the industry networking devices manufacturing leaders have come up with standards that define the software-defined networking (SDN) architecture so that there will be inter-operability between their various networking hardware devices such as routers and switches.
In comparison to a hardware dictated networking approach, Software Defined Networking has brought about the possibility to separate networking hardware from the software within which network traffic flows. This in return has made various devices from different manufacturers work together seamlessly.
All these concepts were developed with the intention of simplifying network management and enhancing information security while on transit. Currently, some enterprises are still using onsite data centers but many are switching to cloud-based applications and are generally very happy with the switch-over, especially with the cloud-based solutions that companies such as the google cloud hosting and Microsoft azure are introducing as a result of these concepts.