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What Is Hybrid WAN?

Hybrid wan, also known as Hybrid Wide Area Network, is a way of connecting different network places using different types of connections.

Imagine you want to send an online message to a friend. Sometimes your traditional internet connection through DSL or fiber can be busy and have a lot of traffic, slowing down the arrival of your message. A Hybrid WAN simply means having different roads to send your message. Instead of just relying on your fiber network, you can use other types of connections like private networks or satellites. By using different paths, you have backup routes to make sure your message gets to your friend in time.

The primary goal of Hybrid WAN is to balance the cost of network connectivity with reliability. It offers a mix of connection types to optimize performance and expenses.

What Is The Difference Between Hybrid WAN and SD-WAN?

Hybrid WAN uses different types of connections to improve reliability and flexibility.

SD-WAN (Software-Defined WAN), on the other hand, uses software to intelligently manage and optimize traffic. SD-WAN dynamically routes traffic based on factors like application requirements and real-time conditions. It focuses on traffic optimization, and it prioritizes critical applications, adapting to network changes in real time.

When it comes to cost savings, Hybrid WAN achieves cost-efficiency by blending different connection types while maintaining reliability. SD-WAN takes it a step further by actively selecting the most cost-effective paths for traffic, reducing reliance on expensive connections like MPLS.

In terms of agility, Hybrid WAN provides flexibility by offering various connection types but it lacks the dynamic adaptability of SD-WAN. SD-WAN is known for its agility, automatically adjusting to network conditions and ensuring optimal performance.

SD-WAN also excels in centralized control and monitoring capabilities. It often includes user-friendly management consoles, allowing businesses to configure and oversee their entire network from a single interface

Hybrid WAN Strategies To Reduce Costs And Increase Flexibility

Let´s imagine a company, HybridComms Inc. that has offices across the U.S. and relies heavily on data transmission between these locations. Their existing network setup consists of a traditional Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) WAN, which is reliable but expensive. With the company expanding and their data demands increasing, the cost of maintaining the MPLS network is becoming unsustainable.

To address its connectivity challenges while optimizing costs, HybridComms Inc. decides to implement a Hybrid WAN strategy. The new design involves a combination of MPLS and Internet-based connections.


  1. MPLS for Critical Traffic: HybridComms continues to use MPLS for mission-critical applications like VoIP, video conferencing, and secure data transfer. This ensures low latency, high reliability, and end-to-end Quality of Service (QoS) for their essential operations.
  2. Internet-Based Connections for Non-Critical Traffic: For less time-sensitive data, such as email, web browsing, and software updates, HybridComms leverages cheaper Internet connections. These connections are less expensive than MPLS and provide the required bandwidth for non-critical tasks.
  3. SD-WAN Deployment: To efficiently manage and control traffic across their hybrid network, HybridComms implements Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) technology. SD-WAN allows them to dynamically route traffic based on application priorities and network conditions, optimizing the use of both MPLS and Internet connections.

The implementation of a new strategy through Hybrid WAN brings several benefits to HybridComms:

  1. Cost Savings: By utilizing Internet-based connections for non-essential traffic, the company reduces its operational costs significantly, while still maintaining the reliability of MPLS for critical applications.
  2. Improved Performance: SD-WAN’s dynamic traffic routing improves network performance by intelligently selecting the best path for data transmission, minimizing latency and packet loss.
  3. Scalability: As the company continues to grow, the new Hybrid WAN strategy allows for easy scalability. Adding new branch offices or increasing bandwidth is now simpler and more cost-effective.
  4. Flexibility: HybridComms has the flexibility to adapt to changing business needs. They can allocate resources as needed, ensuring that their network is agile and responsive.

Conclusion: HybridComms Inc.’s adoption of a Hybrid WAN with SD-WAN technology proves to be a wise decision. They achieve cost savings, improved performance and maintain the reliability required for their critical operations.

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