SD-WAN Deployment Models

Updated: December 12th, 2023

Discover Which SD-WAN Deployment Model is Best For Your Business

Discover Which SD-WAN Deployment Model is Best For Your Business

SD-WAN has transformed network efficiency with its ability to automatically route traffic to optimise speeds and prioritise high-performance tasks over less important web traffic, all whilst offering intelligent security features to keep more complex networks safe from cyberattacks. There are many SD-WAN deployment models businesses can follow to implement SD-WAN on their networks. This article looks at the different SD-WAN deployment models, highlighting the key benefits and discussing the factors that should be considered when choosing the right deployment model.

Key Benefits of SD-WAN 

SD-WAN has several advantages for organisations looking to enhance their network and adapt it from more traditional network infrastructure that’s built on fixed servers and static hardware :

Cost Efficiency 

SD-WAN removes the reliance on expensive MPLS connections, instead utilising more cost-effective broadband and mobile data connections (something that will become more effective with the increasing deployment of ultrafast fibre connections and 5G). By removing the expensive connections and hardware costs, businesses can significantly reduce their networking costs while maintaining a high level of performance and reliability.

Improved Network Performance 

Unlike traditional network infrastructure, which carries traffic over a single connection, SD-WAN intelligently routes traffic over multiple connection types, based on real-time network conditions, ensuring optimal performance, even during peak usage hours when the network is most congested. With SD-WAN, organisations can achieve higher application performance and enhanced user experience.

Enhanced Security 

SD-WAN incorporates advanced security features like next-generation firewalls, intrusion detection systems, secure web gateways and network segmentation. By building security directly into the network, organisations can protect their data and applications from potential threats and vulnerabilities.

SD-WAN also utilises intelligent threat detection to create a more proactive level of protection. This security measure automatically analyses network activity and can alert to anomalies in behaviour. For example, it can identify unrecognised devices and IP addresses trying to access the network and highlight potential malicious behaviour. This allows security risks to be dealt with before they escalate.

SD-WAN Deployment Models 

SD-WAN Deployment Models 

SD-WAN deployment models allow organisations to implement and manage their networks in different ways, based on their existing infrastructure and preference for how they want to manage their network long-term.

On-Premises Deployment 

In an on-premise deployment model, SD-WAN infrastructure is installed and managed in the organisation’s own data centres or branch offices. On-premise can be a good option for large organisations with a dedicated IT management resource and the capability to properly manage a complex network in-house. On-premise also allows businesses to have complete control over the network deployment and configuration, so is a good option for those wanting the ability to customise the solution in line with their specific requirements.

Cloud-Enabled Deployment 

A cloud-enabled deployment model for SD-WAN involves leveraging cloud-based solutions provided by third-party suppliers. A cloud-enabled SD-WAN deployment model allows organisations to reduce infrastructure costs (because it doesn’t require fixed servers and related hardware) and also enhances scalability. Deploying SD-WAN over the cloud removes the need for costly hardware investment for the network’s endpoints, as these are managed virtually.

Cloud-Native Deployment 

In a cloud-native deployment model, the entire SD-WAN infrastructure is hosted in the cloud. A cloud-native deployment model can greatly reduce hardware and operational costs, because everything is hosted in the cloud, and the business doesn’t require any fixed infrastructure. It also provides a highly scalable and more flexible environment for the SD-WAN network to operate and be configured.

What to Consider When Choosing a Deployment Model for SD-WAN

What to Consider When Choosing a Deployment Model for SD-WAN

Choosing the right SD-WAN deployment model will depend on several factors based on existing infrastructure and what a business or organisation prefers from a management, scalability and control standpoint.

Business Requirements and Objectives 

Factors, such as branch site locations (and the size of the geographical area) need to be considered, particularly if the SD-WAN model will be operating internationally. Application requirements and security considerations should also be reviewed carefully, as the deployment model will determine whether the business becomes responsible for management, or if this will be dealt with by a managed IT provider.

Network Complexity 

The complexity of an organisation’s network will play a big role in choosing the most suitable deployment model. Organisations with a complex network infrastructure may require a more customised,  on-premise deployment, particularly if they manage the infrastructure in-house and want to retain control over management and configuration. Simpler network architectures can benefit from cloud-enabled or cloud-native deployment models and take advantage of the enhanced scalability and flexibility these types of deployments offer.


On-premise deployments are likely to require a higher upfront investment due to the infrastructure needs and investments, along with the associated costs of in-house IT management. Cloud-based models offer more cost-effective options with pay-as-you-go pricing as well as removing the need for additional hardware or infrastructure investment.

Deploy the right SD-WAN solution to enhance your network with Elite Group

Contact Centre Digital Transformation: The Essential Evolution To Improve Customer Experience

From network complexity to budget restraints,  choosing the right SD-WAN deployment model is essential for ensuring you get the most out of your investment and experience the benefits of a more intelligent, secure network. At Elite Group, our experts are here to help you understand which SD-WAN deployment model will be best for your business and ensure you make the right decision based on your goals and objectives. Contact us here today or call 0344 875 8880.