It is time to think about which one of these two are better in the software-defined networking world. First off, let’s list the main differences. With an SD-WAN you have physical equipment and there might be a lot of it. It might get a bit expensive. What about with Cloud WANs? You have absolutely no physical hardware you have to worry about. With SD-WANs any sort of complication goes out the window, everything is automated. There are online services that do the same for Cloud WANs, it is just a matter of choosing the right ones.
What about average cost for SD-WANs and for cloud WANs? SD-WANs, as stated before, require a lot of physical equipment and installation of that equipment, and service provider cost, which may be cheaper if utilizing bandwidth over broadband links. Although cloud-based WANs have very little or no equipment costs, the service provider might charge more money than it would with the SD-WANs because this is the cloud, remember? A fast way to take money from people for something they could just use a portable hard drive for.
What about portability? If you need to move your office or something, it’s going to be a pain to move all of that equipment and re-install it in your new office with the SD-WANs. With the cloud-WANs, you have just a quick call to make and done, your new office is set up, that saves money too.
I think that in the end what determines which you pick is definitely going to be the return on investment (ROI). This is the profit after everything is said and done, do not forget that you are running a business. You have to weigh every possible expense and return. This determines whether or not someone would upgrade a product or service in any capacity, and not just WAN upgrades. You have to figure if an investment in a WAN upgrade benefits your company in the long-run, you may find that the upgrade would pay itself in time or even help you conserve finances, which in reality, could be a definite possibility. You have to think about other unexpected expenses and factor those into your estimate as well. Everything is an investment, every investment is a risk.