SD-WAN vs. Branch Routers

Unbox Your Network

Branch routers place unnecessary limitations on the network, especially with the tidal shift of applications and services to the cloud. To learn more about how genuine SD-WAN eliminates those constraints while delivering orders of magnitude improvements over legacy routers and more, download our infographic.

Branch Routers: A Thing of the Past?

With the mass adoption of cloud applications, services, and resources, routers and their architectures are unable to adequately address Enterprise deployments of the future. Software-defined wide area networking, virtual customer premises equipment, virtual network functions, and pervasive cloud services such as security, unified communications, compute and infrastructure are creating the most reliable, effective and secure Enterprise branch offices.

Lack of Brownout Protection and Link Remediation

Traffic fails over or is moved to an alternative path, but lacks sub-second proactive steering to avoid loss of connections, flows, calls and sessions and lacks the ability to mitigate transport impairments and dynamic jitter buffering.

Highly Skilled

Routers are complex to install, upgrade, and maintain, requiring highly trained and skilled technicians to service them. Retaining talent to make adjustments per site is both costly and difficult to manage.


Capex-centric hardware, individual site-by-site management, and MPLS dependence add up high short- and long-term infrastructure costs.

Multi-Source Inbound 
Quality of Service (QoS)

Measurement of QoS is reported by transport channel and by method of communication, but is not able to actively regulate traffic before congestion becomes an issue.

and Inflexible

Expansion of the network to new sites or addition of services is both lengthy and limiting, requiring site-by-site configuration.

SD-WAN Replaces the Branch Router, Becomes the Network

Conversion of your network from a reactive response-based system to a proactive outcome-driven and business enabling platform is now possible. “We were able to replace legacy hardware that performed complicated routing, optimization, and security with VMware SD-WAN Edges, which do it all.” — VMware SD-WAN Customer

Routing Functionality

Selecting the most appropriate path based on link health and business policies is dynamic using VMware SD-WAN Dynamic Multi-Path Optimization (DMPO), which can also remediate sub-par quality routes to mitigate application performance degradation.

OPEX Model

Eliminate high-cost hardware and capital expenses by shifting to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model that allows you to re-invest IT budget in revenue generating activities.


Network Security

With built-in firewall capabilities and scalable site to site security, simply define your business and security policies, identify network and WAN segments, and let the intelligence of SD-WAN and an ecosystem of cloud security providers protect your data, your business, and your network.


Securely scale to tens of thousands of branches and cloud services, interoperate with existing infrastructure and troubleshoot problems remotely without costly truck rolls.

Ease of Management

Enable new services or update network policies regionally or worldwide with a simple click (no CLI) in the VMware SD-WAN Orchestrator and propagate changes throughout the entire network immediately. Eliminate the need to configure or manage each individually.


Slash bandwidth costs and deploy 10x faster.

Sign up for a free hands-on evaluation of VMware SD-WAN and learn how to deploy branch offices in minutes, provide high quality UC experience, and lower bandwidth and hardware costs.

Ready to learn more?

Still Using Branch Routers? It’s Time to Reconsider.


The days of relying on branch routers for services and apps are over. This infographic details why it's time to reconsider your reliance on routers.

How to Build an Outcome-Driven SD-WAN Network

“SD-WAN How-To” Webinar

With an Outcome-Driven Networking approach, enable configuration simplicity and network intelligence, gain the ability to add services, and scale to meet customer demands becomes easier.

The SD-WAN Ushers in the Era of the Routerless Branch Office

Analyst White Paper

Analysis of how legacy hardware and WAN infrastructure must undergo a change to support the digital transformation.