MTN Software defined NetworkWhat is MTN SD- WAN?

SD – WAN is an acronym for Software Defined Wide Area Network. This is a software driven network, an enhanced version of the traditional WAN technologies like MPLS and Internet. It simplifies the management and operation of the WAN and increases applications visibility. SD-WAN is software driven network thus shifting most of the connections from hardware based to internet and cloud-based alternatives.


Networks have become larger, more mission critical and complex to manage with the ever-increasing need for digital transformation. Business application developers are also making their applications more internet based and selling them as subscription services over the internet. Internet is no longer just a link to less network-delay-tolerant applications like email and browsing as was the case a while back.

Employees and WAN users’ consumption patterns and network activities are changing. There is an increasing demand to access to business applications from anywhere, anytime on any device and usage of videos which further strains traditional networks.

All these factors bring complexities in managing the legacy networks like MPLS. Thus, the need for a more flexible, robust WAN and management system that simplifies scaling, network configurations, roll- out of new business applications or setup on new branch or remote sites at zero touch deployment.

ICT teams are also looking for better control and visibility of their network and applications in order to deliver better end user experience. MTN SD- WAN makes work easier for Network managers and more peace of mind everywhere they go. MTN Business Kenya certified engineers offer full pre-sale and after-sale support around the clock.

What it means by saying that MTN SD-WAN is centralized and has zero touch deployment

Traditionally, network configurations would take a long time. For instance, if an organization required to roll out a new sales portal, they would manually have to configure every network device (switch, router, firewall e.t.c) to implement the policy or rules that would enable end user access to the new application. That would make it very laborious, time consuming and prone to human errors as they type the command statements on the network devices. Even worse if they make a mistake on few devices, troubleshooting or tracing the error would be a torturous exercise.

Thanks to SD-WAN, one can now implement all this on single dashboard. Since the system is aware of standard branch configuration, when you have a new site to deploy, you just ship a new device attach it to network and the let the system discover it. The system then pushes the configuration automatically. This also applies to any new policy that needs to be configured- the system automatically pushes to all devices.  In  a nut shell, MTN SD-WAN allows network teams to work smarter and be in control of the network environment.

Is it secure?

MTN SD-WAN is secured with next generation security features that encompass encrypted VPN (virtual private network) to protect data-in-transit and software-based threat protection, and content filtering. All these are features that would usually be licensed in a traditional Unified Threat Management (UTM) firewalls. Traditional WANs do not have network level security thus makes them vulnerable to attacks. With the complexities caused by modern day cybercrimes, SDN is the way to go.

How is MTN SD-WAN cost effective?

With traditional WAN technologies organizations have had to add new links or upgrade capacity with minimal or no change on applications performance.  These additional resources are quite expensive. With MTN SD-WAN applications visibility and QoS policy management, you achieve performance through intelligent routing, path selection and QoS enforcement. Eventually, you do not need a lot of capacity or separate links to manage applications performance.

Also, MTN SD-WAN gets rid of some network hardware which leads to a reduction in cost of network maintenance and hardware replacements.

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