I wrote a blog last year that said that categorized SD-WAN and hybrid WAN together. I was wrong. Although combining multiple networks into one logical network (e.g. combine MPLS with broadband) is one key characteristic of SD-WAN, I now believe that that there's more to it, and my description was overly simplistic.
It is so easy to confuse the "how" — or the implementation with the "what" — or the defining characteristics that include benefits. There are attempts to try to define it precisely by describing how it must use a controller or policy-based routing. That's all well and good, but it still makes the mistake of describing the implementation. That's like saying a truck is made of steel body and an engine. That's true in many cases, but there are aluminum body trucks too.
I also admit that the term has become hyped and, like the phrase SDN itself, has lost its meaning.
So I plan to do some research this year to better understand what customers want in making their remote or branch office networks better. It may include a more holistic view of delivering a cost-effective, resilient, easier to manage network to the branch.