Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) offers a variety of remedies to common networking challenges with multi-cloud support, enhanced security, and traffic optimization. Enterprises are increasingly implementing this technology, but there are decisions to be made about how to best execute SD-WAN deployment.
Some aspects of SD-WAN are universal, such as its ability to merge numerous WAN connections into a single virtual overlay, but it also allows enterprises to reduce WAN costs by providing the option of using inexpensive pathways, such as the public internet. As providers continue to add new innovations, SD-WAN deployment can come with many options.
Platforms: Enterprises must determine whether they want to implement the technology on their own or leave it to a service provider. Unless there is a large IT department with enough resources to dedicate to SD-WAN deployment and management, it’s often a good idea to go with a service provider. There are a number of platform and licensing types:
Appliances: Most SD-WAN solutions are purchased as hardware integrated with software or as an appliance. The advantage of this option is that the provider will prepackage the solution. With appliances, you have a variety of sizes and price points to choose from to meet the requirements of your branches and to deliver the features you need. While there is generally a perpetual software license, some options have a limited-term, three-year license or offer a subscription.
Software licenses: This is the second-most-popular option, which allows you to either purchase or subscribe to a software license. This license simply requires your Intel-based server to have enough memory and processing. With a software license, your IT team or your technology partner is responsible for maintaining the hardware. The license can be purchased as a perpetual license, bought for a specific length of time, or as a subscription.
SD-WAN as a Service: This option is easy to deploy and relies on cloud-based intelligence and traffic handling that’s run by the SD-WAN provider. It’s run similarly to any Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, with all aspects handled by the provider, including upgrades, maintenance, and troubleshooting.
Multifunction network as SD-branch: Software-defined branch is the latest platform for SD-WAN deployment. This option consolidates all network functions into a unified platform for optimized branch network. While on a feature-by-feature basis, this option may not be as strong, yet it offers distinct advantages when it comes to the cost and ease of deployment.
Before beginning your SD-WAN deployment process, contact us at Wanify. We can help you distinguish the benefits you might experience with each type of SD-WAN platform and guide you to the right choice for your enterprise. From reducing your WAN spending to optimizing your network management, SD-WAN can provide measurable benefits to your organization.