If your enterprise is investing in cloud technology or deploying a set of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, or you’ve been rapidly growing and launching new locations, then you’ve probably also been talking about your network needs. The appeal of software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) is easily recognizable in each of these scenarios, and if it hasn’t already, it’s likely to come up in discussions about how to solve network challenges.
You may be tempted to have a short conversation after hearing what SD-WAN offers:
- Centralized management and improved visibility
- The ability to prioritize network traffic based on business policy and criticality of data
- Reduced costs with a subscription-based payment model
- The ability to spin up a new location in minutes, without having to send a technician out to configure a router
In your short conversation, it would be easy to determine that SD-WAN offers everything you could require in a network solution, and you may be right.
There’s a catch. A lot of service providers are branding themselves as SD-WAN providers because the growth of this technology is fast-paced and provides a lucrative opportunity. Don’t be duped; you need to ask the right questions to get the right type of SD-WAN for your enterprise. After considering the benefits you’ll receive and determining that SD-WAN will be a good fit, you need to examine how your SD-WAN will be delivered. Here are three questions to consider:
Do you require an SD-WAN with a network, or will an edge routing device suffice? If your locations are relatively local, you will fare well with an Internet-based SD-WAN. If you have a global enterprise with locations on separate continents, your network may suffer from latency (learn what is latency) and the variability of connections, with the result creating performance issues. A global SD-WAN uses a cloud-native private network with built-in redundancy.
Do you need to prioritize connectivity for premises or cloud solutions? If most of your applications are relatively close geographically to your end-users, then Internet-based SD-WAN may fit your needs. SD-WAN through a cloud-native private network is better for global enterprises that completely or almost completely rely on cloud applications. Otherwise, they risk running into congestion on the public Internet, slowing down the performance of key software solutions.
Do you prefer to manage your SD-WAN in-house or purchase it as a service? At larger enterprises, the IT team may dedicate a lot of time to identifying and evaluating SD-WAN options and may have the resources to manage the network solution themselves. In many cases, outsourcing makes sense because it frees up IT to focus on vision and architecture of their technology.
If you require guidance in your migration to SD-WAN, contact us at Wanify. We can help you identify your ideal solution for your network needs, including whether to use the public Internet or a cloud-native private network.