Technology moves at such a quick pace that it can be extremely difficult to keep up and isolate buzzwords from the tech that can be used effectively within a business environment. Plus, things can get even more confusing when there is so much fluff surrounding sales and marketing. For nearly a decade, there has been so much noise surrounding software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN). However, when SD-WAN made the jump into the commercial space, it brought even more confusion. Today, many leaders are struggling to know what can be achieved with SD-WAN and whether they should adopt SD-WAN.
Business leaders are waiting for their turn to buy SD-WAN connectivity, and service providers are more than happy to sell it. To meet specific business needs for low-cost and flexible connectivity, more service providers are offering software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) services. For providers that are aiming to virtualize network functions, SD-WAN fits in perfectly with the initiative. However, a service provider’s SD-WAN success will heavily depend on its ability to satisfy businesses and organizations’ unique needs. Thus, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to purchasing SD-WAN services.
This SD-WAN buyer’s guide is for those exploring SD-WAN for the first time. Are you considering moving to the cloud? Are you thinking about giving your network an overhaul? Are you preparing to introduce a software overlay to your network? Whatever your unique situation may be, our guide will cut through all the static and help you determine how to choose SD-WAN services and how SD-WAN can benefit your organization.
Finding an SD-WAN service provider can be a challenging experience. At some point, you will begin to feel like you are hearing the same selling points over and over. If every service provider seems like a good fit, how do you make your choice? Don’t fret. We’re here to help you. There are SD-WAN vendors that sell software and appliances.
If you do not feel your business or organization will have the resources to build robust SD-WAN systems and management functions, your best option will be to use an SD-WAN service provider. SD-WAN service providers will use SD-WAN technology as the landscape and give you the option to have everything handled by them or by your organization. There are various service providers that offer SD-WAN solutions. When you understand the technology that powers SD-WAN solutions, as well as the functionalities of the SD-WAN solutions, this will be a major key in deciding which SD-WAN service provider will be the best fit for your organization.
Every SD-WAN service provider will provide its own perspective based on its history and expertise. Some SD-WAN providers will make claims of having the latest solutions that will completely transform the way you do business. However, it is important not to take everything at their word. You must dive deeper and determine what solutions they will actually use.
Older WAN solutions cannot be redesigned in the same manner as an SD-WAN solution. What does this mean? This means those solutions cannot provide you with the level of service you need, especially as it relates to service, security, and performance. You must ensure the SD-WAN solution is built with a purpose and has a proven history of success.
Ask SD-WAN service providers the following questions during your search:
If you do not receive any solid answers from the service provider, it’s probably not a wise choice to select that SD-WAN provider.
Businesses and organizations that are interested in SD-WAN should consult with managed service providers (MSPs) and discuss whether their products are a good match with the ones that are sold by their partners. After ensuring you have your answers and your must-haves lined up, there are several features you must consider when buying an SD-WAN solution:
SD-WAN as a managed service is becoming a major trend, and it is one that that will benefit SMBs the most. Small and medium-sized businesses don’t want to add any complications into their lives, so buying an SD-WAN solution will become a vital addition. Larger businesses and organizations are more likely to license and utilize a vendor’s SD-WAN product because it provides the option of customizing the technology to fit their complex and unique network operations and data center environments. Larger businesses and organizations will still use SD-WAN technology to fulfill their specific needs.
SD-WAN certainly appears to be a captivating option, but it involves investment and a commitment. If you make a decision and change course after you have made the deployment, you may lose both time and money once you go back to your starting point. So choose wisely and carefully. Better yet, build a strategy and conduct your research to determine which SD-WAN provider you should commit to.
SD-WANs are very complex in nature and consideration must be given to network structure and architecture before an SD-WAN solution can be selected or deployed. SD-WAN offers many choices, but every service provider may not fit your business’s unique site. OneSource Technology will ensure that you have a secure and scalable network that is built for SD-WAN. Contact us today to schedule a consultation whenever you have a technology requirement or need.
Thanks to our friends at Orbis Solutions in Las Vegas for their help with this blog article.