SD-WAN: Consider managed services for simplified management

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The software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is taking off in enterprises of all sizes, and for good reason. Simplifying administration with a centralized policy driven approach, the SD-WAN is transport independent, whether MPLS, Internet, Wi- Fi, 3G or 4G, or other, and prioritizes traffic according to policy. It increases business agility and speeds provisioning, while driving down the total cost of the WAN.

As the SD-WAN concept has emerged, so have numerous start-up and established vendor solutions. If you are looking to adopt SD-WAN, the landscape of options can be dizzying. Every solution has its own features, functionality, and pricing model. Some are even partnering directly with ISPs and telecommunications service providers.

Consider managed services for simplified management

While SD-WAN solutions can be cost-effective and beneficial for an organization, adoption requires some investment of time and resources. From vetting solutions and designing service-level agreements to circuit design and carrier migration, SD-WAN adoption involves just as many details as any other major infrastructure change.

For that reason, you may consider using a managed services provider (MSP) to select and deploy your SD-WAN, and to keep your SD-WAN environment operating smoothly. One complication of SD-WAN is that the solution provider will, naturally, provide support for their software and devices—but not for any other aspect of your environment, such as circuit design. An experienced MSP will already have multiple vendor relationships and can facilitate circuit design, procurement, and configuration.

Another reason to consider an MSP is that the business may have a requirement to increase security on your SD-WAN. Most SD-WAN solutions include security features, but not necessarily to the degree needed for every environment. An MSP can offer security expertise and recommend the most appropriate solution for your business requirements.

When it comes to telecommunications analysis and carrier migration management, the right MSP will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your telecommunications environment and spend, providing recommendations for streamlining contracts and eliminating duplicative costs.

An MSP also can take on the distracting, yet important, tasks of upgrades and troubleshooting. While an issue may involve multiple ISPs or applications, you will only need to make one phone call to the MSP to solve the problem. All services can be billed through the MSP, so you pay one invoice instead of a stack of bills.

Key questions to ask on the road to SD-WAN adoption

It is vital to keep your computing environment and business needs front and center when examining SD-WAN vendor options. Download our white paper to examine six critical questions to ask as you consider potential SD-WAN solutions.

November 6, 2017