Three Reasons to Consider SD-WAN as-a-Service

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The software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) presents an array of potential benefits, from the ability to aggregate different circuits (MPLS, LTE, 4G, Broadband, etc.), to reducing overall networking costs and attaining greater visibility into your business for improved scalability. Quality of Service is also improved, allowing your team to prioritize network traffic based on business needs. These outcomes are among the many reasons why SD-WAN is going mainstream.

According to a recent survey from Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), 36 percent of enterprise network managers are now actively expanding their strategic focus in SD-WAN to support cloud and data center architecture.

But the decision to pursue SD-WAN is often the easy part. The challenge is that, like any major solution implementation, deploying SD-WAN can be an onerous, resource-heavy undertaking—especially for companies with large footprints or complex data needs. From navigating the ever-increasing marketplace of solutions and practical deployment to maintenance, management, and optimization, it’s a commitment.

SD-WAN can also heavily impact capital expense budgets, depending on the number of sites you need to cover.

However, it is possible to capitalize on all the benefits without the headaches, personnel time, and up-front expense. An alternative to purchasing and implementing SD-WAN upfront is to partner with an SD-WAN as-a-Service provider that can provide the benefits of SD-WAN as a manageable monthly recurring service. 

How SD-WAN as-a-Service benefits enterprise IT

SD-WAN as-a-Service is the latest in the growing pool of as-a-Service offerings that can add flexibility to your IT environment. The following are a few important benefits:

1. CAPEX versus OPEX

SD-WAN as-a-Service gives technology teams the ability to aggregate different costs into a single monthly bill, for instance hardware, software, circuits, management, MACDs (Moves, Adds, Changes, Deletes), and installation costs. It also provides greater flexibility as payments are amortized over the term length. What’s more, solutions like Citrix SD-WAN deliver a consistent end user experience when accessing remote applications – users won’t notice when a circuit is cut. It also enables better availability, capacity, and agility, resulting in a more robust traffic delivery over your WAN with better capacity than before. 

2. Expert implementation and management, without the fuss

SD-WAN solutions have proliferated in recent times, so finding the solution that supports your strategy can take valuable time away from more pressing daily tasks. A service partner that’s on the leading edge of the market will be able to recommend the best options for your needs—and deploy it, too. That’s a major time savings if you need to configure several hundred devices at various enterprise sites. And with an as-a-Service partner, while an issue may involve multiple ISPs or applications, you will only need to make one phone call to solve the problem.

3. Security

Most SD-WAN solutions include security features, but not necessarily to the degree needed for every environment. The right as-a-Service provider can offer security expertise and recommend the most appropriate solution for your business requirements. This may include unifying secure access into the network, end-to-end encryption, and using multiple links to increase network redundancy (per packet).

What to look for in a service provider

With SD-WAN as-a-Service as an option, it’s wise to choose a service provider that invests in staying ahead of the knowledge curve. Also, consider the firm’s external partnerships: Is it affiliated with the most reputable and effective vendors? Choosing a service provider that has an established history of consulting, implementation, and ongoing management of SD-WAN is the key to a successful partnership.

Does your potential provider have skilled architects available to score SD-WAN technology, sizing, installation needs, and circuits to find a solution that is best suited for your environment? In addition to vendor management, do they provide ease of management, which enables you to reduce the amount of devices needed and direct traffic more efficiently? Are they equipped to take on the time-consuming tasks of patching and troubleshooting?

Asking these and other key questions can help you find the experts it may take to achieve SD-WAN success. For more personalized information about how you could benefit from SD-WAN as-a-Service, connect with Burwood Group’s network architecture experts for an assessment.

This blog post was sponsored by Citrix, a strategic partner of Burwood Group.



 

September 24, 2018