written by Mark Veldhoff posted on Dec 22, 2021
SD-WAN Buyer’s Guide
Businesses need to manage a progressively dispersed and remote workforce, as well as the digital variance of applications and systems in the cloud. Businesses must anticipate market changes sooner, react faster, and operate from multiple locations. If you operate a business with more than one location, you face distinctive challenges.
You face greater complexity in how you manage your networks because you have to ensure that all locations receive the performance it needs to leverage VoIP, video, and other critical applications. Given the shortage of IT resources, you may struggle to find a way to keep technology up to date without having technical staff at each location to deploy it.
In addition, you seek innovative ways to keep from exceeding your budget as expenses from ISP and MPLS (multiprotocol label switching) services exceed your control. Software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technology changes this position by shifting hardware-defined access channels, alongside developments in cloud services and virtualization.
All WAN access channels and network functions such as firewall, security, switching, and routing that were once locked in purpose-specific boxes, are programmed into an SD-WAN router at the WAN edge.
What Is SD-WAN?
SD-WAN refers to software-defined wide-area networking. This term represents features or product sets that are used to automate the WAN interface selection when there are multiple WAN options.
These areas are commonly cited as the functional requirements for an SD-WAN product:
- Perform the WAN routing required to distribute traffic
- Allocate traffic based on user-defined policies
- Direct connection of network appliances such as firewalls
SD-WAN Is Made For the Way You Do Business
SD-WAN creates secure and direct connections between applications and their users. Using automation, SD-WAN combines public and private connections and directs traffic along the route that is the most effective. SD-WAN solutions offer centralized management for full visibility across your network, a simplified deployment course of action, and effective WAN selection technology solutions for high network performance experiences while also balancing internet service costs.
The benefits of SD-WAN have made SD-WAN a key topic of conversation among business leaders. In this SD-WAN buyer’s guide, we take a deeper look at SD-WAN and offer viewpoints that will help you identify the right solution for your business. We’ll also examine common deployment mistakes and share advice on planning for a successful SD-WAN implementation.
Should you move ahead with SD-WAN, we hope that our buyer’s guide will help you facilitate a seamless installation and deliver effective results. If your applications are hosted in the cloud, SD-WAN will connect users to the application while maintaining firewalls and utilizing intrusion detection. When you merge this with the ability to place business-critical data ahead of low-priority application data, your business can enjoy increased bandwidth at a reduced cost.
Some of the benefits of SD-WAN include:
- Increased network control
- Improved network resilience
- More bandwidth at a reduced cost
- Lower latency
- Improved scalability
- Secure public networks
Flexible Solutions Built Around Your Business
When you choose to implement SD-WAN, here are a few key ways it will positively impact your business operations, by transforming your network and improving IT efficiencies.
With SD-WAN solutions, your business will gain clear visibility of which applications are running on your network and how they are being used, allowing you to secure your assets. With an SD-WAN solution, you can prioritize and protect your applications so that they are always working.
Deeper Look Into Your Network
SD-WAN solutions provide you with clear reporting and real-time network visibility using a web portal. Enable quick configuration through central policy control and make adjustments when necessary, reducing the time required to manage your network configurations.
Allows You To Be Cost-Effective
You can choose the right combination of performance and cost. Based on the location’s risk tolerance, you will be able to select cost-effective connectivity. You can also connect at a single site and apply usage rules to direct traffic.
Is SD-WAN Right for Your Business?
Let’s determine if your business is a fit for all that SD-WAN offers. Consider the following:
- Does your business have multiple sites?
- Does your business have a data center that you use to deliver services to your users?
- Are your employees using Microsoft 365 to connect and collaborate?
- Does your business use a conferencing solution like Zoom?
- Do you have an MPLS?
- Is your network reliability critical to your business?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, there is a good chance your business can benefit from SD-WAN.
Finding the Right SD-WAN Partner
SD-WAN is an effective, flexible suite of solutions designed to solve your most complex business problems. SD-WAN can be tailored and shaped to serve your business’s unique needs and circumstances, both now and in the future. If you are looking for a solution where you’ll work with a vendor directly, you must be clear on the outcomes you want to achieve so the vendor can order source the best capabilities.
If partner with a Managed Service Provider, you’ll need to determine whether the MSP offers SD-WAN solutions and has the technical expertise to match. It’s best to partner with an MSP that can offer a range of network management and security services. The MSP should also have the ability to address your business’s unique requirements with an SD-WAN solution that enhances productivity and builds revenue.
Not all SD-WAN solutions are created equal, and this is why it is so important to ask the right questions when the time comes to select an SD-WAN partner.
- How many sites can a single SD-WAN controller run?
- What are your SD-WAN solution’s security features?
- How many clients have you helped carry out a successful SD-WAN implementation?
- What is the max throughput of the solution?
- How does the solution detect and address congestion, failure, and interruptions?
- Is your SD-WAN solution reliable when it comes to cloud and SaaS applications?
It will take time and resources to find the right SD-WAN solution, but the rewards for this investment will definitely be worth it. When you partner with Envizion IT, the relationship with us will mean you will have access to our expertise and technology service, backed by years of industry experience. Our industry-leading IT professionals have expertise in multiple business sectors and will work with you to define and implement solutions tailored to fit your business needs.
Envizion IT supports the entire spectrum of network and IT infrastructure requirements. Contact us today to learn more.
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