Businesses are rushing to SD-WAN to speed and secure their data traffic. It took them a while to catch the wave, but they have come to see the advantages. Business decision-makers and most IT accountabilities do not fully understand how SD-WAN works. Still, the results speak for themselves.
What is SD-WAN? The volume of data, the risks to cybersecurity and privacy, and the complexity of managing traffic across platforms and remotes locations, all these factors conspire to disrupt and damage your business. The Software-Defined Wide Area Network separates the base layer of your data service from the protocol stack. With businesses moving to the internet and cloud, MPLS bandwidth has become pricey, configuration slow, and deployment restricted.
Knowing your options
Steve Garson at Network World says, “as more security threats originate from within the enterprise, WAN segmentation increasingly is becoming a must-have for many organizations.”
When you consider your provider options, you should focus on four types of service and what they can offer:
1. Needs Assessment
Shopping or open to consulting, you must understand your business traffic characteristics. You need in-house IT support and provider skills to use empirical data to test assumptions on priority and bandwidth issues.
What you need, of course, is a consistent performance from the best technology solution for your business’s needs. Only when you have assessed your needs can you price the best service solution.
2. Design and Architecture
SD-WAN takes a sophisticated architecture. You need providers expert in helping you identify the technical requirements necessary to achieve your business goals.
This requires a study of business locations, access challenges, and wayleave agreements. Configuration needs documentation of the current infrastructure as well as the Class of Service (COS), traffic assessment, traffic characteristics, redundancy requirements, and more. Only then can you calculate the costs of moving to SD-WAN.
3. Strategic Security
Cybersecurity remains the prime reason to install SD-WAN, especially where the business reaches to remote branches or locations. This, too, takes an expert assessment of the technology, implementation, design, and scalability.
You need a holistic approach to security needs, including an exploration of changing regulatory environments, future business growth, and sustainable accountability. But, securing systems across an operation amid the Internet of Things (IoT) demands a working relationship to manage networks, devices, and communications.
4. Supplier Service
Clients want and deserve internet access solutions, real-time access to answers and resolutions. They appreciate custom Service Level Agreements for small business or premium applications, and simple invoicing.
They value cybersecurity training in the strategy and tactics for end-users. But, they also need quality training for Executive and Director level stakeholders in cybersecurity risk management issues.
Options always mean choices!
What is SD-WAN? Jason Bloomberg, writing for Forbes, says, “The reason why the SD-WAN space is so hot, is because it represents disruptions at the conjunction of three separate areas: the wide-area network (WAN) market, cloud computing, and the rapidly maturing Software-Defined Everything (SDX) arena.”
Understanding these four types of service, you can research providers better, shorten your vendor list faster, and move to your SD-WAN smartly, securely, and cost-effectively.