SDWAN Buyers Guide: What Orange County Business Need To Know
There is no doubt Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SDWAN) has brought radical changes to the telecommunications and wide-area networking (WAN) landscapes. SDWAN enables organizations and businesses to connect several offices together while providing a more convenient way to prioritize the applications crucial to the business, so they get priority over the network. In today’s hybrid work environment, SDWAN technology has accelerated digital transformation for businesses by enabling them to move to agile cloud-based technologies such as Office 365 and a range of other SaaS applications such as Salesforce and Zoom. If you are shopping for an SDWAN vendor, this piece provides important questions to ask potential service providers to ensure you are getting value for your money.
Questions to Ask Your SDWAN Vendors
The following are some of the questions that the SDWAN vendors should answer:
What Types of SDWAN Services Do You Specialize In?
The first thing to determine is your business driver for SDWAN and whether the specific vendor you are reviewing has expertise in that niche. For example, if security is your top concern, consider picking SDWAN vendors with best-in-class security services. If application performance is your priority, opt for an SDWAN vendor with a proven track record in WAN optimization. Similarly, if you made a major acquisition that requires you to install SDWAN in multiple locations within a short time, opt for a managed service provider.
How Can You Make the Transition to SDWAN as Smooth and Painless as Possible?
An easy way to transition to SDWAN smoothly is by working with your incumbent MPLS service provider. Find out whether your existing network vendor can simply add SDWAN functionality to existing branch office gear with a software upgrade. If they don’t provide SDWAN functionality, find out whether they are willing to customize a fully managed SDWAN offering that meets your business needs.
What Pricing Options Are Ideal for My Needs and Budgets?
A DIY SDWAN implementation requires massive capital expenditure as well as licensing and maintenance costs. You may need to acquire several WAN connections for each site location which ultimately translates to added costs. The best way to save on costs is to opt for managed or co-managed options. A managed service offers a subscription model that creates predictable costs while providing agility to scale depending on the changing business conditions. The right vendor provides their own fully managed services on their networks that allow you to shift from CAPEX to OPEX as the need arises.
How Well Does the Product or Service Integrate with My Existing Infrastructure?
How the product or service integrates with your existing infrastructure is a crucial question to ask potential SDWAN vendors. Find out whether the vendor acquires SDWAN functionality through purchasing from another company and how each diverse piece integrates together. You should also determine whether a single management console controls all SDWAN functionality and the pricing implications. In a nutshell, find out whether the vendor offers an all-in-one purchase, or the firewall comes as an add-on. Additionally, you should find out how well does the SDWAN system integrate with your existing enterprise infrastructure. It is important that SDWAN mesh seamlessly with your entire networking infrastructure, security systems, application management system, and monitoring system. If the SDWAN offering has a cloud-based management platform, determine how well it integrates with your existing management systems.
What Type of Training Do You Provide?
Another crucial question to ask a potential SD-WAN vendor is the type of tutorials, training materials, configurations they provide. You should also determine whether the vendor is willing to help determine the appropriate bandwidth levels and system requirements. Determine also the product roadmap and frequency of software updates. Other questions to ask at this level include:
- What are the ongoing licensing costs?
- What level of support can I expect?
- How much does that cost?
Features to Consider When Buying SDWAN
The following are some key features to look out for when reviewing and comparing SDWAN feature sets:
- Wide range of functionality: The right SDWAN should fully replace existing branch functionalities. It should provide a range of functionalities such as QoS, IPSec VPNs, dynamic routing, and NetFlow. Additionally, it should support protocols like BGP and OSPF, access control lists, event management, and more.
- High-speed bandwidth: The SDWAN should utilize high-speed bandwidth to provide transport independence across multiple channels such as MPLS, Internet, 3G/4G/LTE, and 5G.
- Path control: SDWAN should guarantee a level of multiple active paths to ensure bandwidth efficiency and resilience. The ideal system should control traffic depending on policies in response to changing network conditions.
- Encryption: The SDWAN should encrypt WAN traffic based on policy. It should feature automated key rotation that allows encryption keys to be swapped out regularly.
- Security: Since SDWAN connects the onsite office directly with the public internet, robust security should be provided at each branch office. Go for an integrated next-generation application-aware firewall that provides anti-malware, ant-virus, data loss prevention, segmentation, and more.
- Application optimization: The ideal SDWAN should optimize application performance as need be. The system should recognize all the applications in your portfolio and actively monitor application performance as traffic moves across the WAN and SaaS applications.
Get Professional Help
SDWAN enables critical applications to live in multiple clouds, so employees can connect and collaborate from anywhere. For most companies, SDWAN is now a critical part of a larger digital transformation initiative to enhance business operations. Unfortunately, not all organizations have the skills or resources to implement SDWAN on their own. That is where managed service providers come in.
If you need a reliable vendor to implement SDWAN in your organization, contact Technijian. Technijian is a reliable and certified SDWAN service provider committed to helping implement SDWAN infrastructure across multiple offices at affordable rates. Our highly trained and experienced SDWAN certified technicians are committed to helping you improve results, increase your revenue and get the job done properly. Contact us today if you have further questions about our services, need any technological requirements, or for more information about SDWAN.