Increased network control and automated load balancing are just two of the reasons why enterprises are prioritizing the implementation of software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) to replace or augment their current network solution. As cloud adoption increases, so does the demand for SD-WAN.
There are a lot of providers offering SD-WAN solutions, so it’s important to know how to choose the best one to support your network needs at the enterprise level. There are a few basic features that an SD-WAN should include:
Load automation: This is one of the key benefits of implementing SD-WAN. The system will automatically distinguish between mission-critical, time-sensitive traffic and less-critical, less time-sensitive traffic and route it accordingly through a variety of connection types. The determination of how to route this traffic can vary by the hour or minute, so a good SD-WAN has the capability to differentiate quickly and move traffic automatically based on certain characteristics.
Automated failover: You expect your SD-WAN to identify a link outage, but you need to determine whether it can distinguish a link outage from a momentary pause or a high level of packet drops. Determine how your SD-WAN would handle not only a link outage but a high level of congestion or heavy packet loss.
WAN optimization: In many cases SD-WAN is an augmentation to existing WAN solutions, and it’s important to know how a particular SD-WAN solution will impact the end user. Whether it’s an internal or external end user, they should experience better speed and performance because of an SD-WAN optimization plan.
Scalability: Determine how a particular SD-WAN fits with your digital transformation plan and priorities. A full mesh network plan, for instance, will require a more complex SD-WAN solution than a hub-and-spoke model.
Real-time visibility and control: Even if your enterprise is taking an Everything as a Service approach to your IT plan, you will still want a high level of visibility and control over your network. Find out what your access to the network will look like, and have a good, careful analysis of your service level agreement (SLA) performed so you know what each party is responsible for.
Security: You need to know how your provider approaches security and how an SD-WAN solution fits with your own security protocols. Many companies utilize SD-WAN technology for mission-critical data, so anything less than the most proactive approach to security may result in problems.
Whether you’re just beginning to evaluate SD-WAN options or you’re in the final stages of considering providers, talk with our consultants at Truth Comm. We can guide you to the right provider and help you complete testing for a seamless SD-WAN deployment for your enterprise.