Enterprises looking for a comprehensive network solution that can handle central visibility and control for branch locations are often drawn to the features offered by software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technology. SD-WAN provides a few key benefits, including the freedom to prioritize mission-critical internet traffic and the ability to get a new branch online in a short period of time.
While IT personnel may identify SD-WAN as the ideal way to solve their network challenges while enjoying cost savings, it is still relatively new technology and providers that recognize the opportunity are racing to offer it to enterprises across industries. It’s important to carefully select your provider so that implementation and ongoing management of your network are efficient and successful.
Network coverage: Talk with potential providers about their network coverage, because if you can’t get all your branches on the same network, SD-WAN will not provide the benefits you are looking for.
Service options: SD-WAN covers a wide range of service options, and it’s important to talk with the provider about the specific needs you have for your infrastructure. Transport options can include Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), broadband, and others, so find out what the provider offers. Determine the level of visibility and control your IT team will have with any given provider before making a decision.
Architecture: Study the SD-WAN architecture in relation to your defined needs and goals, looking for flexibility and agility, and the ability to scale up or down as the need arises.
Substance: Be on the alert for providers that offer a flashy website and glossy brochures, but don’t have the experience to back it up. Find out if they are providing SD-WAN themselves, or if they are a reseller of SD-WAN, and what technical expertise they have on staff to support your enterprise.
Service Level Agreements (SLAs): Carefully go over your SLAs, but talk them over with the provider. Even if there are highly-specific penalties listed in the SLAs, it doesn’t mean that they will cover your needs in a given situation. Overall, it’s better to work with a good provider and never have to invoke your SLA.
Truth Comm provides real answers to your SD-WAN questions to help you stay ahead of the technology curve. We look forward to the opportunity to discuss your unique business goals and help you identify the network solutions you need. Contact us today to learn more.