SD-WAN can improve performance for business applications, but finding the right vendor for your needs is key. Look for a solution prioritizing security and offering full network services in one path, including NGFW and UTM.
Choose a single-pane-of-glass console to provide visibility and control over connectivity, quality, and resource allocation. And find a vendor that delivers a mature, enterprise-grade service with follow-the-sun support and global NOCs.
The WAN is complex, and while some vendors may make it seem like they offer the same solution for everyone, the truth is that all networks are unique. The right provider, like Versa Networks, will understand this and work with you to ensure your SD-WAN can meet the individual needs of your business. For example, suppose one site experiences performance degradation due to frequent use of specific applications. In that case, a good SD-WAN vendor will assess and project how much bandwidth that area might need once the new solutions are implemented. Then, they’ll propose a plan to address the issue, whether adding an MLPS line, a dedicated internet circuit, or another option.
Then, once the underlying issues are addressed, a high-performing SD-WAN can deliver the business results you’re looking for. This is especially important for UC, which typically requires a great deal of bandwidth and whose performance can be impacted by network connectivity. Choosing a WAN with strong application performance and security capabilities like link-load balancing, WAN optimization, path conditioning, and direct internet access will ensure a reliable user experience and protect against performance degradation.
SD-WAN is a flexible solution that can be deployed on-premise, in the cloud, or in a hybrid. The right solution should allow you to customize the configurations based on your business and applications. Look for an option with application optimization to reduce latency, packet loss, and other issues. You also want to add and subtract bandwidth immediately and redistribute it as needed, providing agility and resilience.
Additionally, choose an SD-WAN provider that offers software-defined network management. This eliminates the need for costly truck rolls and lets you quickly troubleshoot any problems. The best flexible SD-WAN providers combine networking and security to provide IT teams visibility, control, and automation. Look for an option that integrates with native security features in the cloud platform (AWS Shield, Azure DDoS protection, and Google Cloud Armor) to ensure strong security. It should also support a range of security standards, including PCI-DSS and HIPAA. This helps to maintain secure communication channels between on-premises and the cloud environment and meet compliance requirements.
A managed SD-WAN provider should scale with your business by offering various services, including 24/7 monitoring and security. A scalable solution includes a central management platform where administrators can manage traffic, implement policies, and make network adjustments. Monitoring jitter, throughput, and other key metrics helps maintain a secure, high-performing network. A scalable SD-WAN should also support any type of WAN transport, including lower-cost consumer-grade broadband. This will enable you to improve application performance and reliability by leveraging low-cost internet connections. The platform should be able to deliver dedicated-like performance, with sub-second, instantaneous failover if any of the WAN links experience congestion or an outage. A scalable SD-WAN should offer an intelligent, business-driven approach to security that automatically adapts to the needs of the enterprise by analyzing the application’s priority and expected performance. This enables you to eliminate security gaps that would otherwise lead to costly data breaches. The platform should also support a rich ecosystem of best-of-breed security partners, including vendors that offer NG firewalls, cloud-delivered security solutions, and universal CPEs.
Businesses worldwide are deploying SD-WAN to achieve goals like reduced IT costs, better performance, and enhanced security. But, choosing the right security secure SD-WAN provider is important to get the most out of your investment.
Look for an SD-WAN offering key technical capabilities, including link load balancing, WAN optimization, application-based routing and path conditioning, and improving circuit usage efficiency and application service level agreements. You’ll also want to ensure that your chosen SD-WAN solution is transport-agnostic and capable of supporting multiple, carrier-independent data services such as multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), internet, and cellular.
Lastly, make sure that the SD-WAN vendor you’re considering provides alerts that can be seamlessly integrated into your existing alerting workflow. This will help you avoid missing important network problems that could go unnoticed. It’s also a good idea to ask the SD-WAN vendor how they monitor their networks because their experience will tell you whether or not they can be trusted with yours. Ask them to outline their monitoring and response capabilities so you can gauge how well they’ll support your business.
A managed services provider can provide a reliable, flexible, secure SD-WAN solution that is easy to deploy and manage. They can also help to support your business applications by reducing complexity and improving business agility. However, it is important to know the different types of managed services available and how they might differ. Look for an SLA that guarantees a certain level of service, such as software deployment or network availability. This will help you decide whether to use an MSP for your SD-WAN network. If you are looking for an MSP, ensure they offer 24×7 support backed by engineers. You should also ask if they have localized support and how long it will take them to respond. You should also find out if they have a self-help portal so you can get the help you need in an emergency. This will save you time and stress if something goes wrong. It is important to weigh these benefits against the cost of an MSP.