The market for software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) continues to grow and with good reason. SD-WAN offers a variety of benefits, including centralized control and visibility of the network, as well as the ability to categorize monthly subscription fees as operating expenses rather than a capital investment.
Enterprises also enjoy greater flexibility and agility, with the added benefit of choosing how to prioritize internet traffic in order to make the most of bandwidth options. Managing network connectivity for branches is also easier, allowing network engineers to get a new location online more quickly and removing the need for travel to the branch to configure routers or troubleshoot when there are problems.
When an organization chooses to transition to SD-WAN from another network infrastructure, they have two major options:
DIY: The do-it-yourself (DIY) approach is often best for organizations that are accustomed to managing their own wide area network (WAN) and have put in the time to evaluate and select the right SD-WAN product, along with the necessary training and expertise gained in the process. In this case, the enterprise owns and manages the network equipment, handling everything from deployment to security.
Managed Services: For a turnkey SD-WAN solution, enterprises can choose an SD-WAN service provider that will handle network connectivity but still allow for a high level of visibility and control of the network configuration. This option offers a unified view of both applications and network connections and allows IT staff to move from network maintenance tasks to more strategic projects for operational efficiency and broader IT vision.
The Case for DIY and Co-Managed Services
Some enterprises are beginning to wonder if a third alternative wouldn’t make sense for their organization. In this model, the enterprise retains the management of security and application policies while a services provider handles connectivity, the customer experience, and service level agreements (SLAs) for a monthly service fee.
The result would be a customized solution, with an online configuration tool that creates policies that meet each individual client’s needs. The service provider would handle the troubleshooting and initial deployment, and procure the right SD-WAN equipment. The enterprise would be responsible for creating policies for application groups, deciding which branches are fully managed or co-managed, and handling provisioning for new applications.
This alternative is attractive for enterprises that value the ability to create a business intent overlay policy for a specific group of Software as a Service (SaaS) applications without requiring the involvement of a managed services provider.
At Infinium Communications, we specialize in working with multi-location organizations that need a customized approach for network connectivity. Contact us today to learn more about SD-WAN and other network options.