3 Critical Considerations for the SD-WAN Buyer
If your enterprise plans to be part of the rapidly evolving digital economy, your rigid network isn't going to cut it much longer. The future of enterprise networks will be based on a mesh architecture made up of multiple connection types transmitting ever-increasing amounts of data across global locations. Think about the new applications – many accessible from the cloud – that your business is adopting in a quest for competitive advantage. Consider the massive flow of data as employees, customers, partners and vendors operate within your ecosystem.
Network EdgeCompanies are already experiencing an upsurge in connectivity requirements at the edge of the network due to mobile, remote, branch and guest users. It’s likely that your current WAN is the opposite of the flexible, agile, efficient system you need to operate and innovate under these conditions. The digital economy “changes what must occur within the network itself, how it is designed and deployed and managed,” said Andre Kindness, principal analyst for infrastructure and operations at Forrester Research during a recent Masergy webinar.
Dynamic ConnectionsWAN connections must be more dynamic and that's creating excitement around SD-WAN as a pillar of a modern, hybrid network architecture. Masergy has positioned its SD-WAN technology to excel at addressing the network's needs at the edge. Using your connectivity of choice – private, broadband, mobile – our solution supports active-active links. It also lets users leverage primary and backup circuits simultaneously – no wasted resources - while supporting failover requirements. In essence, your WAN gains the flexibility to use the most appropriate type of networking connection to meet particular business or application performance requirements, switching among them as needed. The result is cost-effectiveness, reliability, speed and accuracy at the network edge. Equally compelling to the Masergy SD-WAN proposition is that it brings network intelligence to the entire network fabric. We provide centralized orchestration and load balancing in support of chaining WAN security services like firewalls and routers across locations that, in some industries, may be spread across the globe and operating on different schedules. And we make it possible to support this network fabric as a fully managed service, thereby removing the stress of trying to match up different solutions from various providers in a do-it-yourself approach.
Partner with ExpertsConcerns about how to surmount some hurdles, like highly dispersed security architectures, have impacted the transition to SD-WAN. Forrester has found that 18% of respondents to a 2017 survey plan on implementing the technology in the next 12 months, and only 16% of CIOs surveyed say their firms can deliver this in-house. Many companies are actively researching their SD-WAN options, according to an interactive survey taken during our webinar: Some 84% said that they are researching or planning to deploy SD-WAN, while 12% indicated they had actually implemented it. Here's some advice on best practices to keep in mind:
- Start small. The beauty of SD-WAN is that you can start with just one site. Try it out before deploying it widely, minimizing the risk.
- Pick the right partner. If your company is among those lacking the expertise to pull everything together, a managed service is a good choice. Look for competitive differentiators. Vendors’ ability to meet your performance, geographic and support needs should be considered.
- Don't focus on cost. This isn’t a race to the bottom; it's a race to drive business transformation and competitive advantage. And remember that vendor performance is measurable.