San Jose Business Owners SD-WAN Buyer’s Guide

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations have been looking for ways to optimize their WAN networks and enhance security, as most of the functions have gone online. One of the technologies emerged to protect multi-cloud environments and enable seamless collaboration with the SD-WAN.

SD-WAN encompasses different features for ultimate WAN optimization, including application-aware firewalls, core routing functionality, and standard optimization, all managed via centralized software. This enables companies to combine various physical devices into a single physical or virtual device, which they can run from any server or a cloud-based service.

Unfortunately, as much as SD-WAN is an innovative WAN optimization tool, most organizations find it very complicated to deploy, especially because it impacts organization computing as a whole, including networking, security, cloud services, and application performance.

Therefore, organizations should ask the right questions when looking for a vendor to ensure that the new products cater to their needs and safeguard their computing resources.

Here are some things you should consider when considering SD-WAN integration into your existing networks.

Do You Go DIY or Choose Managed Services?

Many organizations have decried the complex integration of SD-WAN technologies into their networks. Companies have to map their WAN before estimating the traffic patterns. Then, they have to determine the bandwidth requirements for each site. Finally, they have to develop policies for each type of data and application.

If you go with the managed service, the vendor will handle the integration process, but the acquisition costs will be high. On the other hand, the DIY or CAPEX approach would be the best if you have the expertise. However, you have to be meticulous in your implementation to prevent prolonged downtime and integration issues.

You may also go for a co-managed alternative. You can make the salient decisions and let a third-party integrator or managed service provider guide you through the integration phase. In the meantime, you retain most control of the system.

Do You Get Full Replacement of Branch Office Functionality?

The ideal SD-WAN technology should replace the functionality offered by modern branch routers. Some popular router functionality that you will find at the branch level includes IPSec VPN, QoS, NetFlow dynamic routing, event management, SNMP, and access control lists. Other routers are also able to handle OSPF and BGP support protocols. Check the most critical functionality and see if the SD-WAN solution you pick can handle the functionality.

Transport Independence and Path Control

The ideal solution should leverage available bandwidth across multiple means of transport to ensure low packet loss and jitter. Therefore, it should work with MPLS, 3G, LTE, and 5G networks. Besides, it should use multiple active paths for resilience and failover. This also helps enhance bandwidth efficiency.

Security and Encryption

The SD-WAN topology changes the security configuration of your networks in that it connects the branch office to the public internet rather than through the central office. Therefore, it should distribute security tools to each branch office.

Consider picking a solution that offers application-aware firewalls that come with antivirus and anti-malware sandboxing, data loss prevention, content/URL filtering, and IPS/IDS. It should also encrypt the WAN traffic based on policy and enable automatic key rotation.

Application Optimization

Finally, the solution should optimize the applications you are using for daily operations. It should recognize each of them and monitor their performance across the WAN. This includes video and voice, as well as SaaS applications.

Other areas that you may consider include ease of deployment, automated performance, and the ability to limit lateral movement.

If you are not sure where to get started, Veltec Networks can hold your hand and help make accurate strategic decisions to ensure that you meet your goals with the right SD-WAN solution.

Thanks to Troy and Paul with Pure IT in Calgary for their help with this information.

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