Top 3 Things To Consider When Evaluating SD-WAN for Digital Experience
It’s time you start thinking about how you can offer a better digital experience to your end users and network technicians. Technology is no longer just a basis of operations including phone and email, it’s now the driving force behind the whole operation keeping employees connected, collaborating and engaged. With real-time applications like voice, video and cloud file sharing being a key need to drive revenue, the network is now top of mind for CIOs and CEOS who are tasked with leading the charge on digital transformation.
How applications perform, particularly over distributed wide-area environments, is the driving force to success. Predictable application performance will ensure productivity of the workforce and limit downtime in the business.
Historically, enterprises have chosen MPLS as their network of choice because of its inherent security and guaranteed performance levels. In spite of complexities in provisioning and high costs, this model has prevailed for close to two decades. However, the need for increased flexibility in today’s on-demand cloud world is bringing changes.
Over the last few years, we have seen the growth of software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) acting almost as a parallel overlay network to MPLS-based deployments. Leveraging the fluidity of the public Internet, SD-WAN solutions have attempted to offload non-mission critical traffic away from MPLS networks. This hybrid approach is encouraging more enterprises to switch to managed SD-WAN solutions from managed MPLS WAN in an attempt to take advantage of its flexibility and agility.
Is the solution delivered as a managed service?
Organizations should evaluate their internal expertise and resources to see if they are able to keep pace with adds, moves and changes. Deployment struggles can be compounded when sites (e.g. branch offices, datacenters, etc.,) are globally distributed or if there are a large number of regional sites. Dealing with configuration, provisioning, inventory management and security updates can impact the user experience. A good managed service provider (MSP) will take ownership of all these concerns, providing global SLAs freeing up your network technicians to focus on more business-centric projects.
Is the solution cloud-friendly?
The move to the cloud is one of the biggest reasons for the move away from MPLS. How vendors make their solution cloud-friendly can vary. Some utilize virtual instances to tap into public clouds or other software-as-a-service (SaaS) organizations. This can add operational complexity and overhead when it comes to managing these virtual instances and tracking their performance.
Is the solution optimized to globally accelerate applications?
Businesses are rarely located in one region any more. Predictability with latency and jitter are large factors as traffic is traveling over greater distances. Integrating WAN optimization will dramatically improve application performance and not require separate appliances that introduce more operational complexity and cost.
Due to their innovative Layer-2 design, Martello products integrate seamlessly in a corporate network without requiring any modification to pre-existing firewalls or routing tables. The capacity to manage multiple MPLS circuits concurrently and transparently is unique in an SD-WAN landscape where vendors actively claim the impending “death” of MPLS. Despite their best efforts, this has not yet come to pass.
With Martello, MPLS circuits and private links can be added or removed as needed and be used immediately to provide uninterrupted connectivity. Martello products intercept traffic coming in from the local network and forwards it through the fastest path, while taking policies and application prioritization into account.
With all things being equal, enterprises should be able to use the technologies of their choice, without having their topology dictated by a SD-WAN vendor.
Martello always aims at helping organizations build a network infrastructure that fits their needs, while being as seamless and unobtrusive as possible.
Contact one of our specialists today to see which of our solutions fits your needs best.
Will you be visiting the SD-WAN Expo in Fort Lauderdale? Come see us at Booth #1221 and learn more about our solutions.