If you are an IT leader, you have probably grappled with the challenge of SD-WAN deployment. There are many factors driving this interest, ranging from the spiraling cost of MPLS networks to supporting cloud and digital transformation initiatives.
The benefits of SD-WAN as a technology are well established, and there is no doubt that most organizations are ready to jump on the SD-WAN bandwagon. However, the devil is in the details. Choosing the right deployment model requires a deeper understanding of the nuances of these deployment models.
Let us look at two of the most popular yet contrasting models – a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) WAN and a managed SD-Wan service:
Do-It-Yourself Wan services
Wan services have been around for as long as the internet has been around. While there are many deployment options, large enterprises have taken the do-it-yourself path to building the enterprise WAN. This worked when the primary WAN technology was MPLS, and all Wan service architectures were built around the headquarters/data center. In recent years, wide-area networks have become very complex because of multiple transports, connectivity to the cloud, and the need to connect with international locations.
The IT department in a large organization with 5-10 international offices typically deals with multiple MPLS operators and equipment vendors to build out their Wan service. Soon, these IT departments resemble mini communication service providers. Dealing with the management, operations, and rollout of DIY WANs can be very labor-intensive and time-consuming.
Furthermore, monitoring these networks build by bundling various MPLS service providers and OEM vendors requires investment in a bespoke Network Operations Center (NOC). Eventually, these operational issues distract the CIOs from their core role of strategizing the future and expediting digital transformation.
Fully Managed Wan services
SD-WAN vendors like Aryaka understand these pain points and provide a fully managed wan services with all the benefits. Plus, flexibility of a DIY approach but without the operations and maintenance hassle. Some of the advantages of a managed SD-Wan service are:
Time to Deploy: In today’s business environment, agility comes from running quick experiments and pivot to an alternate approach. To support this approach, R&D teams have resorted to DevOps, manufacturing teams have shifted to just in time manufacturing, but the networking department is still stuck in the legacy world. A managed SD-Wan service provides the agility required to quickly spin up network resources when required and tear them down when plans change.
Single Point of Contact and Day-1 SLAs: Managed SD-Wan service providers take on the responsibility for the entire WAN network – the first mile, middle mile, and the last mile. A robust management portal provides real-time visibility to the organization. Clients don’t have to worry about managing multiple MPLS providers and OEMs.
Out-of-Box Cloud Connectivity: If you are building a Wan service in-house, you will have to address issues like connectivity to cloud service providers. Other issues like security and WAN optimization will also require a rethink because most cloud/SaaS suppliers will not accommodate those appliances.
With Aryaka, you get out of the box connectivity to major cloud/SaaS applications. We can deliver secure, end-to-end optimized SD-Wan services directly into these mission-critical resources.
Drive Strategy – Don’t Get Bogged Down in Operational Issues
The motivation for managed wan services has remained the same irrespective of the field. Digital transformation is an important strategic initiative that provides organizations with the agility required in the marketplace. The key question that IT leaders have to ask themselves is –
‘Do I want to focus on strategy and digital transformation, or do I want to be bogged down in network maintenance issues and operational issues?’
The legacy model of building your own network is tedious in an era where companies are moving to consumption models for IT. They choose the cloud over internal data centers because the pace of innovation in the cloud is much faster. The same holds true for the DIY SD-WAN versus SD-WAN delivered as a managed wan service.
As a cloud-first SD-WAN, Aryaka delivers innovation, updates, and other fixes in real-time with minimal downtime. Using a managed SD-WAN provider allows you to focus on strategic initiatives like digital transformation while leaving the networking issues to a specialist.