SD-WAN was initially designed as a more flexible and cost-effective solution for connecting branch offices to cloud resources and the core network. And that is still the primary way it is deployed. Replacing static and costly MPLS connections and edge routers with a system that can manage and optimize connections and application performance has helped millions of organizations deploy a more robust and adaptable WAN strategy.
The right SD-WAN solution can do so much more. But far too many vendors have failed to realize the true potential of SD-WAN, or have over-promised on the flexibility of their solutions. It is not uncommon to find SD-WAN solutions, even from major vendors, that are unable to scale beyond 100 sites, provide overly complex management systems, or don’t provide solutions appropriate to meet the unique needs of essential verticals, such as retail. This failure on the part of the vendors limits the possibilities for the organizations that deploy them.
If you are in the market for an SD-WAN solution or are looking to upgrade or expand an existing SD-WAN deployment, there are some key considerations that should be included in the selection process. Flexibility is one of those critical considerations, and far too many legacy SD-WAN solutions were not designed with the sort of flexibility in mind that many businesses require. This is what you should look for:
This boils down to looking for an organically developed solution that consolidates advanced routing, self-healing SD-WAN capabilities, and intuitive orchestration with flexible security options via a fully integrated next-generation firewall or SASE-based cloud-delivered security solution. It also needs to be able to be deployed across the entire range of home, branch, campus, and multi-cloud network environments. This approach will help the organization realize numerous significant benefits, including:
Better user experience: To maintain optimal user experience, an SD-WAN system needs to dynamically learn and overcome WAN impairments at all edges using comprehensive self-healing SD-WAN capabilities. It also needs to leverage purpose-built ASICs for maximized performance. And the addition of AI and ML-powered application learning provides additional visibility and control to ensure the best application performance possible without compromising security.
Reduced costs and complexity: By converging networking and security into a unified Secure SD-WAN solution and then adding centralized orchestration, an organization can reduce the number of point products they need to manage. This helps them keep operational complexity in check while achieving the best possible total cost of ownership (TCO).
There are four goals for effective SD-WAN deployment. First, provide seamless, reliable access to any resource, from any device, in any location. Second, ensure consistent user experience through continuously optimized connections and applications. Third, protect all applications, workflows, and transactions using enterprise-class security solutions designed to provide encryption and inspection at business speeds. And fourth, everything needs to be able to adapt to network changes, digital innovation requirements, and evolving cyber threats as a single system.
Achieving this requires a level of flexibility that few SD-WAN solutions can deliver. But finding and deploying a solution that can grow and adapt as your business and network requirements evolve is well worth the effort.
Orignal blog post from Fortinet
Request a personalized demo, trial, or quote for our offerings. From firewalls, to remote work solutions, to Anti-Virus, we offer any and every solution to get you up and running.
Let us help you get your network to the best and most secure it can be. Our experts are ready to help you find the right solution for your company.