SD-WAN was initially designed as a more flexible and cost-effective solution for connecting branch offices to cloud resources and the core network. While that is still the case, many vendors deploy solutions that are complex to manage and fail to meet their clients' unique business needs.
If your customers are in the market for an SD-WAN solution or are looking to upgrade or expand an existing SD-WAN deployment, this six-point checklist will help you provide them with a secure, flexible network that can grow and adapt as their business requirements evolve.
1. Scalability – Your customers’ workplaces will continue to evolve and expand. An SD-WAN must have the flexibility to grow with your customers. Guide them toward an SD-WAN solution that comes in a variety of footprints, such as built-in LTE/5G to enable high-speed failover in the event local connections become unstable or unreliable.
2. Security – Don’t assume that SD-WAN solutions have integrated security. Look for a SD-WAN solution that can provide consistent security that is fully integrated into an on-premise device, as well as a cloud-native security service that can function as part of a SASE solution.
3. SD-Branch – Most branch offices also include a LAN. Look for an SD-WAN solution that includes integrated connectivity, application security and additional functionality that can easily be extended into your customers’ branch LAN. SD-Branch enables organizations to protect wired and wireless access points, establish and maintain network access control and secure data and workflows passing through internal devices as well as the SD-WAN connection.
4. Multi-Cloud – A virtual SD-WAN solution can provide secure, reliable connectivity between different cloud environments. Look for SD-WAN solutions that can run natively in any public or private cloud environment. Make sure that that these SD-WAN deployments can be configured and orchestrated using a central management system that integrates all networking, connectivity and security functionality into a single console.
5. Self-Healing – Look for an SD-WAN solution that can automatically bridge gaps in internet reliability to maintain optimal application performance. Self-healing functionality should switch to an alternative transport model when an outage or disruption impacts connectivity, or dynamically adjust security policies and configurations when connectivity changes—even when switching to another transport model.
6. Low-Touch – Your customers’ IT teams already have enough on their to-do lists. The SD-WAN deployment must be fast, seamless and low-touch. Interconnections between SD-WAN systems should be easily configured and managed. SLAs and other policies need to be universally applied. And a unified security policy must dynamically and automatically adapt to changes in traffic, connections, applications and workflows.
Providing your customers with an SD-WAN solution that checks all these requirements will help them realize a better user experience, reduce costs and complexity and scale their businesses with confidence.