With SD-WAN maturing from a concept to now firmly being entrenched as a bona-fide network solution, a different set of challenges have started to emerge for enterprise businesses.
On the one hand, for those who have yet to embark on their SD-WAN journey, there is now an entirely different vendor landscape to navigate with varying degrees of SD-WAN flavour in the solutions available. On the other hand, there are those organisations who have already deployed SD-WAN but are struggling to see the benefits SD-WAN promised.
In both cases organisations are now hearing that the future is actually Secure Access Services Edge or SASE. Delivered in a single pane of glass as a service, SASE provides seamless security for the user and administrator. SASE is now more relevant than ever because of the change in users working environments where user experience and security needs to be consistent, whether they are in the office or working from home. Organisations need to deliver the best possible zero trust user experience regardless of location. The benefit of using a SASE model is it is software based and allows companies to avoid putting additional hardware down at the branch or home.
SD-WAN is an ecosystem that is ever-changing and ever-evolving. When considering an SD-WAN strategy organisations need to take this entire ecosystem into account.
Below are some Key considerations which should form part of any SD-WAN strategy:
- SD-WAN/SASE Vendor selection:
Choosing the right technologies to meet your business and technical requirements. An example would be whether you require a pure play SD-WAN offering with enhanced functionality or could alternatively get away with a more affordable session-based technology. This would typically be determined by your application experience requirements, your integration points into your networks and cloud and the associated service levels required.
- SD-WAN/SASE Technology Management:
Do I have the skills in-house or should I rather work with a focused Managed Service Provider (MSP) with certified skills to deliver on these projects?
- Telco aggregation:
There are naturally a number of complexities to consider when migrating from SD-WAN to MPLS and understanding how the legacy (MPLS) network will communicate with the new SD-WAN network during the migration. Ideally you need to leverage a multi-tenanted platform in a carrier neutral facility to manage this migration effectively. In our view it is also essential that your partner has the ability to deliver complete carrier flexibility and resilience at each branch site as this will maximise the network performance and availability of the site (SLA).
- Monitoring and reporting:
Understanding how you will monitor, support, and integrate network notifications from multiple service providers into your IT support desk.
- Transition Planning:
Does your ISP or network partner have a track record, reference clients and the skills required to effectively plan and manage the transition of all these moving parts in this ecosystem and are they flexible enough to work with existing technology investments to deliver an integrated solution that meets your technical and business requirements.
Which solution provides a seamless integration into your existing branch and data centre network, security and network access control (NAC) solutions?
- Data centre and Cloud onramp:
How will your organisation access cloud onramp? Will you use the native SD-WAN cloud on-ramp or alternatively consider transitioning to a carrier neutral data centre facility like Teraco to access the Hyperscaler edge nodes for Onramp, or both as part of a Hybrid-Cloud strategy.
- Cloud Networking and Cloud Security:
How will you manage Multi-Cloud Network Access (MCNA) between different clouds and how will you secure these cloud environments?
With the complexity associated with all these moving parts as well as the pace that this ecosystem is moving at, you would have to ask if a typical ISP is agile and skilled enough to keep up!
Intelys has been involved with SD-WAN, Zero Trust Network Access and Cloud Security from its humble beginnings and has seen how the technologies are used, and how the market and business drivers have changed and developed over time which is, in turn, causing the convergence of all of these functions into SASE. Complexity and Scale are two words we hear most often when customers discuss their WAN transformation initiatives and more recently the need to measure the technology performance against the initial business use case and stated objectives (ROI).
In our view organisations need a repeatable architecture with common services, common operational capabilities, and common security constructs across multiple cloud environments.
Intelys have a suite of services to help deliver these WAN transformation initiatives of all types of complexity and scale. We offer a high-touch consultative approach where we work alongside our clients to build out a strategy blue-print for their network of the future.
In doing so we:
- Increase customer value, optimise operational efficiency and deliver business outcomes
- Translate your IT strategy into business value
- Ensure that you make the right buying decision
Wherever you are in your transformation journey, our consulting services cover multiple dimensions from strategic discovery through to delivery of technologies and services with our Managed Service capability.
We tailor specific solutions for you with our technical capability in Networking, Data Centres, Cloud and Security to deliver the branch of the future that todays’ elastic workforce demands.
Book a free network assessment with to start your transformation journey now!