Take Your SD-WAN Adoption to the Next Level [Guide]
Top 10 SD-WAN features to consider when purchasing
These key features should be considered when evaluating SD-WAN options for an organization.
- Replacement of existing branch functionality: Modern branch routers provide a wide range of functionality, including QoS, IPSec VPN, dynamic routing, NetFlow, SNMP, logs, access control records, security incident management, and BGP and OSPF support. As well, SD-WANs should be capable of doing this.
- Independence in transportation: With SD-WAN, you will be able to take advantage of different kinds of fast transmission capacity, including MPLS, Internet, 3G/4G/LTE, and 5G.
- Route Control: It is crucial to establish various dynamic routes to improve bandwidth efficiency, error migration, and resistance to failure. It should be possible for the system to drive traffic dynamically based on policies in response to changing network conditions, such as packet loss, latency, and fluctuations.
- Optimizing the performance of an application: SD-WAN can optimize application performance and is, therefore, a real benefit. Ideally, systems should be able to recognize all applications in a company’s portfolio and monitor the performance of apps as they travel through the WAN, including voice and video traffic, as well as SaaS applications.
- The encryption process: If you want to lessen your reliance on VPN technology, your SD-WAN should have the option to encrypt WAN traffic according to the policy. In addition, does automatic key rotation allow encryption keys to be changed regularly?
- Information security:In the current SD-WAN topology the branch office is directly connected to the Internet (instead of diverting traffic to the head office), so security should be distributed among the branch locations. Consider a firewall with an advanced built-in security suite that includes antivirus, anti-malware, URL and content filtering, data loss prevention, segmentation, intrusion detection and prevention, and sandboxing.
- Using zero-touch deployment: Using zero-touch deployment, SD-WAN boxes can be shipped from a remote branch office, and a non-technical employee can connect the box to power and a WAN, and it will automatically connect and get set up.
- The automation and orchestration of systems: An SD-WAN service administrator must have automated administration, and overlay software should be able to orchestrate tracking, troubleshooting, reporting, and other functions over the WAN.
- A microsegmentation approach: With the start of two-way traffic between the Internet and branches, a potential security vulnerability arises where an attacker can access a branch gadget and use it as a launchpad for attacking data center resources. Using micro-segmentation, an organization can limit attackers’ lateral movement, thus restricting the scope of their attack.
- The service chain: The advantages and disadvantages of decentralized and centralized systems are similar. This model replaces the centralized MPLS model. This, however, creates a level of complexity since the organization now manages multiple distributed devices, each managing multiple functions. The purpose of service chaining is to reduce branch clutter and further improve efficiency by diverting and grouping traffic. The organization may use SD-WAN to optimize and route traffic, but send it to a cloud-based service provider that handles all security features before allowing it to reach the open Internet.
Invest in an SD-WAN that is future-ready
SD-WAN is crucial for some organizations for a much larger digital transformation drive that addresses functions such as app development, strategic applications, backup, recovery, and analytics of cloud data.
SD-WAN aims to make cloud resources available faster, safer, and more adequately to branch staff. Soon, however, businesses will get into a broader product category called SASE, or secure cloud access, which will allow greater functionality in the cloud while allowing secure access to all endpoints, including workspaces.
Putting SD-WAN together with cloud access security brokers (CASB), firewalls-as-a-service (FWaaS), and zero-trust network access is another approach to consider when considering a SASE architecture.
Getting some knowledge about an SD-WAN vendor’s SASE map will be a key factor in selecting an SD-WAN vendor by 2024, according to Gartner.
A final question asked by vendors is what is being offered or planned to be offered by the AIOps approach, which uses artificial intelligence to automate IT operations.
Automated operations reduce human error, which causes many network problems that should be detected and resolved. AIOps allows organizations to create a self-driven network.
Gartner reports that by 2024, 20% of centralized SD-WAN configuration and troubleshooting will be incomprehensible through an AI collaborator, compared to the left in 2020.
A final step for IT executives is to analyze the business needs of today and tomorrow. Medical care organizations, marketing firms, hotels, and manufacturing companies with physical assets can see a huge impact from the internet of things.
If there are many sensor data points from branch locations that need to be analyzed in the cloud, how will you handle this? Moreover, organizations in industries such as banking, finance, education, real estate, and government need secure, reliable remote access to cloud-based efficiency and collaboration applications.
What is SD-WAN technology’s potential to assist the business in succeeding, given the current circumstance?
Taking Root With Digital Acceleration, SD-WAN is on the Rise
It was not possible to avoid rebuilding the WAN. SD-WAN makes it easier for organizations to employ adaptable, affordable, automated, and moderate communication solutions. Furthermore, this will also assist with receiving the benefits from the cloud extensions, as well as engaging remote operators as a sustainable method to guarantee user satisfaction.
The internet acts as the backbone for SD-WAN. As a result, it is logical to expect that there will be more development in areas with stable online worlds, like the US and Western Europe, followed by other geographies. The SD-WAN market will be dominated by these two markets. Nevertheless, most businesses are starting to look into SD-WAN in the Asia Pacific as the fastest growing business sector.
Integrated organizations will support SD-WAN as well as organizations that have acquired resources. With input from players such as Cisco, HPE, VMware, and many others, they will look for ways to manage applications related to MPLS and possibly VPNs, while improving security and the various components that accompany SD-WANs and cutting-edge technologies – secured (SASE) future.
As indicated by the components that will initiate the implementation of the SD-WAN, businesses with large branch offices are those that disperse users or remote workers, and they are the ones that should be monitored. SD-WAN will be quickly adopted by businesses in financial services, marketing, manufacturing, and energy.
SD-WAN will, however, become the quickest growing area of medical care sooner rather than later. To explain the situation, four facts need to be considered:
- The business is under pressure to provide a better patient experience.
- There are a few affordable mobile clinical gadgets (Internet of Things/Edge gadgets) available that can improve patient care and cut costs. To operate, however, a reliable network is needed.
- Due to Covid-19 limitations, telemedicine services have gained more widespread acceptance, however, results must be provided when medical specialists can collect, monitor, and access patient data on time.
- Using a cutting-edge network can streamline the new administrative process and overwhelm the business.
Cloud infrastructure is responsible for supporting these four components. Moreover, applications that utilize new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and virtual reality (VR) that require upgraded network capacity are also on the rise. Security and protection requirements inside the business have also become increasingly important. In parallel with the growth of data, so too has the number of telecommuters and pop-up clinics. The adoption of SD-WAN is unavoidable in this rapidly evolving environment, where network quality is of primary importance.
Even so, the decision about SD-WAN technologies and solutions will have a significant impact on the business. In the current market structure, SD-WAN services are offered by more than 60 companies. Consider the expected network performance as well as the security and threat surface and your integrated stack when conducting your analysis. A technology partner can assist you with the decision-making process.
Is your business interested in adopting SD-WAN technology? Managed NOC partners are available to assist with your networking needs
Network Managed Service Providers (MSPs) offer Managed NOC services. Managed NOC is intended to provide a consistent experience of managing your network operations during the integration of new SD-WAN technology. Monitoring is performed by the MSP’s Network Operations Center (NOC), and its remote monitoring and management tools ensure that your services are not interrupted during the transition to new technology.