4 Factors to Consider if SD-WAN is Right for You

Data Center Maintenance

Paul Mercina November 21, 2019

From a security standpoint, SD-WAN is a different beast than traditional WAN

SD-WAN aims bring to networking the same agility and flexibility valued in virtualized servers and storage. The potential cost-savings and other advantages have launched a stampede toward SD-WAN.

But is this the right move for you? Here are four quick questions to help you figure it out.

Do you need what SD-WAN does well?

In short, SD-WAN can:

  • Reduce reliance on expensive, private connections (MPLS) between an enterprise’s facilities, driving cost-savings
  • Ease deployment and simplify network management functions, reducing staffing needs for remote office network support
  • Improve cloud performance by connecting remote sites directly to cloud services, without backhauling to a central data center
  • Make the most of limited bandwidth, when necessary, with smart traffic routing

Do you fit the SD-WAN profile?

These features point directly at the profile of the business that needs SD-WAN:

  • Multiple locations
  • Reliance on IaaS, SaaS, and other cloud solutions
  • Potential expansion plans

Such growing multi-site, cloud-reliant enterprises are most likely to realize expected ROI on SD-WAN investments, assuming plans are well executed.

How will you get up to speed on SD-WAN technologies?

The greatest barrier to SD-WAN is often knowledge. Not only are enterprise IT leaders struggling with the new technology, so is the channel. Some customers are complaining about inadequate service and support. Thus acquisition teams should investigate any potential provider’s record to ensure they will receive the helpful, timely assistance necessary to ensure successful deployment.

Who will handle security?

From a security standpoint, SD-WAN is a different beast than traditional WAN. Unfortunately, many IT organizations lack in-house talent with the right combination of networking experience and security skills, which are both required to architect and configure SD-WAN networks. Because SD-WAN increases a network’s attack surface, it is vital that IT organizations have a good answer to the security question—which may involve outside resources—before embarking.

Still at sea about SD-WAN? Explore the blog to find out more about what SD-WAN is, why training and support are so important, and what support options are available for Cisco and Brocade SD-WAN hardware.


About the Author

Paul Mercina, Director, Product Management Marketing
Paul Mercina brings over 20 years of experience in IT center project management to Park Place Technologies, where he oversees the product roadmap, growing the services portfolio, end-to-end development and release of new services to the market. His work is informed by 10+ years at Diebold Nixdorf, where he worked closely with software development teams to introduce new service design, supporting implementation of direct operations in a number of countries across the Americas, Asia and Europe.