Implemented SD-WAN Yet? Here’s Why You Should…and What Else You Need

Network Monitoring

Stuart Hill September 29, 2020

SD-WAN has long been considered a promising solution for companies with numerous locations.

From the data center to the CIO’s office, nearly everyone is looking to increase flexibility and remote management capabilities as part of an upgraded resilience strategy. Having faced a sudden onset pandemic that challenged operations around the globe, the IT industry recognizes that preparations can never be too robust.

Throughout the crisis, SD-WAN stood out as one of the infrastructure choices that helped many companies survive and adapt. As organizations rushed work-from-home arrangements into overdrive, that new model was often facilitated by SD-WAN.

It’s easy to see why. SD-WAN has long been considered a promising solution for companies with numerous locations. And it became an asset for more enterprises and SMBs as countless employee living rooms became new remote locations. From optimizing utilization of limited bandwidth to enabling a skyrocketing number of VPN connections, SD-WAN saved the day in many cases.

Having witnesses this success, countless businesses that had delayed SD-WAN deployments are considering them now. As we covered previously, Gartner predicted 50% of routers would be replaced with SD-WAN by this year, and recent events could drive that number upward.

Key Considerations for SD-WAN Implementation

The question with SD-WAN at this point is less “if” than “how.” To mitigate the risk inherent in any technology implementation, some organizations are looking to stage their deployments, transitioning offices or groups on a prioritized schedule.

Another important consideration not receiving due attention in some cases is network monitoring and maintenance. Unfortunately, there is a perception in certain circles that SD-WAN provides the only monitoring dashboard the network operations staff will need, but nothing could be further from the truth.

For one thing, multi-vendor SD-WAN is not unusual, and vendor-specific toolsets cannot provide full visibility in these circumstances. Moreover, network oversight must extend to LAN and WiFi and peer all the way into business application-related performance.

More sophisticated remote management capabilities have also become essential at a time when staff could be cut off from network assets due to public health-related restrictions or become unavailable in the case of illness or disaster. NOC personnel need to discover assets and visualize the network even as rapid changes are enacted, as well as automate key tasks to ease the management burden on limited staff. Troubleshooting SD-WAN policies and optimizing performance from a distance are among the other obvious benefits.

Robust Monitoring & Maintenance with ENA

It might be possible to make networks function with eyes bopping between dashboards, but it will never be efficient and can’t be as effective as having comprehensive transparency, management, and analytics available in a single pane of glass. Should another crisis strike, robust monitoring and maintenance capabilities will likely prove themselves as important as SD-WAN itself did in the last one.

Helping enterprises and SMBs get a handle on their networks in good times and bad—that’s why Park Place Technologies made Entuity Network Analytics part of our suite of Discovery, Monitoring, Support, and Optimization (DMSO) solutions—and why you may want to do the same.

Whether you’re new to SD-WAN or already experiencing its advantages, let us show you how ENA can help you transform your network data into powerful business insights. Simply contact us for a demo today!


About the Author

Stuart Hill, Technical Writer