How to Find the Right Software-defined WAN for Your Organization

Not a lot of companies use software-defined WAN so far, but with the technology's promise of reduced costs and improved performance, expert predict a 30% increase in patronage within the next two years. 

If you and your team have been considering SD-WAN adoption in your organization, there are some crucial considerations you need to make before choosing a particular solution.  For one, the potential effects of automation on your deployment and management costs should be carefully reviewed. How much IT resources and how many people will be needed for an SD-WAN deployment? If there's a need for new products, technologies and tools, will there also be a need for new skills? Ask your vendor how they can help you lower your operations management costs like policy changes, image updates and security monitoring, among others. 

Route control, which is crucial to bandwidth and load balancing, is another important consideration for you to make. Remember, without the right route control, your WAN may fall short of providing best user experience.

Quality of service policies in an SD-WAN from sd wan vendors will make sure that the most important applications are on the best performing paths, but you have to look into a solution's capacity to spot issues and respond to network problems to prevent loss of service of critical applications. Any SD-WAN's route control capabilities can be complicated, but if you check a solution's management tools, it will be easier to determine if advanced features are manageable for IT.

Yet another point you should pay attention to is whether the solution supports hybrid deployments, by integrating several WAN transports like cellular/satellite links and MPLS.  Each of these is different in terms of pricing, SLA classes of service, bandwidth and security postures.  With a secure dynamic VPN overlay, masking the complexity of these transport types comes easier. As well, you have to check if the SD-WAN supports all the transports you need, along with redundancy speed when a failure occurs. It must also be scalable enough to accommodate your needs in the future, and it must support critical security features like encryption. 

To ensure best experience, it's also important to consider the visibility of in-house and SaaS application performances, which affect traffic prioritization and application service level agreement. 

Of course, security is one of the most usual and critical issues involving the shift to software-based networking solutions. It is never safe to assume that data is protected. Your SD-WAN solution by sd wan companies must instead ensure data integrity and privacy over all WAN transports, and indicate the levels of encryption supported. 
Know the level of automation in between-site negotiation, renewal and revocation of IPsec encryption keys, as well as the level of protection provider-facing interfaces have against external threats like penetration and scanning. 

SD-WAN solutions can offer embedded firewall and intrusion prevention systems (IPS), as well as provide reliable protection to users directly connecting to the Internet from the branch, specifically with capabilities like malware protection and filtering of content. 

Finally, make sure to review other solutions that have been assessed by by government or industry organizations, are compliant with common security certifications, and deploy a formal incident response team for informing customers of potential issues.

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