What are the costs and considerations when evaluating an SD-WAN solution?

First, it’s important to explain what SD-WAN is and why it’s important. Because of the recent heavy shift to remote work there has been a real strain on existing infrastructure and today’s WAN’s (Wide Area Networks) are having a hard time facilitating the necessary performance. Business critical applications are being tested as a result. With a software based solution to the challenges associated with bandwidth limitations and security you can simplify management of your network. As a result your IT Teams aren’t stretched thin by multiple devices across multiple locations used by a geographically dispersed workforce. Stop relying on costly network (circuits) to be deployed and maintenance tasks that are required at each individual location. The value in Software Defined (SD) Networking is a sensible, cloud-based approach to connect multiple geographies at a reduced cost with easier deployment.

What should you consider?

This is a technology heavy solution so this would be a long list, but we’re going to try and sum it up with the major categories. Most importantly you need someone to design a customized approach that meets existing and anticipated needs while taking into account your unique challenges. A single point of contact for provisioning and implementation allows streamlined coordination of all engineering groups to assist with all aspects of these processes. Once the SD-WAN solution is purveyed you’ll want help in getting your users trained on how to use their new services and tools to realize the maximum benefits. Because it usually expands multiple geographies having round the clock support is vital. Ongoing maintenance can’t be ignored including patches, updates, upgrades, because after all you want this to be a long term solution. To that end, make sure you’re confident that this network will be consistently managed and monitored on an ongoing basis, which we pride ourselves in.

What, generally, are the costs?

As we’ve talked about in other blogs this one is a challenge to put actual dollar amounts on because of all the variables. If you see “fixed cost” providers out there be careful that there are no hidden fees associated with any of the many facets of this service. Generally there is a per-site set-up fee which covers implementing the service for each site. After being implemented there is a monthly fee that covers managing the network as well. The dollar amount for each of these generally depends on how many sites and what kind of management you need. Then there’s any licensing and electronics manufacturing equipment that may be required. There are multiple tiers of licensing. Which one you’ll need will depend on the number of devices and features required. SD-WAN hardware is usually priced per application.

How should you get us engaged to learn more?

We’ve got Use Cases, Case Studies, technical papers, and many other items that will help make more informed decisions. We know you’re stretched thin dealing with technology these days, but ideally we’d like to have a discussion with you regarding your overall technology goals including WAN applications. The best way for us to better tailor our initial conversation is having you provide us with some quick answers to a few questions here. Or, if you’re ready to start talking we’re ready to listen so just give us a call.