Changing network infrastructure can be a foundational disruption for any modern enterprise if it is not properly and professionally executed. The right third-party advisor knows the questions to ask and the processes to implement to guide any enterprise IT department through this important transition. Here are four critical steps to consider when embarking on an SD-WAN migration.
The right strategy lays the essential foundation, and it starts with building the business case, answering questions such as:
What is driving my consideration? Cost reduction, increasing cloud and application dependence, greater broadband utilization, faster and more agile provisioning or perhaps, keeping up with the latest technology buzz.
Am I considering SD-WAN as an MPLS augmentation or total replacement, for redundancy, or perhaps to enable a specific new application?
What is the right timing, considering the status of current carrier/ISP contracts? For leased or owned CPE, where are we on the life cycle of contracts or depreciation schedules?
Is my staff ready to take on this process, or do we need third-party help?
Should my SD-WAN implementation be for MPLS augmentation or an eventual replacement?
Is it right just for specific branch offices or other facilities, or should we adopt enterprise-wide SD-WAN?
Crowded with a wide spectrum of vendors, the SD-WAN market merits knowledgeable and experienced professionals to help in-house IT teams analyze and evaluate not only the various solutions, but also the stability and reliability of the companies behind them. Creating a thorough apples-to-apples evaluation, negotiating a contract, managing an RFP or developing a procurement strategy is a service that the right trusted professionals can take off the already-stuffed plate of an internal staff.
From the smallest niche players with pure-play SD-WAN offerings to incumbent networking hardware vendors and the largest telecom providers, there is a great deal of information and business claims being communicated to the market.
Dedicated third party project managers with the right technical knowledge and industry experience can relieve internal management and their staffs of the many critical, but time-consuming and sometimes tedious processes in this pivotal phase. From project management through installation and cutover, a trusted advisor knows exactly how to handle and ease the entire implementation and migration process.
Once implementation is completed and new SD-WAN connections are up and running, there is ongoing management, maintenance and perhaps planning for expansion to additional sites.
“SD-WAN is one of the most buzz worthy trends we see in the networking market place today, and we are still early in its lifecycle, especially when you consider that the shift from frame relay to MPLS spanned some 10 to 12 years, which is typical for this type of technology migration,” adds Xcelocloud’s Champion.