“SD-WAN could be great,” according to Cannon Group Vice President of Strategic Sourcing, Stan Burkin. “There are potential cost savings; it simplifies and consolidates IT solutions, and since it is by definition software-defined, users can download it into their on-site box rather than adding new equipment. But its fit and realization of benefits really depend on the network that is in use today and the requirements of each individual site.”
If an MPLS network is utilized today, migrating to broadband or Internet and layering on SD-WAN will provide a similar experience at a lower price and with service level agreements (SLAs). Another major benefit of SD-WAN is visualization into performance of cloud-based applications and the network.
“If an enterprise is dependent on MPLS, SD-WAN can be very helpful,” notes Burkin. “But before beginning the SD-WAN journey, IT leaders need to ask: Does it make financial sense for my company? How much MPLS do we need to maintain for business critical traffic? Is my IT team ready for the sea change that SD-WAN will introduce to their world?”
An important benefit of introducing SD-WAN is that it can be implemented gradually to fit a business’ comfort level. Whether it is intended to be an MPLS augmentation or total replacement over time, it can be introduced gradually, with no need for an immediate rip and replace of a current infrastructure.
Because SD-WAN replaces physical routers and other customer premises equipment (CPE), an important consideration for the timing of implementation involves whether the enterprise owns or leases equipment and where it is in the depreciation or lease lifecycle. Redundancy is another component of the decision-making process. What level is needed, how is it provided and how will SD-WAN complement or augment that part of the enterprise strategy.
Here’s the bottom line in determining whether SD-WAN is right for a specific enterprise:
For internal IT departments already at full capacity, adding an SD-WAN evaluation and determining the right sourcing, implementation and management strategy is, simply put, an unrealistic overload.
That’s why it is critical to garner the right resources and conduct a thorough evaluation when determining whether, when and how SD-WAN is right for your business.