Eight DIY pitfalls global SD-WAN as-a-Service deployments eliminate

Global SD-WAN as-a-service eliminates DIY pitfalls

Are you walking the tightrope trying to orchestrate the daily management of your MPLS or hybrid networks around the world?

As enterprises move applications to the cloud, they face challenges finding reliable and scalable WAN solutions capable of supporting globally distributed remote offices. Applications hosted by cloud and SaaS providers need cloud-based global SD-WAN services, with accelerated, predictable connectivity, and robust security: end-to-end.

Below are eight SD-WAN challenges IT ‘do-it-yourselfers’ confront, and how to avoid them.

1. Underestimating network complexity

Managing MPLS or hybrid networks and associated equipment is complicated and resource-intensive. Should we still self-manage this? This is the first question you should ask yourself. The answer will determine how well you are prepared to manage legacy networks and SD-WANs over the long haul.

Is the burden of managing WAN infrastructure outweighing the benefits, and creating lost opportunity costs? WAN connectivity needs to be looked at with a global view. One that understands all the skills your IT team has today, and the future skills they will need. Edge-based SD-WANs (IT managed SD-WAN devices) can help ease network complexity, but it’s not that simple.

When you buy a car today, the complexity under the hood is not obvious as you drive down the road. But, when the engine stops working, or the electrical system fails, all of a sudden, you are confronted with frustration, delays, and unexpected costs.

Edge-based SD WANs, too, can mask underlying networking complexities, until the inevitable happens, and something goes wrong.

The elements required to manage data center infrastructure have transitioned from internal IT to cloud-based managed services. SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS have proven the advantages managed services bring to IT organizations.

Network connectivity is no different. Global SD-WAN managed services provide all the benefits of edge-based SD-WAN solutions, while freeing internal IT from the rigorous and unproductive tasks of managing network infrastructure.

2. Unrealistic budget

Potential unknowns, as network changes begin, can derail your budget. You need to find out in advance, if your vendors’ SD-WAN controllers and visibility tools cost extra. Can you complete the changeover, without scrambling for more resources to complete the deployment?

An SD-WAN as-a-Service provider with all-inclusive technologies, network services and management tools will prevent you from being nickel and dimed, as well as the ongoing frustrations of managing network infrastructure.

Augmenting your existing architecture without having to rip and replace or reconfigure networks gives you the flexibility to grow and adapt network connectivity to best fit your business. Flexible, programmable networking will extend what you already have, while working independently from your existing equipment.

3. Unprepared for the changeover

If you’re working with older equipment, there may be configuration anomalies that need to be altered as part of the changeover. Edge-based SD-WANs require devices at every office, and software to centrally manage the network. Will your legacy routers, switches and WAN optimizers from different vendors work with a new SD-WAN vendor’s equipment?

If you have five, ten, or even dozens of network providers, how will you deal with existing contracts? Or handle contract transition costs if you replace MPLS with lower-cost broadband connections? SLA enforcement must be examined and solved, as well. How will you manage bandwidth utilization if a couple of providers oversubscribe their networks?

Global SD-WAN services avoid these pitfalls by virtue of having their own private global network. This gives them complete control over network performance and reliability on a global basis. As a service, they own, and are responsible for, all the networking equipment and underpinning technologies. This allows them to optimize global infrastructure synergies.

4. Regionally connected SD-WANs for global connectivity – really?

Global connectivity needs an SD-WAN with a dedicated network to support offices worldwide.

Multiple handoffs and oversubscribed networks cause edge-based SD-WANs to continually deal with unstable latency and high packet loss.

Once again, this is where a global SD-WAN service has an advantage. They have greater control over latency and packet loss, as they own their private global network, and have POPs throughout the world optimizing application delivery.

A global SD-WAN will embed security throughout their entire private network with encryption, access control, firewalls, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) protection.

5. IT resource overload and waste

Do you ever think, “I have a lot of confidence in our IT staff, but could they be better utilized on more strategic programs?”

When IT resource overload occurs, technical personnel become stressed, and projects fall behind schedule. The quality of deliverables is also likely to suffer. As new WAN technologies come to market, keeping IT teams trained and skilled becomes an ongoing challenge.

So, how can you avoid falling into the IT resource overload trap? By being proactive in managing WAN infrastructure, and working with dedicated SD-WAN as-a-Service pros.

A managed global SD-WAN as-a-Service solution can help enterprises realign WAN infrastructure focus from a cost expenditure, to a highly adaptable and value-added function for supporting dynamic business initiatives.

By automating previously manual tasks and replacing legacy networks, IT staff can have more time to focus on developing solutions that help improve business results. No longer will the IT team be encumbered with rekeying in data, cross-checking tables, highly complex CLI coding, and other tedious and unproductive tasks not directly beneficial to driving business forward.

6. CapEx and soft costs can derail SD-WAN plans

Traditional network equipment requires lots of upfront CapEx and OpEx costs. Edge-based SD-WANs come with their own hard and soft costs you should be aware of.

Edge-based SD-WANs require controllers to be deployed at each branch office and/or SaaS location. IT teams are responsible for purchasing, deploying and managing the SD-WAN and the underlying network connectivity. To understand the total cost to run the SD-WAN solution, you need to know how much time (e.g. cost) IT spends managing networks and equipment. You also need to know how much time is spent working with different network providers and negotiating new network contracts.

You can replace heavy CapEx and soft cost solutions with an “SD-WAN as-a-service”. Global SD-WAN services offer more flexibility and can easily expand network connectivity as your business grows.

7. You want it now!

Edge-based SD-WANs are hybrid network aggregator tools. They are not a cure-all for your WAN connectivity needs.

If you open a new office in London, and need a WAN connection that week, you will have to find a network provider and negotiate a new contract. You will need to buy network equipment. And, you will need network security devices.

One of the intrinsic values a global SD-WAN service brings is the ability to have all your WAN connectivity taken care of by the provider you already count on. They already have a contract with your company. Because they own their global network, they have the embedded security, WAN optimization, and visibility tools you are already familiar with.

8. You’re not elevating IT resources

While SD-WAN vendors promise to ease WAN management complexity and lower costs, enterprises still need to recruit and train highly specialized network engineers, find and negotiate network contracts, and manage network equipment.

Global SD-WAN as-a-Service deployments are different. Instead of requiring your IT team to manage WAN infrastructure, they are able to take advantage of highly specialized worldwide SD-WAN services. They support IT staff to deliver network connectivity to any user and cloud service, anywhere in the world.

Enterprises experience significant cost and time-to-market advantages. They no longer need to deal with inadequate and complex technologies that cause IT teams to spend large amounts of time addressing user complaints and fixing network problems.

A global SD-WAN as-a-Service solution like Aryaka will ensure you avoid SD-WAN pitfalls. Download our latest data sheet on SmartCONNECT, our global SD-WAN as a service. Or contact us today to find out more about how Aryaka can ease your global WAN infrastructure needs.

About the author

Shehzad Karkhanawala
Shehzad Karkhanawala

Shehzad is Director of Marketing at Aryaka. He leads public and analyst relations globally and demand generation as well as partner marketing activities for the Asia-Pacific region. Shehzad is an SD-WAN evangelist and often participates in webinars, events and discussions on the subject.