Consume or Construct Your SD-WAN?
Why a Managed SD-WAN is Better than a DIY Approach

Managed SD-WAN
If your company is beginning to embark on a digital transformation journey, ultimately, you’ll have to confront the question of how to modernize the Wide Area Network (WAN) and ensure it is up to the task of supporting the transformation effort.

Today, most organizations are concluding that Software Defined-WAN (SD-WAN) is the best way to add the controls necessary for the digital age.

The next question becomes, do you build your own SD-WAN (the DIY approach) or buy it as a service? While doing it yourself has been the go-to method for decades now, the transformation efforts sweeping through enterprises worldwide, and the shift to cloud, is causing a fundamental rethink of this approach.

It comes down to this:  If the goal is to move the organization from Point A to Point B, do you want to take the time to build the road to the new destination or get on a private fast lane quickly so you can focus on how to capitalize on the new capabilities?

In world of computing, that question has largely been answered: Companies are migrating en masse to the cloud consumption model and getting out of the business of focusing capital expenses on infrastructure.  They are using those resources instead to better serve customers, differentiate the organization, and grow the business.  And increasingly, that model is proving to be the answer for SD-WAN as well.

Great Power Comes with Great Responsibility

Large organizations may have sufficient IT resources and network infrastructure in place to deploy SD-WAN in-house, but this self-management of the network holds with it some great consequences, especially if you’re embarking on a large digital transformation strategy.

The DIY SD-WAN approach still places more of the headache to manage, maintain, and support the network on IT by introducing additional complexity on an existing network.

One CIO I spoke with recently said his IT department was managing over 21 MPLS providers worldwide. He felt his networking organization was feeling like a telco because they not only have to manage and maintain these contracts, they must also deal with Internet providers, plus configure WAN optimization and SD-WAN devices at each location. Then they had to buy and implement monitoring software to check the health of their network. On top of all that, everything has to be re-configured each time a new application rolls out.

Imagine Replacing DIY with One Solution

DIY SD-WAN vs SD-WAN as a Service
The task of maintaining the scenario above is a full-time task for any IT department. There’s hardly any room left for more strategic initiatives in a digital transformation strategy.

If your enterprise is aiming to transform into a global digital powerhouse, here’s why SD-WAN delivered as a fully managed service would be right for you:

  • Time to value. The DIY approach to SD-WAN requires your IT department to learn about the technology, analyze the players, and procure and deploy the equipment in-house.

    Buying SD-WAN as a managed service gets you up and running in a fraction of the time, usually in days. Your staff doesn’t need to become network experts, learn how to operate the equipment, or troubleshoot the network.  With a managed SD-WAN as a Service, all they need to do is learn how to use a single network portal to assess their needs.

  • Built-in capabilities. Any DIY approach will typically require sets of ancillary tools to optimize and secure the network to meet the organizational needs.  That adds additional cost and complexity, and makes the initial learning curve even steeper, slowing implementation.

    Managed SD-WAN as a Service, such as one deployed by Aryaka, uses patented optimization technology that is baked into the network, providing faster application performance from anywhere in the world. Since we’re also in partnership with leading security firms, a number of best-of-breed security options are available that can be easily implemented.

  • Cloud off ramps. If you are building the SD-WAN yourself, it will be up to you to figure out how to link the network to the increasingly long list of cloud/SaaS service providers the company uses. That becomes difficult if you have layered in multiple optimization and security boxes because the cloud/SaaS suppliers won’t accommodate those appliances.

    As a managed service, Aryaka has connectivity into nearly every major cloud/SaaS suppliers and can deliver secure, end-to-end optimized SD-WAN services directly into these mission-critical resources.

  • Problem resolution. In the DIY SD-WAN world, you’ll be using a range of hardware from a mix of suppliers, as well as a variety of service providers.  When issues crop up the potential for finger pointing is high, taxing your staff and prolonging problem resolution.

    A key benefit we provide at Aryaka is that the network is proactively monitored by a 24x7x365 support staff. If something goes wrong, we will likely notice it before you do.  What’s more, we have the staff expertise to address issues quickly. For example, if there is a transport service issue, we have the end-to-end network visibility to identify exactly where the problem lies and the customer clout to hold the service providers accountable.

  • Performance. Most all DIY SD-WAN kits use the public, best-effort Internet for transport, which is susceptible to latency and packet loss, particularly over longer spans.  The result is long application response times, unpredictable application performance, and in the case of real-time collaboration tools, degraded voice/video calls, and dropped sessions.

    Aryaka’s global SD-WAN service, delivered over a global private network and optimized end-to-end, makes it possible to deliver consist application performance for employees anywhere in the world, regardless if the application resource they’re using is hosted on-premises or in the cloud.

The old model of building the network yourself is simply outdated as companies shift to consumption models for IT and focus on transformation.  The simple fact of the matter is, just like your data center can’t compete with the capabilities and the pace of innovation delivered by the likes of Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, if you opt to build your SD-WAN, it won’t be as complete, agile and support as many functions as an SD-WAN delivered as a managed service.

In order to enable your company’s digital transformation.  Focus on the capabilities your business needs to thrive, and let a company that specializes in Global WAN services provide the highway to get you there.

To learn more, download the white paper, SD-WAN Vs. MPLS: Key Considerations for Your Global Enterprise Network.

About the author

Syed Ghayur
Syed Ghayur

Syed is Vice President of Global Systems Engineering at Aryaka, and has over 20 years of experience within networking and engineering industries.