Managed SD-WAN: The Last WAN Standing

Managed SD-WAN: The Last WAN Standing

Tennessee whiskey—you guessed it—from Tennessee, has earned a label of being the whiskey that gave whiskey a reputation. Ask the connoisseurs, and they will tell you how it’s made with a certain amount of corn, filtered through a bed of sugar maple charcoal, and aged for a minimum of two years in new charred oak barrels. A very specific step-by-step ritual that mellows the spirit and only a couple of distilleries in the state of Tennessee produce it.

Thanks to the new media age, the recipe is not a secret and can easily be found via a simple Google search. But does that mean you can replicate the steps in your backyard? The answer is NO. You simply do not have the expertise, and even if you try, Murphy’s law will strike, and everything that can go wrong will go wrong.

Sometimes to get the best results, you should probably let the experts handle it.

The case of managed SD-WAN services is not much different. Many in the software-defined networking space believe that taking the DIY approach to every aspect of their WAN management equals success. However, everyone can’t be good at everything, and that is perfectly OK.

SD-WAN: A Cacophony of Hardware and Software

SD-WAN technology can be complicated. Multiple moving elements across the first, middle, and the last-mile need to work together synchronously. It is hard for a single vendor to offer a catch-all, end-to-end solution. Many times, when you go with a box vendor, the network services and application performance get limited to what those devices can do. So, what are the top DIY pitfalls?

Hardware Consolidation Expertise – The current generation of SD-WAN appliances stuff multiple hardware capabilities into a single appliance. This may include routers, wireless controllers, WAN Optimization boxes, firewalls, and other such gear. As software-defined functionalities continue to become the baseline for network connectivity, this list of consolidated hardware will only get longer. However, the process also creates room for potential errors and complexities and requires certified specialists to configure, deploy and manage these devices. Are you sure you have the in-house expertise that’s in-line and updated with the dedicated technology? Or are you pushing your IT folks to do what they don’t intend to but now have to?

Security Functions – I’d be a rich man if I had a nickel for every reason I can list for why you should let the experts handle the security services. Security services are a perfect complement to a software-defined wide area network. With the mutating threat landscape, what is current today gets obsolete tomorrow. Letting the managed SD-WAN vendor cover the security element reduces a tremendous amount of stress, maintenance cost, and overall liability on your staff. Why? Because a reputable cybersecurity component will mitigate your risk better than you can ever do internally.

The Network Piece – Broadband links, point-to-point 5G, MPLS, hybrid WAN and what have you? What is the right link size for your cloud connections? How do you plan continuity in case if a particular link is down? A quality MSP will be able to build a custom solution that fits each individual business perfectly in terms of geography, network traffic, and connectivity. This part requires someone who understands traffic engineering, up-time, WAN design, and SD-WAN/SASE.

Vendor Management – Outsourcing the aforementioned services mean you will have at least three different vendors to manage. Which means counting on each vendor’s strengths and preferences. Most IT teams might struggle to even negotiate the contractual terms and conditions, or even ask the right questions, let alone be the implementational challenges. On the contrary, imagine a single hand-to-shake model that takes away all your management and operational pain.

Why an End-to-End Managed SD-WAN Makes Sense?

With Aryaka, you get more than just managed SD-WAN connectivity that optimizes your network performance. Aryaka was created to maximize the efforts invested by your team. In short, you do more with less! To understand this better, let’s break down the top five benefits:

Faster Time-to-Value – The DIY model calls for a lot of prep work. From getting familiar with the technology, studying the available options to procuring and deploying in-house equipment. All of this followed by intensive training sessions.

Compare this to a fully-managed service where all you need to do is press a button to get started. No expertise required, no equipment owned, and it comes with round-the-clock support. DIY – 0, managed services – 1.

Built-in Capabilities – A DIY topology often needs to be topped-up with ancillary tools to meet the desired level of optimization and security of an enterprise. The end result? Additional cost, complexity, and a much steeper learning curve.

For a Cloud-First WAN, such as the one deployed by Aryaka, you have all the features, including a patented optimization stack and state-of-the-art security features. Everything accessible to the user via a centralized management console.

Cloud Connectivity – Probably the prime driver behind your SD-WAN quest. But what your IT team did not anticipate is the long list of SaaS/ IaaS and other cloud based service providers you need to connect to and how to link the network to each one of them. What makes it more complicated is that most of these providers will not accommodate those additional optimization and security boxes that your IT team has deployed.

While your team solves that puzzle, consider Aryaka, which has connectivity into nearly every major cloud/SaaS application and can deliver secure, end-to-end optimized SD-WAN services directly into these mission-critical resources.

Problem Resolution – You got to spot it before you resolve it. The DIY approach to SD-WAN accumulates a range of hardware from a mix of suppliers and various service providers. So, when an issue arises, the actual problem resolution process becomes a finger pointing exercise.

Aryaka pro-actively monitors the network for anomalies, and if something goes wrong, we will likely notice it before you do. What’s more, we have the staff expertise to address issues quickly.

SASE – Probably the most talked about yet most misunderstood topic going into 2021. When even the most expert panellists have different opinions of how the ideal security posture for your enterprise should look like, do you think you can have the equation deciphered in-house?

It is not a very well-kept secret that staying on top of every aspect needed to configure, operate and update all the elements that comprise a state-of-art security solution is a complex undertaking and may strain your IT Team to the brink.

managed sd-wan

The Bottom Line!

The notion of Cloud-First is not new for Aryaka. Our architecture has been purpose-built for this from Day-1. The idea is built on a few principles that focus on agility, simplicity, choice and the ability to deliver an amazing user and application experience.

principles driving WAN transformation

Aryaka’s end-to-end managed Cloud-First WAN facilitates:

  • Consumption models with “as-a-service” subscription offerings drive agility and time to market allowing IT and infrastructure teams to rapidly adapt to the needs of the business
  • Operational simplicity comes from our best-of-breed managed services that allow our customers to radically simplify complexity and distribute simplicity
  • The multi-cloud ready architecture offers choice to bring any application to any cloud connecting public cloud providers, SaaS providers, or partner clouds delivering consistency of experience

In reality, it is the coming together of all these in perfect harmony through an integrated architectural approach that delivers an unparalleled user and application experience.

Read our latest whitepaper on the different SD-WAN architectures and which one works the best for you.

Want to know more about the most prevalent global WAN Trends? Download Aryaka’s 5th annual Global State of the WAN Report and gain insights into SD-WAN and SASE trends gained from 1350+ global enterprises

Watch the webinar to understand what IT and Network professionals are thinking, their key focus areas and how priorities have changed over the past year.

Feel free to get in touch with us for a demo.

About the author

Nishant Singh
Nishant Singh is the Product Marketing Manager at Aryaka and a B2B marketing enthusiast who enjoys connecting his audience to products and solutions that question the traditional way of solving business problems. A seasoned marketing professional, his wealth of IT experience spans across networking, cloud, IoT and other IT solution tech.