Managed SD-WAN Services
Why managed SD-WAN outperforms DIY solutions
Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) delivers many important business and operational benefits, but deploying and managing SD-WAN can be a complex and time consuming process. If you’re considering SD-WAN as part of your network transformation you need to decide whether a DIY approach or a managed SD-WAN service is more suitable for your business.
The DIY Approach
If you decide to deploy and manage SD-WAN internally, your team will be responsible for sourcing and deploying system components, then monitoring and managing the service against service level agreements on a day-to-day basis. They will also be responsible for maintenance and upgrades as well as integration of new sites or scaling to meet growth or changing business demands.
This will require a significant commitment of time and resources, which may limit your team’s time for driving more strategic initiatives. It will also require skills and knowledge of SD-WAN technology that may not be available in your team. In fact, a recent survey by Gartner found that nearly 50 percent of businesses planning to deploy SD-WAN cited lack of familiarity with the technology as a major concern. The concern was even greater in businesses with less than 1000 employees.
DIY costs can also be high. Industry experience indicates that around 40 percent of IT expenditure is spent on costs from network service providers. Managing the WAN infrastructure, troubleshooting network issues and downtime result in additional costs for organizations.
Managed Service Alternative
An increasingly popular alternative to the DIY approach is to partner with a firm that provides a Managed SD-WAN Service where networking applications and services are outsourced to a specialist SD-WAN vendor.
The service provider supplies the hardware, software, networking and transport services and operates in line with service-level agreements for uptime and performance. The service provider takes responsibility for the monitoring, management, maintenance, upgrading and security of the SD-WAN service. Charges are based on annual or longer service contracts that reflect the number of sites, locations, link speeds and SLAs.
In the Gartner survey, nearly two-thirds of respondents claimed a preference for managed SD-WAN. Research by Frost & Sullivan found that 80 percent of enterprises have chosen managed SD-WAN, compared to 20 percent choosing the DIY SD-WAN route. The firm reports that the managed SD-WAN market is forecast to grow to $3.5 billion by 2022, up from $700 million in 2017.
Managed SD-WAN or SD-WAN-as-a-Service
Managed SD-WAN is sometimes confused with SD-WAN-as-a-Service. However, there are significant differences. With SD-WAN-as-a-Service, a provider makes the service available on their own network but your team is responsible for monitoring and managing your own SD-WAN service. You may also need to take out a separate contract with a service provider for WAN connectivity. Cost is based on a monthly subscription. So, SD-WAN-as-a-Service is essentially a DIY solution that will require many of the skills and resources that you may or may not have in the business.
Drivers for a Managed Service Approach
A managed SD-WAN service can be appropriate if your business faces any of these challenges.
- You don’t have the internal skills and resources to deploy and manage SD-WAN.
- You are anticipating or planning growth or you want to replicate an SD-WAN deployment in other locations.
- You want to reduce internal network support costs.
- You want to ensure compliance with stringent SLAs for network performance and availability.
- You want to switch internal networking teams from day-to-day tasks to more strategic roles.
- You want to simplify upgrading and network management.
- You want to speed up the deployment of new network applications.
Access to Expert SD-WAN Skills
By partnering with a managed network service provider, you will gain access to experienced, highly qualified professional with the skills and expertise to optimize network performance, availability and reliability. Your team will also benefit from knowledge and skills transfer when working with experts.
Managed service professionals work to recognized quality standards and use industry best practice to deliver service excellence. Specialist service providers also maintain extensive knowledge bases and operate sophisticated monitoring systems to support their management teams.
In addition to management support, managed service providers can also offer expert advice on the most suitable SD-WAN solution for your business and operational requirements, as well as helping you drive greater benefits from SD-WAN.
Your users and customers expect reliable access to applications and services at all time — anything less can result in poor user or customer experience.
Managed service providers are responsible for maintaining levels of availability in line with your agreed SLAs. They develop the right SD-WAN solution to achieve end-to-end visibility of network performance as a basis for troubleshooting, rapid fault resolution and network optimization. You will also have access to technical support from SD-WAN experts on a helpdesk with support typically available 24x7 by phone, email, chat or video conference.
Managed SD-WAN service providers are experts in the technology — they know how to get the best from the technology. They ensure that critical applications are prioritized by planning and implementing dynamic routing rules based on detailed assessment of your network resources and performance.
Many providers include WAN optimization as part of their service. This can be important as Frost and Sullivan’s 2018 SD-WAN Global Survey found that 67 percent of North American IT decision makers indicated they would like WAN optimization to be integrated with SD-WAN.
Integrating new sites into the network or scaling the network to accommodate growth can be time consuming with consequent delays and disruption. A managed services partner can handle those changes for you with minimal or no demand on your internal resources. That makes your business more agile and adaptable to change.
To ensure you have full insight into the performance of your network managed SD-WAN service providers offer comprehensive reporting facilities that can be customized to the needs of different decision makers. Reports generally cover network availability and traffic, support ticket and troubleshooting analysis, and recommendations on upgrades.
Find out more
If you want to find out more about Managed SD-WAN or discuss a solution for your business, please contact us now to speak to an expert – 1-877-228-6616.
BroadConnect Canada is a managed SD-WAN provider that delivers high-performance SD-WAN solutions across Canada. BroadConnect is Canada’s leading alternative telephony and networking solutions provider with thousands of customers in every sector.