It’s impossible to ignore the rising demand for SDWAN in today’s software and cloud-driven landscape. As companies continue to search for more flexibility in their connectivity ecosystems, SDWAN offers a higher level of agility and scalability. It’s no wonder the market is set to reach a value of 14.95 billion, with a CAGR of around 27.8% by 2028.
However, to unlock the true benefits SDWAN has to offer, companies need to ensure they’re considering all of their needs carefully. This means addressing what lies beneath the surface of your SDWAN environment.
A software defined wide area network provides enterprises with the freedom to leverage a host of different transport services, from LTE and MPLS, to broadband internet solutions, to connect users more securely to a range of applications. However, it’s up to the business buyer and technology experts in the company to ensure the network is properly provisioned to ensure success.
Understanding the Network Part of SDWAN
As many companies already know, SDWAN offers an alternative to the traditional WAN environment, based on conventional routers never designed for the cloud. The SDWAN ecosystem allows companies to support applications on public or private clouds, on-premises data centers, and SaaS solutions, all at the same time.
However, not every business leader will immediately know how to leverage the potential of SDWAN, by building an effective network. Increasingly many managed service providers are therefore beginning to see new opportunities in working with their clients to not only deliver SDWAN functionality but build the underlying network layer too.
Not all SDWAN offerings in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace are equal. Some basic solutions are enough to give companies greater flexibility, but they won’t always have the intelligence, reliability, scale, and performance guaranteed required for a superior network experience.
Without a fast, high-performing, and secure network, you’re more likely to see your digital transformation initiative crumble, because the apps you rely on simply can’t thrive within your network. Now many companies are relying on SDWAN as a critical enabler for digital transformation, it’s essential to ensure the right foundations are in place.
Creating the Perfect Network for SDWAN
For many companies, the best way to get the ultimate network experience from an SDWAN deployment, is to search for an end-to-end solution which empowers the safe and efficient orchestration of all WAN edge function, from routing and security services, to service chaining to third-party tools and solutions.
A managed service solution for SDWAN allows cloud-first enterprises to access a better application quality of experience through dynamic, and function-aware routing. MSPs can work with business owners to setup the network in a way which ensures every separate class of applications receives the appropriate security policy enforcement and QoS based on business needs.
Most importantly, these SDWAN solutions can place additional focus on the performance in the network when determining the overall functionality of the SDWAN solution.
State-of-the-art business-driven SDWAN solutions support everything from centralized configuration of the network to remote management. This means changes to solve any networking issues can be deployed in a matter of minutes, rather than days or weeks. The right solution can also offer:
- Consistent monitoring and optimization: With a managed service provider watching and tracking SDWAN performance in the cloud, the technology can respond more consistently and in real-time to changes in the state of the network. High-quality SDWANs automatically evolve to suit network changes, to reduce congestion, transport outage conditions, brownouts, and more, all without manual IT intervention.
- Stable quality of experience: A well-designed, cloud-based, and managed SDWAN solution can actively use multiple forms of WAN transport simultaneously, based on an understanding of the underlying network. The full-service solution intelligently monitors and managers all transport services to overcome challenges like jitter, packet loss, latency, and more, to provide higher levels of application performance to users.
- Enhanced security: With better control over the network and the comprehensive SDWAN environment, you also get better security and privacy guidelines. SDWAN managed service providers with a focus on delivering consistent managed service can orchestrate and enforce exceptional solutions for data protection and security, even when you’re working with distributed connections all around the world.
The Power of Managed Services and Cloud Technology
For most companies the best way to ensure an effective network for SDWAN functionality is to find a managed service provider with the right services to offer in a cloud environment. Crucially, the cloud is an essential part of building the perfect network for cloud deployment.
Increasing access to the cloud and enhanced focus on software solutions over legacy hardware is part of what made the shift to SDWAN so significant in the first place. Now, the cloud is also helping to make SDWAN implementations more effective, by allowing for an app-defined approach which can evolve dynamically to suit changes to the network in real-time.
To create an SDWAN network which can meet the objectives of any business in today’s ever-changing cloud-based environment, companies need to be able to keep a close eye on data and the behavior of information flowing through the network. It would be practically impossible to collect all this data at the edge. The cloud and managed service providers can offer businesses a comprehensive and flexible data lake, where all the different network insights can accumulate.
With cloud-based SDWAN deployments, managed service providers can implement artificial intelligence and advanced tools to analyse huge amounts of data and metadata at scale. This technology can help with inferring patterns, creating recommendations for the flow of information and more. The cloud allows an SDWAN environment to respond in real-time to the needs of the business, so you can prepare for a more unpredictable technical environment.
Looking into the Future of SDWAN Networks
With the cloud and managed service provider support, an SDWAN solution can offer a highly flexible, scalable environment for the future of SaaS and distributed teams. Companies can even take their network environment to the next level with an emerging model defined by Gartner, known as SASE. The SASE solution for SDWAN strengthens the network environment with security.
Secure solutions built into the edge of the network and powered by cloud intelligence makes it easier for companies to stay on top of their network when dealing with a myriad of different applications, users, and devices distributed across an extensive environment. The SDWAN and SASE combination is particularly useful from the world of “anywhere work” make companies are embracing today.
As we look into the future, there’s little doubt the demand for SDWAN won’t continue to grow as companies increase their focus on flexibility and innovation. However, like any transformative technology, SDWAN can only deliver the right results when all of the correct foundations are already in place. Simply installing an SDWAN solution won’t automatically prepare your business for digital transformation if you haven’t already considered the importance of the underlying network.
Working with the right MSP on the creation of a flexible, cloud-delivered environment for SDWAN is how you ensure you can unlock the true flexibility SDWAN has to offer. This approach could even pave the way for many companies to take the next steps with SDWAN into a world empowered by SASE, with additional network features and security already built-in.