SD-WAN is probably one of the hottest topics in IT right now and, as mentioned before, it means that every vendor wants a piece of the action.
It’s not your job to keep up to speed with every vendor position and technology play that is out there – that’s what the analyst are for right? – and I recommend you read those if that’s your thing but in most cases you probably don’t need to. Maybe a more practical solution to help narrow down your starting point for your research, is to look at what vendor equipment you have installed already for WAN connectivity. It also might pay to look at what WiFi vendor you have and while your at it, your security vendor too because they’re all positioning themselves in the big SD-WAN game.
If you didn’t know, SD-WAN is a book-ended solution, which simply means that you need an SD-WAN end-point at every location and currently that needs to be from the same vendor, because we aren’t there yet with the any standards. So, if you can re-use existing vendor platforms to deploy SD-WAN then happy days, you already on the road to a cost saving with SD-WAN.
There is of course a pretty big coming here.
The existing hardware, whether you settle on using your existing WiFi, WANOp, Routers or Firewalls, will probably need to be upgraded and in many cases replaced or complemented with hardware that will support the new features. That’s non-trivial as we all no and this is a production network so comes with a chunk of risk too.
You need to decide if the features they offer match your requirement because not all of the solutions offer the same level of SD-WAN’ness and so it might be a compromise, albeit one which if you feel well informed, you are willing to take.
The late entrants to this space, who are playing catch up, have some really limiting features sets – so it’s really worth doing some research on this to see if ‘good enough’ is OK for you.
If you want to short cut this process, then we’ve got a pretty good handle on this and will happily share our experiences.
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