The Key Elements to Consider for a Successful SD-WAN Project

An increasing number of businesses are looking at SD-WAN solutions because they need a fast, scalable, and flexible connection across a range of network conditions. Nevertheless, if you choose an inappropriate SD-WAN solution, you may find it difficult to quickly adapt to your organization’s changing needs. It may also result in unexpected security concerns as well as other operational difficulties. We will outline the key considerations for a successful SD WAN implementation.

Start with the End of Mind

To begin, have a clear understanding of the outcomes that the organization aims to achieve. Many organizations are aware that SD-WAN is required to modernize the WAN edge, allowing them to enhance the bandwidth accessible to apps and combine many devices into a single appliance. Nevertheless, it is feasible that additional initiatives may be included in the project as well.

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One example would be the deployment of a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architecture. This may be achieved by integrating an SD-WAN network’s foundation with cloud-based security solutions. Since the network edge influences almost every aspect of the user and application experience, it is critical to have a thorough awareness of the scope of the SD-WAN installation as well as the surrounding projects. This early effort will aid in establishing which technology vendors provide solutions that are most suited to a company’s needs.

Don’t Underestimate Beginning Small

After SD-WAN has been established as the best option for the corporate network environment of the future because it meets both technical and business needs, it is critical to conduct a detailed assessment of the technology’s full capabilities using a limited but representative scope. It is strongly advised to verify SD-WAN by executing a Proof of Concept (PoC) to evaluate its full potential, compare various vendor solutions, and decrease migration risk before a comprehensive and worldwide roll-out that may need a significant amount of time and expense.

Set Migration Priorities for Sites and Apps

Identify the applications each of your sites utilizes, and prioritize the places that need SD-WAN the most. Confirm the hosting location for these applications. Is it kept in one of your data centers, with a third-party hosting provider, or as a software-as-a-service application? Identify the kinds of connections necessary for each site. Will it be public Internet access, private connectivity to your data center, or both at the same time? Consider combining branch offices into gateway points and then building linkages at those sites. This information will be helpful to you as you plan your relocation strategy.

Choose Your SD-WAN Service Provider

Analyst rankings reveal the level of technical skill each vendor has, as well as the degree to which they are adaptive. You must determine if they are committed to providing the most diverse range of open solutions from a variety of sources. Examine if the organization offering the services has a strong co-innovation program with its vendor partners. This enables the company’s solutions to be customized to your specific requirements. Remember that the only way to ensure that your SD-WAN solution is constantly up to date is to work with a service provider that is committed to continuous product development.

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Maintain Decentralized Security

Until recently, the bulk of SD-WAN systems only provided basic firewall functions; they did not include application-based firewalls or content filtering options. Solutions such as Cisco SD-WAN and Meraki SD-WAN, on the other hand, now provide unified threat management (UTM), allowing enterprises to shift to a decentralized security paradigm with Dedicated Internet Access(DIA). This is a big advancement, since centralized security may be prohibitively costly when seeking to deliver the best possible user experience. DIA-powered decentralized security solutions provide users with secure and efficient access to internet-based programs such as SaaS applications.

If organizations want to get better results from the networking solutions they use, they must be open to new ways of doing things. Businesses that are coping with old wide area network (WAN) gear or service contracts should look into SD-WAN.

Monitor Your Network During Deployment

If you look to make sure that your software-defined wide area network is working the way you want it to, you need an application monitoring system. Look at the implementation’s results to see how well the network will work when it’s busy. You must keep an eye on a device at a remote branch and ensure that it can use both public and private connections in active-active connection mode. Check to ensure that the most critical application traffic is routed over the WAN paths that give the best level of performance, while less critical traffic is routed over the paths that provide the lowest level of cost.

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