Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) is becoming key components of modern IT infrastructures. As organizations look to support a hybrid workforce and cloud-native networks, SD-WAN infrastructure has become an important technology for enabling flexible, agile, and optimized connectivity at a low cost. The SD-WAN infrastructure market grew 27% in 2021 compared with 2020, to reach $3.8 billion, with a forecast to grow 19% to $7.1 billion by 2025, according to IDC. Implementation isn’t the simplest, though. Here are some potential issues one may run into when adopting SD-WAN.
1. Cost Savings
Due to the demand and new feature enhancements, SD WAN prices have risen for the hardware and licensing. At first, vendors marketed SD-WAN as cost savings as the early marketing was about moving to hybrid WAN to save money on expensive private/Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) networks. However, these cost savings aren’t realized because many organizations keep their MPLS. It is important to note that as organizations go to Internet connectivity versus MPLS, they often increase bandwidth and add one or more additional connections, so cost per megabit might go down, but total cost rarely does.
Source: https://www.aryaka.com/blog/sd-wan-vs-mpls-is-sd-wan-better-than-mpls/ (2021)
SD-WAN can be easier to implement due to centralized control and management. Edge devices can be preconfigured to branch locations and changes for all can be made from a single console. Still, it requires careful implementation and planning. Careful consideration around how any new device impacts other devices like firewalls and routers or what might need to change for VPNs or applications that are hosted locally.
Visibility and analytics are critical for SD-WAN deployments. Having insights into the health, performance, and user and application traffic are crucial for assurance and capacity planning. Visibility is especially important for security. For organizations with extremely sensitive data traffic, the built-in security capabilities of SD-WAN appliances they are using might be insufficient. The newfound visibility into the network may uncover security vulnerabilities, bandwidth capacity and Internet quality issues that need to be resolved. It is great that now you know but can add additional costs to remediate.
4. Failure to the future
When considering an SD-WAN strategy, organizations need to be looking ahead and consider public or private connectivity and emerging technologies like 5G for their SD-WANs . Many SD-WAN vendors have begun offering integrated 5G routers in SD-WAN gateways. Cellular connectivity can be an attractive option for backup because of its diversity from land line connections. As organizations are thinking about building out next-generation SD-WAN deployments, they need to consider how a 5G cellular router can help future-proof their investments.
Access Tech wants to ensure that you don’t “get got” by these SD-WAN gotchas. It’s important to work with trained professionals that can take the time and effort to first understand your business challenges that solve our specific business challenges. Contact us at Access Tech for a complimentary 15-minute meeting or to see a live SD WAN demo. We can begin the discussion of how to get started. We are passionate about helping you connect your business strategy with the best IT solutions.