Network essentials for the cloud-first business.

Cloud and the consumerisation of IT is powering intelligent new ways of working, giving businesses the agility and flexibility to adapt to constantly changing markets. Enterprises are increasingly moving away from traditional data centre ownership and moving their IT infrastructure, applications and data to the cloud.

Yet to fully realise the benefits of the cloud, you need a robust connectivity foundation; one that is agile, flexible, cost effective and easy to manage. These things aren’t always typical of a traditional enterprise network, so how should you connect your data and applications? Enter SD-WAN.

WAN management made easy

SD-WAN promises to revolutionise the previously time-consuming task of WAN management. It can provide a management overlay to any WAN connectivity such as broadband, Internet, 4G and private circuits. Your business benefits from a choice of cost-effective connectivity and a cloud-optimised, ‘zero-touch’ network that is easier to manage, quicker to provision and provides better visibility.

SD-WAN can also enable load sharing by dynamically routing traffic across any of your chosen access technologies. Performance is maximised by leveraging all the bandwidth you are paying for - including backup connections, which often remain idle on a traditional network.

Make the right comparison

However, it’s crucial to remember that SD-WAN itself is not connectivity. The tendency is to compare SD-WAN vs private connectivity (MPLS), yet true comparisons should be drawn between SD-WAN vs VPN or private connectivity vs Internet. For example, SD-WAN will not help you fix poor connectivity. If your connectivity drops, it will be down to the carrier to resolve. SLAs and uptime are all governed by your connectivity provider. Not the SD-WAN vendor.

Stay cybersecurity-savvy

Of course, as with all networks, a solid security strategy is essential. Networks are often made up of multiple Internet connections and firewalls which makes them harder to manage, as the security profile is expanded, increasing the attack vector for potential hackers. SD-WAN alleviates this challenge with enhanced security such as Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) and Advanced Threat Protection (ATP).

With that in mind, it’s important to understand that not all SD-WAN vendors offer the same level of security provision. Always research carefully to ensure your entire solution has the security measures required and your business is protected.

Know your numbers

Originally pitched as a way of reducing costs, SD-WAN is popular in the US and countries with larger landmasses. However, in countries with smaller landmasses, like the UK, the price difference between Internet and private (MPLS) connectivity is minimal. At the end of the day, all network providers purchase cables in the ground from the same group of suppliers and decide how to provision them – either as private (MPLS) or public (Internet).

Because of these similarities, SD-WAN often results in an overall cost increase due to the additional investment required in on-site equipment and licensing.

However, the good news is that not all SD-WANs are the same. Network providers that have their own software-defined network (SDN) infrastructure can provide a managed SD-WAN as part of a managed service. This removes the need, and associated expense, of additional on-site equipment or license subscriptions.

So, should you be considering SD-WAN?

Quite simply – yes! Business is changing fast, and even if you don’t need more from your network right now, it’s likely you soon will. With unrivalled agility, flexibility and visibility, SD-WAN truly is leading the way for next-generation connectivity in a digital world.

Always ahead of the curve, Bistech has been providing all the features of SD-WAN before the term was even coined. We connect customers to our Private IP Backbone and SDN, delivering a Managed SD-WAN as our standard.

With Bistech, you get the flexibility of SD-WAN with the quality and reliability of MPLS, but without the cost, complexity and headache of managing the infrastructure and connectivity yourself. Call us now for a no-obligation discussion on 03330 11 22 55.