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What to look for in SD-WAN providers

SD-WAN providers are the gateway to the exciting new trend in networking today: SD-WAN.

But let’s back up for a moment. Just what is SD-WAN?

Here’s a primer.

SD-WAN is an exciting new way for businesses to manage their applications, boost application performance and connect their network. As a cloud-based solution, SD-WAN also gives companies a solution that can easily be scaled to match their changing user and application needs (often on an hourly basis).

To get started on your SD-WAN journey, you need to find the right SD-WAN provider.

SD-WAN providers (also known as SD-WAN vendors) are companies who sell SD-WAN networking products as a service. These products are typically offered in different pricing models and will have different approaches to integrating with your network.

Selecting the SD-WAN provider for your business will require homework. As you do your research, we suggest looking for the following four traits.

Here are 4 key traits to look for.

4 key traits of ideal SD-WAN providers

4 key traits of ideal SD-WAN providers

1. SLA-backed:

This one relates to the performance of your network. Look for SD-WAN providers who have their own SLA-backed service. A SLA-backed service will ensure your SD-WAN provider will guarantee you a certain level of performance. This is especially important for multi-location companies, like Momentus Insurance, where Internet coverage is not always consistent. Backed by an SLA, your provider will be responsible for providing you with consistent network performance regardless of where you’re connecting.

2. Security:

For any company working in the cloud, security is a top concern. Top SD-WAN providers should provide additional security protection beyond basic encryption. These include unified threat management (to detect and protect from viruses, malware etc.), layer 7 firewalls, and an intrusion prevention system (to monitor network traffic).

3. Easy, Centralized Management:

An ideal SD-WAN provider should make managing your network easier — particularly compared to a MPLS network. Look for a provider who will give you a centralized management system that will help you easily manage and monitor your whole network. For example, by switching to SD-WAN, Momentus Insurance, suddenly had a single portal through which they could monitor all their network usage and activity. A centralized management system should reduce the need to acquire multiple platforms for monitoring your performance and security.

4. Cost Savings:

One of the most notable benefits of SD-WAN are the major cost savings it offers (especially compared to the hefty price-tag of MPLS connections. Without the need for expensive hardware any further, Momentus Insurance definitely saved big when switching to a SD-WAN solution. When weighing your SD-WAN providers, a cost comparison is essential and their prices should significantly save you money over your traditional networking.

Evaluating SD-WAN providers will definitely require some effort on your end. At the end of the day, the right provider will be the one that best matches the needs and goals of your business. And if you need help making your decision, a managed service provider with expertise in SD-WAN networking can help you.

Ready to learn more about SD-WAN? See how Momentus Insurance saved big by switching from PBX to SD-WAN.