SD-WAN from Discovery to Trial
Max Dudani, Gyrocoms Business Services Specialist, answers some of the top questions we have been asked by businesses/ network teams that are looking into SD-WAN technologies for their WAN transformation.
What do I select for an SD-WAN trial?
With multiple SD-WAN vendors in the marketplace, it could present your life’s work in checking out the features, whittling down your selections. So, my advice is to pick two, just two, and take them for a spin.
A good approach would be to look at the general market assessments, Gartner for example should help you to whittle down the contenders.
With an SD-WAN solution you can expect rapid implementation; be up and running in no time and instead of phrases like dynamic multipath optimisation being a theory, it translates into a tangible reality that you can see and feel.
Where do I start?
As we say in Gyrocom give us your problem child!
Start at an existing site that is problematic (insufficient bandwidth, application performance issues, bad user experience, etc.) or a new site that needs extraordinary effort to bring online (long delivery timelines for circuits, lack of day-1 connectivity/bandwidth, etc. Maybe even help that homeworker who is struggling over home broadband while Netflix 4K plays in the background.
POC or Pilot – what is the difference?
Well, look – you can prove the concept in a lab environment, but that’s like that famous no calorie, no sugar cola drink – it’s not the real thing. Unless you’ve implemented the technology in your production environment, you are dealing in the unknown and you are unlikely to come to appreciate at a visceral level what SD-WAN can really do for you.
It would be ideal to experience first hand being on a phone call in the office (or your VOIP platform), unplugging one of the two connections that power up your network, and the phone call just carries on. There is no disruption. This may lead to a bit of a light bulb moment when you realise SD-WAN really works.
One such light bulb moment recently occurred with a production trial for a manufacturing company. We all understand that the lack of network availability at a manufacturing site can bring production to a complete stop – leading to dramatic losses. At one such site that suffered frequent outages, Gyrocom introduced a 4G-enabled SD-WAN solution to augment the pre-existing broadband links that were unreliable.
A week into the SD-WAN trial, we logged-on to have a look at how things were going and realised that for a period of about eight hours during the week, the wired broadband links had gone down and the 4G connection in the background just simply let things carry on – the company didn’t even notice the difference.
In the absence of this outcome, they would have suffered a six-figure financial loss and it’s that kind of experience that makes us want to encourage businesses to take the leap and trial the SD-WAN technology in a production environment.
How much will it cost me?
POCs are usually free. Pilots can have an associated cost because they involve design work that can be simple or complex depending on the scope of the Pilot. Simply put, a concise scope leads to an affordable Pilot.
Get in touch! We’ll happily discuss the technologies out there, what requirements you have, and work together on your SD-WAN journey. Making sure it fits you now and for the unpredictability that the future holds. Read more about our SD-WAN managed services.
Gyrocom is a network and security company. We support your digital transformation with secure, automated and simple to manage solutions for the data centre, branch office and cloud.