How to prepare for a successful SD-WAN deployment.
If your organization is considering a move to SD-WAN, you’re in good company. Gartner predicts that by the end of 2019, 30% of enterprises will use SD-WAN products in their branches, up from less than 1% today. IDC places the figure at more like 70%. Either way, this technology is proving its value, providing organizations the flexible wide area network architecture and cost savings they are looking for in the next generation of networking.
Tackling a WAN upgrade, with its many moving parts, isn’t trivial. You probably don’t expect to order something from Routers R Us, plug it in and have it magically understand and support your carefully crafted network and all your new goals. A successful improvement to your WAN will involve assessing your current network and updating – or decommissioning – some of the hardware. The more complex your environment, the more changes you can anticipate – and all for the better.
Don’t let the process scare you; with the right guidance and support, the transition to SD-WAN can be a quick and painless experience for everyone involved. Smooth deployment is the key to success with SD-WAN.
A word of warning about SD-WAN providers that claim their solution is “zero-touch” or offer other shortcuts to implementation. Outside of the simplest environments, this kind of approach shortchanges organizations by limiting the potential for optimization and control, thereby reducing the overall value of the solution and potentially leading to issues over time. Important details specific to your network are easily overlooked in an attempt to over-simplify and rush deployment. We know, because we’re often called in after a “zero touch” implementation has failed.
The better approach is to take all of an organization’s network variables into consideration and do it in a way that’s not overwhelming. At Ecessa, we use a proven SD-WAN deployment process that is project management driven and focuses on properly setting expectations and identifying verifiable goals. It includes in-depth information gathering, risk management, clear communication and thorough documentation. There’s an old adage that “failing to plan is planning to fail.” We plan and succeed together.
Bill Prendergast, Sr. System Administrator at Delaware Valley Floral Group, explained his experience with the process. “Ecessa took a phased approach to our deployment, which gave us a lot of confidence in the solution. We had regular check-ins where they presented data to validate that the system was working right and we didn’t move to the next phase until we were satisfied with performance.” IT Manager, James Young, added, “We got more done with Ecessa in five weeks than what we did with [the competitor] in five months.”
SD-WAN is rapidly becoming mainstream. It is giving enterprises a whole new way to look at connectivity, free from the limitations of a single provider with less than optimal service offerings. With SD-WAN you can use any facility, any bandwidth, in any location, with better resiliency options, better monitoring and reporting. Sound too good to be true? It’s real and when deployed correctly it’s able to deliver consistently on its promise.
The keys to success with SD-WAN? Advanced planning and a deliberate, phased deployment. To see the steps involved in Ecessa’s proven Phased Deployment process, get the white paper here.
If you’re ready to talk about an SD-WAN pilot project of your own, please call us at 800.669.6242 or fill out the form below and we’ll get right back to you.