• Lesia Kasian

SD-WAN as a Service: Notes for Enterprises


How do you imagine connectivity across the enterprise? Probably, it should be supported by various robust software solutions covering security, data transfer, access control, and other matters. But the desire to simplify the processes made prominent telecom vendors like Apcela and Aryaka launch an all-in-one cloud-based product for these purposes.

SD-WAN as a Service solutions are capable of ensuring uninterrupted connections inside enterprises. Their apparent benefits, like app usage optimization, data protection, and efficient traffic management, made them one of the most demanded technologies of recent years. Following Gartner, by 2024, to enhance agility and support for cloud apps, 60% of enterprises will implement SD-WAN compared with about 30% in 2020.

Here, you will explore the SD-WAN as a Service from the business perspective, diving into its evolution, features, and pros helping enterprises operate smoothly under any conditions.


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What are SD-WAN and SD-WAN as a Service in Plain Language

For most business leaders, SD-WAN as a Service is another buzzword that doesn't speak to them. Meanwhile, this technology is vital for enterprises striving to align connectivity across branches in different countries.

SD-WAN, or a software-defined wide area network, is a solution capable of using various links starting from multiprotocol label switching and ending with virtual private networks to track and manage enterprise networks regardless of distances. Its core task is to track and measure the performance of WAN connections and data transfer processes to provide high-speed and optimized routes.

Consequently, SD-WAN as a Service is a new cloud-based generation of a legacy SD-WAN. The great business migration to the cloud led to the demand to use cloud computing methods, like SaaS or IaaS, to manage data traffic properly. So, the service has main features and benefits that are usual for other cloud solutions, such as:

  • the "rent" method of usage

  • vendor-side hosting & maintenance

  • reduced total cost of ownership (TCO)

  • lightning-fast deployment

  • no supplement equipment required

Exactly SD-WAN as a Service helped enterprises remain flexible during the pandemic when remote cooperation was necessary. Now, remote and hybrid work is here to stay. Following the UK Office of National Statistics, the proportion of hybrid workers has risen from 13% in early February 2022 to 24% in May 2022. So, in such conditions, the technology allows managers to support a high level of employee engagement, providing specialists with the ability to choose a convenient work mode.

Therefore, you can find enterprises from different domains among its core users. The only thing unifying them is affiliates in various locations and the desire to remain on the same page with each team member.


Legacy SD-WAN vs SD-WAN as a Service: Core Distinctions

Legacy SD-WAN

SD-WAN as a Service

Garanting SLA for apps

challenging

troubleless

Scalability

​limited

unlimited

Manual configuration

yes

no

Monitoring & management

on the user’s side

on the vendor’s side

Supplement software necessity

​yes

​no

Pricing

1+ year service contract

subscription base

Core providers

Verizon, AT&T, Comcast

Apcela, Aryaka

SD-WAN as a Service: Top 4 Benefits for Enterprises

Security

SD-WAN as a Service ensures high network and Internet connection security. Despite the myth that the technology is not secure enough, vendors build a robust stack to prevent data leaks and safe connectivity between enterprise branches. There's no third-party solution covering security matters needed. It makes the SD-WAN as a Service another convenient way to comply with data protection acts and strict governmental requirements in this field.

Efficient data traffic management

The core pro of SD-WAN as a Service is its ability to manage data traffic in real-time. It performs centralized control over the entire WAN network. Empowered with the service, enterprises can choose broadband links depending on the app's importance: more expensive for vital applications and cheaper for less important ones. This approach allows businesses to save costs and optimize data processing to make companies mature and build well-designed processes.

Connectivity

The technology builds efficient, real-time connections without delays and data loss by supporting multiple connection types. It helps enterprises to remain flexible regarding cooperation with employees. No matter where specialists work, they receive a secure and proper in-house connection. Consequently, SD-WAN as a Service provides uninterrupted business operations 24/7.


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High app performance

Did you know enterprises use about 200 apps daily to achieve strategic results? But some of them are most demanded, others - less. Usually, excessive budget usage concerns the irrational use of application subscriptions. SD-WAN as a Service can cope with it. It manages cloud and desktop app usage in real-time to optimize costs and provide companies with valuable data on employee preferences.

SD-WAN as a Service Benefits

Summary

SD-WAN as a Service is a best-of-breed technology allowing enterprises to be on the same page with each branch and employee regardless of the location. For now, most managers do not fully understand the role and importance of this solution for building a highly-scalable and flexible business. Meanwhile, its functionality will only evolve. Among core pros making this service valuable for enterprises are its ability to:

  • reduce TCO

  • improve data transfer routes

  • ensure proper, centralized data traffic management

  • provide secure connections

  • manage apps usage efficiently


If you're looking for a way to build well-designed processes and ensure business maturity - let us know. Our specialists will advise you on where to start your transformation journey.

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