When you’re looking for a way to significantly improve your business’ network connection, one of the possible solutions you may have come across is by switching to SD-WAN. This setup, touted as an upgrade to the usual MPLS network, is fast becoming the enterprise solution of choice. And thankfully, more and more companies are offering this kind of setup.
That said, how can you find a reputable provider of SD-WAN solutions? Here are some things you should consider when on the hunt:
Time is gold—any delay in setting up your SD-WAN means a productive day lost. Look for a provider that can offer you a reasonable timeline for configuring your network. Chances are that you won’t need to wait for months to have your SD-WAN set up; this kind of network is very easy to deploy compared to a traditional MPLS setup.
Choice of Hardware and Software
Not all SD-WAN systems are made equal. Some providers may prefer to use a certain kind of router, while another may opt to use a specific framework. Hence, it pays to ask your prospective SD-WAN provider about the details of their planned setup for your business.
It’s especially important to quiz them about the details of their proposed setup. Some unscrupulous providers use “fake” SD-WAN setups—they claim to be using software to balance the load on their SD-WAN networks, yet actually end up relying on their hardware to do it for them.
A Proven Track Record
Just like vetting potential suppliers for your business, you should also look into the track record of your prospective SD-WAN solutions provider. First, check out their company website to see if they can really offer what you need. Then do a fair bit of online research to see if they live up to their claims. Steer clear of companies with negative reviews; go for those who have serviced big clients.
Of course, how much a SD-WAN costs also matters. Having this kind of network set up for your company shouldn’t be more expensive than a traditional MPLS solution; in fact, it should be significantly cheaper. Stay away from a provider that can’t justify the cost of their proposed SD-WAN network, especially if it’s not more affordable than your current MPLS setup.
The beauty of an SD-WAN setup is the fact that it can include even the most remote of your locations—practically like a wireless network that spans hundreds of kilometers. And if you’re a business that’s looking to expand to more sites in the future, an SD-WAN solution is definitely the right choice. Hence, it’s important to ask your prospective vendor how easy it would be for them to add more sites in the future, the timeline for each additional site, and any additional costs that you may incur from each site.
By factoring in these considerations in your search, you’ll have a bigger chance of finding the right SD-WAN provider for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for an estimate from different vendors before deciding to partner with a specific company.