As enterprises move their applications to the cloud, they can face many obstacles associated with WAN security, reliability, and performance. Applications hosted at cloud and SaaS providers need cloud-based connectivity to eliminate the high costs, rigid nature, and long deployment time frames that have plagued traditional networks.
Any organization planning on implementing WAN improvements should consider SD-WAN with branch office last-mile circuits to augment, or possibly replace, MPLS. Fortunately, there are options.
Do-it-yourself (DIY) – where the IT department takes on the task of buying SD-WAN technology, and negotiating, procuring, and managing the entire SD-WAN infrastructure, including each WAN circuit at every branch office.
Outsource SD-WAN and network connectivity – to a managed service provider. Virtualization and cloud have been the primary drivers for IT outsourcing, that began with the data center, and have now expanded to the network. The migration from the traditional method of manually configuring diverse hardware devices, to the new model of a software-driven overlay to deploy and manage networking as a service is growing rapidly. In fact, Frost & Sullivan estimates 20% of enterprises are choosing the DIY route, while 80% are using a managed SD-WAN services model.
Below are SD-WAN vulnerabilities IT enterprises confront, and how to avoid them.
Unplanned Scope Expansion
You might think your IT team can complete the changeover to SD-WAN without problems. But the next thing you know, the project gets out of control, the budget is blown, and the project completion date becomes a moving target. This can occur when the scope of a project is not properly defined, documented, and controlled.
Mosaic SoftWave SD-WAN managed services integrate all the network ecosystem technologies and logistical building blocks into a comprehensive SD-WAN supply chain. Aligning resources, integrating functions, coordinating processes, and managing everything through the Mosaic SD-WAN supply chain, has many advantages, and eliminates the chance of unplanned scope expansion. This ensures greater efficiencies, lowers costs, streamlines operations, delivers faster network deployments, reduces risk, and eliminates waste.
If your company has limitless budget and IT resources, no problem, you’re covered. But that’s probably not the case. There are many unknown factors that can quickly over-run your budget. For budgetary reasons, and to keep your sanity, you will probably want to deploy SD-WAN incrementally, starting within certain regions, or with specific areas of your network. This will also give you the flexibility to grow and adapt the network to best fit your business. Flexible, programmable networking will extend what you already have, while being independent from your existing equipment.
SD-WAN encompasses multiple technologies and business interactions across multiple, functional areas beyond IT, such as operations, finance and legal departments. SD-WAN comes with many challenges, including detailed multi-carrier contract negotiations, multiple transports to provision, complicated invoices and billing that need to be reconciled, and different NOC support organizations to coordinate. These, and other multi-vendor challenges can quickly undo SD-WAN’s promise of easing complexity and lowering costs.
Mosaic transforms WAN infrastructure from a complicated, build-your-own model into a simplified, fully managed, as-a-service model. When working with Mosaic, we become an extension of your organization. Using our specialized technical and business skills, and deep telecom and network industry knowledge, we provide the guidance you’re looking for, to achieve the best network connectivity, at the optimal cost. Our proven process-driven methodologies ensure your enterprise-grade network easily scales with your organization, keeps your users productive, provides seamless access to cloud services, and meets your organization’s other varied needs.
That Wasn’t in the Plan
SD-WAN will have two or more different circuits that support every branch office and remote site. If you have dozens of networks, IT needs to coordinate and manage the carriers, deal with existing contracts, and handle transition costs if MPLS is replaced with broadband or LTE connections. Managing bandwidth utilization if service providers oversubscribe their networks, and enforcing their SLA agreements can be stressful, and time-consuming.
SD-WAN uses a multi-function device at each branch office that is centrally managed through a controller with orchestration. Legacy routers, switches, security devices, and other equipment from different vendors may not easily support the new SD-WAN equipment.
Mosaic SoftWave SD-WAN as-a-Service avoids these problems by managing all of the technologies and relationships. We are a single point of contact for SD-WAN, multiple carrier circuits, and other network services. This encompasses planning, designing, and negotiating multiple carrier MSA’s and circuits. It also includes managing, monitoring, and supporting everything edge-to-edge, through our global NOC. We simplify things further, by including everything within a single, easy to understand invoice.
Underestimating Network Complexity
With today’s complex and ever-changing IT infrastructure, does it still make sense for your IT department to deal with all the challenges associated with network infrastructure? Today’s networks need multiple cloud access, hybrid or all Internet circuits from multiple carriers.
The software-defined technologies that drive today’s modern networks have made WAN infrastructure a strategic business advantage. Mosaic simplifies WAN infrastructure, increases performance and capacity, while reducing complexity and cost. We simplify the way in which WANs are procured and administered. Mosaic SoftWave SD-WAN as-a-Service empowers the WAN to be a conduit for business enablement, driven by a business-oriented orchestration layer and underpinned by automation and virtual services insertion.
Leveraging IT Skill Sets
Every organization needs their workforce concentrating on the tasks that will help them grow, and increase revenue and profitability. IT teams should be focused on the right projects and initiatives. Unfortunately, they often spend too much time doing menial and tedious tasks, manually configuring devices, and fixing problems. If your IT staff is competent and well organized, your business might be better served by having them work on more strategic programs that support business initiatives.
When IT resource overload occurs, technical personnel become stressed, human errors increase, and projects fall behind schedule. With new solutions, like SD-WAN, keeping IT teams trained and skills honed becomes an ongoing challenge. You can avoid falling into this trap, by working with dedicated SD-WAN managed service professionals.
Mosaic SoftWave SD-WAN service helps enterprises realign WAN infrastructure focus from a cost expenditure, to a highly adaptable and value-added function for supporting dynamic business initiatives. We remove the tedious and labor-intensive processes, and error-prone tasks involved with SD-WAN implementation, and managing multiple carrier circuits for all branch offices. Mosaic enables your IT staff to have more time to focus on developing solutions that help improve business results.
Enabling WAN Agility to Avoid Risk
Companies need capabilities that promote growth, support business opportunities, improve customer engagements, and more. If those capabilities aren’t available, or they are delayed, the business can lose opportunities to competitors.
Network agility allows a business to add, or change course, when they need it. An important aspect in an organization’s ability to be competitive, is their ability to provision and deploy networks, whenever, and wherever they need them. The cloud not only makes these processes practical, it provides agility by provisioning infrastructure in minutes or hours, rather than months. And just as quickly, those resources can be de-provisioned and changed. Responding to changing circumstances, quickly and cost-effectively, is what network agility is all about. Without it, a business can face negative consequences.
Network agility not only helps business move forward, it helps mitigate risk. Not only deployment risks, but security risks, too. As the threat landscape continuously changes, network security needs to change too. The speed with which a company handles a vulnerability, will determine its risk. When attacked, or suspicious behavior is detected, it is agility that thwarts it, or reduces its impact. Needless to say, there is great business value in leveraging network and security agility to reduce business risk.
A primary value-proposition of Mosaic managed services, is the ability to have all your WAN connectivity and cybersecurity needs taken care of by a managed service provider you can count on. As your business grows, you don’t have to find service providers, negotiate new carrier contracts and coordinate NOCs and SOCs around the world.
Choosing the Right SD-WAN Solution
Stand-alone edge SD-WAN – When SD-WAN is purchased as a stand-alone edge solution, it comes with a hefty long-term price and resource burden. Enterprise IT teams and network integrators are responsible for handling the complicated process of integrating everything. Unfortunately, these solutions don’t address the time and costs for integration, complex multiple carrier MSAs, multiple circuit deployments that can have delays, multiple carrier NOC support, and internal IT time and cost to deploy, monitor, and support everything, everywhere, in perpetuity.
Carrier SD-WAN service – When SD-WAN is acquired from a carrier, the enterprise is limited by the carrier’s network. The incumbent carrier will not bring competitors into their SD-WAN solution. This means they may not offer the lowest price and optimum network design. If the carrier has an outage, your network goes down, too.
SD-WAN combines multiple circuits, and automates business and network policies for multiple physical and logical paths. This improves application performance, and protects users from outages and brown-outs from any one carrier network. However, carrier SD-WAN offerings typically leave little choice but to use their networks. Unfortunately, this approach defeats the intended purpose of SD-WAN. Combining multiple carriers within the SD-WAN ensures a single carrier outage will not impact your business.
Mosaic SoftWave SD-WAN as-a-Service – By its very nature, SD-WAN encompasses multiple technologies and business interactions. Maintaining and coordinating these extended technical and business interactions has a direct impact on legal, purchasing, accounting and IT departments. There are multiple negotiations for carrier contracts, and multiple invoices and payments to track. When maintenance problems arise, there are different support organizations from each service provider. These challenges, and more, can quickly undo the promise of SD-WAN easing complexity and lowering costs.
Mosaic is a fully managed, single source provider of SD-WAN as-a-Service. This eliminates the additional time and costs that organizations incur, dealing with the multiplicity of technologies and business interactions that come with SD-WAN.
Lowering Technology Costs
Traditional networks come with large CapEx and OpEx costs. They have additional costs that you may not even be aware of, until you get the final invoice. Many organizations struggle with the dichotomy of WAN infrastructure solutions. They want centralized management, and reliable and agile application delivery. While at the same time, they grapple with the time and costs associated with multiple carrier contract negotiations, invoices and payments. And when maintenance and support issues arise, they must deal with different support organizations from each service provider NOC.
SD-WAN helps lower bandwidth costs by supplementing or replacing traditional networks with lower cost bandwidth using broadband, DIA Internet, wireless, etc. But, to understand the total cost to operate the SD-WAN solution, you need to know how much time (e.g. cost) IT and other departments spend managing the business relationships, diverse network circuits and underlay equipment.
Enterprises demand greater WAN performance and availability. SD-WAN can deliver, but not if IT is distracted by time-consuming manual tasks and complicated infrastructure issues. Mosaic NetworX eliminates the time and costs that organizations incur, dealing with the multiplicity of SD-WAN technologies and business interactions.
Mosaic is carrier agnostic, having negotiated wholesale contracts with over 400 carriers worldwide. This enables us to provide the best connections based on proximity, price, deployment time, and service quality. We leverage the multi-billion-dollar infrastructure of the big carriers. The difference is that we deliver carrier agnostic services, bundled under a single MSA and invoice, with our “bullet-proof” customer experience.
Optimizing Your IT Team
If you’ve migrated, or are in the process of migrating your data center infrastructure to a virtualized and software-defined IT infrastructure, it may be time to consider migrating your network infrastructure to an SD-WAN managed service.
Enterprises experience significant cost and time-to-market advantages when they outsource IT functions. They no longer have to struggle with under-performing and complex technologies that hold business back, and cause IT teams to spend undo amounts of time responding to user complaints and fixing network problems.
There are myriad elements that comprise WAN infrastructure, such as SD-WAN technology, virtual network functions (VNFs), network and security hardware/software, network transports (e.g. MPLS, DIA, broadband Internet, wireless, etc.), network management tools, telecom carriers, clouds and SaaS, corporate data centers, network operations centers, security operations centers and more.
With SD-WAN as-a-Service, enterprises no longer need to recruit and train highly specialized network engineers to perform largely manual and reactive processes to network issues. Instead, they can take advantage of network automation that aligns networking functions with business policies. SD-WAN as-a-Service supports business and IT staff to deliver seamless network connectivity for users accessing apps from cloud services and corporate data centers – anywhere in the world.
If you found this article of value, you can learn more by contacting a Mosaic representative at firstname.lastname@example.org.