What Did My Cable-Cutting Experience Teach Me About SD-WAN?

What Did My Cable-Cutting Experience Teach Me
About SD-WAN?

 

In Spring of 2020, my family and I bought a new home and moved to a nearby area of suburban Atlanta, after a decade living in the previous house. As part of the fresh start – and aside from refinishing all the floors and a full kitchen makeover – I decided to do thorough evaluation of our television and streaming media service subscriptions. At our old home, we had gotten accustomed to getting internet and TV through the cable company, but it’s 2020 and cable cutting is the norm. We had already added a few streaming services so why not combine them, look at packages and how to access them, and maybe save a little money in the process of not paying for 200 cable channels that nobody ever watches?

How hard could it be? Well, after the wired internet connection and Wi-Fi router were in place, there was a quagmire of technology to navigate: various connection boxes, dongles, smart TVs, Wi-Fi extenders. Configuring connectivity itself was a major hurdle, and that was before understanding what software could work on what device, and how the controllers would work for what to stream which services. Verifying the whole thing was secure took another huge block of time committed. It was crazy!

I realized through this experience that this is exactly what enterprise IT decision makers go through today with network modernization.  They generally went with the prevailing technology of private MPLS for Wide Area Network connectivity over the last 20 years or so, usually via a carrier-provided, fully-managed solution that they didn’t have to think about – just pay for it and forget it.  They maintained their own Data Centers or collocated their own equipment and connected privately.  However, now there are many emerging variables (i.e. locations of the workloads and applications) and new technology (i.e. secure SD-WAN, virtualization) that together create an opportunity to optimize connectivity and functionality at a lower price point.  The lower cost and/or higher bandwidth desired may be the initial drivers…

“Let’s save money, let’s connect to the services we want, and not pay for bandwidth we don’t use.”  Sounds a lot like my situation when evaluating TV/streaming services, right?  The key in the SD-WAN network evolution is the next step of design planning to help the execution. 


Let's save money...

Let's connect to the services we want...

And, not pay for bandwidth we don't use...


SD-WAN solutions involve multiple edge devices, some which are open white-box, and many of which support a variety of over-the-top Virtualized Network Functions.  Security and optimization are huge factors and being able to support multiple software packages could be a significant variable to consider.  How will an enterprise manage and support the burgeoning multi-cloud connectivity, and gain the visibility to be able to understand and accommodate application traffic throughout the endpoints of the WAN?  Answering all of these questions and more through a discovery meeting will help determine a cohesive SD-WAN solution, considering all the possibilities while choosing simple, effective options.  With the right partner you can see the realities through all the marketing to the solution elements that will work for your environment.  

We help large businesses migrate every day.  Move your network forward with help from ChoiceTel! Contact us at info@choicetel.com or call (800) 815-3320 to speak with a consultant.

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