Our Chief Technology Officer, Jamie Pugh, was recently interviewed by a partner on the top 5 considerations for SD-WAN solutions development. Here’s a short excerpt from the interview:

“For any businesses looking to implement an SD-WAN solution, choosing the right technology partner is key, obviously. A partner that has experience across multiple platforms, brings deep technology expertise, works with the customer hand-in-hand through a discovery process and ultimately determines the right platform for SD-WAN implementation.  We’ve seen customers being sold on a specific SD-WAN platform, go down the path of  implementation, then find the platform cannot be optimized for their requirements. Our methodology for SD-WAN solutions development takes all the stakeholders through a structured discovery process and we walk through, in detail, these 5 principle areas:

1) Existing infrastructure and performance:

What is the customer’s current network architecture and performance, down to the application level? What is their end goal for network and digital transformation? What is their end-user experience today and where do they want to be? With an understanding of the customer’s cloud strategy, we can incorporate OTT (Over-The-Top) SD-WAN platforms with Microsoft Azure Virtual WAN, AWS Transit Gateway, and GCP Cloud Hub to give them that carrier independent ‘private network’ over the world’s largest and best performing fibre networks.

Map

2) Applications:

What applications are the customer using? Application-aware routing is important. For example, there are applications out there that are very sensitive to failover. We want to create policies that will accommodate customer requirements and select the platform that can satisfy all of their application demands.

3) Security:

What is their current security topology? Do they already have a security solution in place or does the customer want to include it in their SD-WAN investment? Some platforms are firewall first with SD-WAN capability, others are SD-WAN first (pure-play) and adapt very well into a SASE or SIG cloud security strategy. Clarifying the customer’s security requirements up front can impact their decision on which platform they choose.

4) Connectivity:

What is their current network topology? What service levels do they expect from their SD-WAN network? What is their business continuity strategy? Would the customer want to incorporate wireless 4G/5G capabilities? Network selection can make a huge difference with regards to resiliency and performance. There’s always a trade-off between performance and cost, so helping customers evaluate the different connectivity options is key to meeting customer expectations.

Diverse circuit

5) Management

There’s a lot to consider here with orchestration and analytics. How does the customer plan on implementing and managing the solution going forward? For example, how are they monitoring the end-user experience across the SD-WAN solution? Globalgig can baseline the performance prior to the SD-WAN transformation and enhance solutions with better analytics to provide the data required to better tune the performance throughout the solution lifecycle. Proactive monitoring, which layers application performance on top of circuit monitoring and triage, can be a huge value to customers.

"At the end of the day, SD-WAN is not a simple, check-box configuration and deployment. All the marketing materials make it sound easy, but this has proven not to be the case. Even after the considerations mentioned, careful thought and planning need to go into the deployment phase, including integration into the customer’s applications at the data center and into the cloud. Another important deployment consideration is migration. If the customer has a full mesh environment, how do you ensure that legacy MPLS/DMVPN sites can still communicate with the sites that have been migrated to the SD-WAN solution? These are considerations that a proven partner will know to address upfront before proposing the SD-WAN solution.”

Jamie Pugh - Globalgig CTO
JAMIE PUGH
CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER
Jamie Pugh co-founded Unified Scale which was acquired by Globalgig in early 2019. Pugh joined Globalgig as Chief Technology Officer, responsible for global technology, infrastructure strategy, network architecture, and product innovation. Pugh has over 25 years of experience in networking and information technology. Prior to Unified Scale, Pugh served as the Vice President of Network Engineering for One Source Networks (OSN) and leadership positions at OuterNet and Symbiot.
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