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Choosing Your SD-WAN Provider

Dr. Jim Metzler  (VP, Ashton, Metzler & Associates)

Date: Monday, October 5

Time: 9:00 am - 12:30 pm

Pass Type: Training + Conference, Training Only - Get your pass now!

Event Type: Training

Track: Networks & Infrastructure

Vault Recording: TBD

Choosing the most appropriate SD-WAN is complex in part because there are over 60 SD-WAN providers and they approach the market in several fundamentally different ways. One difference is that some SD-WAN providers offer a DIY solution while other offer a managed service. All SD-WAN solutions are influenced by the background of the provider; e.g., are they a provider of legacy solution or are they a start-up. Another key distinction is how the providers position their solutions. Do they view the WAN as a stand-alone component of IT? As being tightly linked with security? As being part of a tightly integrated end-to-end virtualized IT infrastructure?

Further complicating the task of choosing an SD-WAN provider is the fact that network organizations differ widely in terms of how they approach analyzing alternative solutions. Some use a highly detailed RFP process, some do relatively little written analysis, and most network organizations use a process that is somewhere between those two extremes.

Some of the key takeaways of this workshop are an understanding of:

  • How SD-WAN supports and is influenced by business and tech trends
  • The key components of an SD-WAN solution
  • The pros and cons of alternative evaluation processes
  • The pros and cons of DIY vs. managed solutions
  • The value prop of key vendors

In addition, the workshop will discuss questions that network organizations should include in their analysis of any SD-WAN solution, whether they are DIY or Managed. Those questions fall into the following categories:
  • Architecture
  • Technology
  • Security
  • Scalability and availability
  • Performance
  • Provisioning and deployment
  • Visibility and management
  • Cost

The workshop will discuss also discuss the following categories of questions that are unique to providers of managed services:
  • Services provided
  • SLAs
  • Management and operations
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Cost structure