Bring Your Own Network With SD-WAN – But Should You?

As businesses drive to gain advantage in the highly competitive climate we find ourselves, the technology that a business uses can have a massive influence in ensuring that they can provide the best services, in the quickest way, whilst remaining stable, secure and profitable.

If you’ve been working out whether your business systems cut the mustard for a sustainable future – or whether you need to level up, you will have undoubtedly come across people talking about SD-WAN.

Software-defined wide area networks are raising the game in business connectivity with 60% of enterprises expected to have adopted the technology by 2023*.

How is this aligned to your business?

One of the main drivers behind the growth of SD-WAN is the ability to choose which carrier or internet service provider you want to use to connect each of your sites. In traditional private networks there is sometimes the suspicion, especially in the US, that by taking services all from one network provider, you may be paying over the odds because you can’t shop around and get the best value.

However, SD-WAN solutions pool connectivity services together as one interface. The appliance doesn’t care whether the connectivity provided is public or private, it simply looks at how applications are performing and whether they are reaching their destination. This, combined with the adoption of public cloud-based applications, can free businesses from exclusive supplier relationships and enable you to simply source the cheapest connectivity, because the underlying network “doesn’t matter”.

SD-WAN, network, connectivity, bring your own netowkr
So cheaper services, and a more reliable network performance. A no brainer?

Whilst it is absolutely true that SD-WAN can optimise application performance across its dominion, it is still constrained by the capacity and capability of the underlying connectivity services it is overlaid on. It cannot deliver additional bandwidth, nor make a network over perform.

Then, there are the more human sides of a disparate supply chain to consider too. You need to account for the additional management overheads of multiple suppliers with every vendor likely to have their own specific SLA’s, change processes, CPE, service credits, contact numbers, email addresses, billing processes etc. This means that savings can be quickly off set by increased overheads across a business.

There is also the loss of economy of scale to consider by introducing more vendors who all have smaller spends, and will be less invested in providing discounts on a smaller share of your business.

Lastly, most businesses have been buying a managed service for networking for many years now, and have moved away from needing to have that specialist knowledge in house. Building your own SD-WAN solution means reinstating that specialist expertise, and accounting for the costs that come with that.

So, whilst SD-WAN can set you free from a single connectivity vendor, is that something you really want as a business?

For even a reasonably sized network, it’s very easy to spin up a cottage industry to service this new world, leaving you responsible for all routing and security policy and changes, as well as multiple vendor management.

By choosing a partner that has relationships with all of the major networks you can benefit from a standardised experience. That’s why we work with Virtual1 to deliver the choice of 9 key connectivity providers, with a uniform SLA and market-leading service experience.

This means that we can give you the ideal foundation for your network, be that a traditional MPLS, or SD-WAN-enabled one. We deliver a commercially compelling solution, with the best of what is available at each of your sites, without the overheads of supporting and maintaining all of the relationships.

As highlighted above, it’s not just the underlying infrastructure that matters, we are also specialists in networking and security, which is essential for running a high-performing solution.

So don’t bring your own network – let us help you Be Your Own Network, by leveraging the integration, relationships and years of experience in networking we have already invested in. Contact us directly on or call 01623 687750.

* Fortinet – Running an SD-WAN assessment playbook
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