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Three things to know before deploying your SD-WAN.

Are you considering to deploy SD-WAN in your organisation? Mike Lloyd, VP of Business Development at Globalinternet shares three things you should consider before taking the SD-WAN path.

Are you going alone or taking a managed service?

Our research shows that about 60% of global enterprises are looking for a managed WAN solution so they can have one accountable party. The other 40% are assembling their own solution in order that each solution element is tailored as best-in-class for their specific needs.

There is certainly a heated debate in the industry about the merits of each approach – with proponents of both sides declaring their way is the only way! Some of the debates on-stage at the 2019 WAN Summit on this were quite lively! Reality is, of course, both are valid depending on the strategy of the enterprise.

Don’t forget the underlay.

OK, so the SD-WAN overlay grabs the headlines – and if you believe some of the hype, you might think any old connectivity underneath will result in pure happiness… but maybe marketeers get a bit too excited sometimes.

The underlay matters. Today’s IT architectures drive you towards Internet – no debate in that. But what Internet you source also matters. It matters for the quality of bandwidth you get. It matters for the scale of the local connectivity (don’t get sucked into tier 1 is best – think about it: tier 1 networks are not generally scale for local internet infrastructure). And, critically, it matters for the service wrap you will get – when it breaks or miss-behaves (and it will, just like MPLS does), how and when will it get fixed?

The middle mile also matters.

There’s no getting away from the fact that, no matter what you buy and from who, that the internet can offer a variable performance – we use the term ‘internet weather’ to describe stuff that comes and goes and is not always predictable. If you look at the data – almost all the weather occurs once you start hopping off your local internet AS onto adjacent or distant AS – what is referred to as the ‘middle mile’. The quality of peering is key of course but "weather" still happens.

So how do you eliminate this weather? Well, you can’t stop it - so you need to either accept it or avoid it. Accepting it may be OK in many but not all cases, and to avoid it, there are a few options. Some will use MPLS still (for a cost), some will use an SD-WAN solution with an in-built assured middle mile, and others will attach standalone middle-mile solutions to their SDWAN platform.

The underlay matters. But what Internet you source also does.

- M. Lloyd

At Globalinternet we are embedded in the offers of the best managed service providers out there - where our end-to-end digital approach and APIs help us become a true part of their ecosystem.

We are also sought out directly by those enterprises going alone, based on recommendations from the likes of Gartner research papers. Our singular specialism is sourcing, delivering and managing the best local internet services on the planet – the underlay, still sets us apart. And we can also help you fix the middle mile – with partner options for SD-WAN embedded middle mile and standalone middle mile solutions.