What is Managed SD-WAN?

Global reach is a business necessity. Add remote work capabilities and the justification for maximum network security and connectivity makes good business sense. As a result, traditional networking options from a WAN does not guarantee optimal results for your company. However, managed SD-WAN (software-defined wide area network) is an option that promises improved connectivity, remote capability, routing and ironclad security. Partnering with a service provider ensures your company enjoys a smooth connection with reduced risks and quality service. This article will tackle the question of what is managed SD-WAN.

What is a Managed SD-WAN Provider?

A managed SD-WAN provider is an organization or service that provides a software-defined wide area network solution to businesses. This type of service offers an alternative to traditional WAN solutions, which are often expensive and difficult to manage. 

With an SD-WAN solution in place, companies can save money on network infrastructure costs, reduce complexity in network management, and improve application performance. Additionally, SD-WAN solutions provide a more reliable connection between physical offices, allowing businesses to connect their locations without the need for expensive hardware or complex configurations. 

Providers usually offer end-to-end managed SD-WAN services such as network design and implementation, security, ongoing maintenance, and 24/7 monitoring of your entire network. Typically, you sign up for an annual or biannual contract, referred to as a service level agreement, that outlines how services are delivered to all locations.

This revolutionary technology works to streamline processes while also saving your company time and money. End-users no longer rely solely on MPLS but instead can access applications via the cloud.

The service provider may also supply the hardware, software and transport services it takes to connect all of your locations.

How SD-WAN Differs from MPLS

Traditional routing and networking methods such as an MPLS or VPN present challenges to operating in various locations. Each site depends on its own connection setup for WAN. This leads to separate management protocols and lacks business connectivity.

On the other hand, SD-WAN becomes the centralized conductor for linking all locations and data together. Keeping control in one place, by a single service provider, increases agility. Getting more bandwidth or connecting to a new location is easy to accomplish.

Achieve Digital Transformation

Competing within today’s business world requires the ability to adapt to growing changes in your industry. To do this, your IT infrastructure must work with your business processes instead of against them.

Robust managed services for SD-WAN help to ensure your company experiences a successful digital transformation. Key elements include:

  • Strategic protection of data assets that travel through the network with monitoring services for intrusion detection and prevention
  • Digitization of services that maintain compliance with security regulations
  • Steering traffic that accesses business applications stored in the cloud to free up bandwidth
  • Disappearing security perimeter so users and end-users can access business applications anywhere, anytime

Reason Your Company Needs Managed Solutions

Providers that offer managed services for a software-defined wide area network can help you cope with a sometimes unpredictable environment. Having a defender on your side is good for combating hackers or system malfunctions when intelligent connectivity matters for your network.

With a dedicated team of experts, you have the assurance of consistent monitoring and secure performance across all business locations. A service provider maintains 24/7 technical support to promptly deal with problems.

They also take the load off your internal IT team so it can focus on other business-centered projects. Consider these additional reasons why your company can benefit from managed solutions.

Security Measures

By design, SD-WAN solutions have built-in security protocols. With end-to-end security, employees have confidence that only end-users will access data or a particular application. Additional comprehensive security features help your company strengthen crucial protocols.

For example, a service provider uses this process to protect the traffic that flows between multiple locations. The provider manages the software-defined wide area network with a secure tunnel.

Virtual firewalls work in real-time to block malware or other malicious threats. In addition, you can set access restrictions to certain websites for customers and remote workers.

Optimize Bandwidth

Upgrading to a software-defined wide area network also ensures your feature and content-rich business applications do not ruin the user experience. This solution prioritizes the routing of incoming traffic for each application. A provider maintains a singular focus for managing this process.

As a result, users benefit from optimized bandwidth. So, your next teleconference or Zoom call can proceed uninterrupted.

Lower Operational Costs

The expense of operating a business worsens when you have to pay for repeated technology changes. Factor in lost productivity costs from an inefficient network or security breach. Your next logical choice is to find a convenient and predictable managed service.

You can also choose network elements and technologies that support your business needs. That way, you are not paying for services that do not advance your objectives.

Improvement to Business Applications

Improvements to how your business applications perform are another consideration for choosing a managed solution. Your service provider will set quality-of-service thresholds that support what you need to accomplish. This inexpensive process enables your company to take full advantage of strong connections.

Beyond connectivity, it also uses effective load balancing by placing the most-used applications on less busy channels. Users work with reliable information and avoid data losses.

By monitoring the real-time performance of business applications, the managed provider can develop reports to help you with future capacity planning.

Ease of Scalability

Not being able to scale up network resources can hinder expansion plans. Cost and capacity considerations may not match application requirements. However, a software-defined wide area network allows you to expand your company easily.

Online connectivity enables a rapid network configuration within a new location. Furthermore, managed solutions give you the flexibility to adjust to evolving market changes.

Centralized Management

Managed SD-WAN services provide a centralized management solution instead of manually re-engineering device connections. Typically, your service provider gives you access to a real-time view of:

  • Network connectivity performance
  • Traffic flow
  • Bandwidth usage
  • Device health

Having a 360-degree centralized management dashboard also keeps you abreast of issues that need immediate attention.

Give Your Company the Best Network Solutions

Meriplex understands the different networking needs of organizations, even if they operate within the same industry. That is why we offer customized managed SD-WAN solutions that also support in-house IT departments.

We work with you to ensure your company can quickly adapt to the demands of competing locally and globally. Our team of experts brings in-depth knowledge for managing your entire network.

If you are ready to learn more about how we can help with application problems and sluggish networks, contact us today.