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Charting your SD-WAN path

Nemertes Research helps you navigate choices with next-gen platforms by Emily Nerland, EMEA Channel Director 

A new generation of hyper-flexible SD-WAN solutions has solved the problems of early offerings, but with more options than ever before, the plethora of choices can overwhelm IT leaders. Knowing how to design your solution becomes a new central challenge. In navigating these critical decisions, many IT leaders prefer the guidance of research and industry analysts–folks like John Burke, Principal Analyst at Nemertes Research, who can summarise the 2020-2021 Next Generation Networking Research Study and turn insights into an action plan.

Here’s your chance to get a research-based SD-WAN decision making guide from the experts. Don’t miss Burke’s webinar on May 20, where he will explore how IT leaders should chart their path to SD-WAN, choosing a platform for both current and future demands

Problems with first-generation SD-WAN solutions

The problem with SD-WAN is that over the past three years standardised offerings haven’t accommodated the digital transformation journey. Modernising the network is a gradual change that requires incremental shifts toward cloud, virtual, and artificial intelligence technologies. IT leaders don’t rip and replace their network, applications, and management styles. They layer in new capabilities, blending the new into the old to iteratively redesign the infrastructure–moving bit-by-bit toward modern standards and new innovations. In years past, IT leaders looking to leverage SD-WAN were largely stuck with their decisions. They were also forced to choose between binary deployment options and punished with IT headaches if they wanted to make changes later.

All of that is starting to change now.

Questions that next-gen SD-WAN brings

New generations of SD-WAN solutions are far more flexible, offering technology choices, menus of features and services, and phased approaches that better facilitate the iterative progression of each unique digital transformation journey. But now, you need to know how to answer the questions that next-gen SD-WAN brings with it:

  • ●  Deployment:​ Do you want a do-it-yourself solution, a co-managed model, or a fully managed service? More importantly, what’s the difference and how do you select a model that gives you the benefit of all three?
  • ●  Connectivity:​ How would you like to mix and match your network access options? Do you have a prioritised list of your cloud applications and do you know how to map the myriad of access methodologies in a way that saves money without jeopardising service reliability beyond your comfort zone?
  • ●  Security:​ Do you want a multi-faceted SD-WAN device that includes next-gen firewalls or do you prefer cloud firewalls as a separate virtualised service? What are the performance implications and cost differences between these options?
  • ●  AI functionality:​ When it comes to AI-powered automation tools and virtual network assistants, do you want those capabilities built-in and accessible now or would you rather leave that for later?Key touchpoints for decision making

Whether you’re seeking over-the-top access to help lower costs or you prefer a fully managed service powered by AI automation, you will want to mold the network to your needs. Understanding the key touch points for decision making are critical today, and you don’t have to make those decisions alone. John Burke at Nemertes Research stands ready to show you his framework for forging a smart path to next-gen SD-WAN.


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