SD-WAN: Five Steps To a Successful Deployment

After successfully running a pilot or proof-of-concept program, the next step is to determine how to deploy and scale your SD-WAN Deployment Services to meet your network transformation goals.
After you have tested and selected your SD-WAN solution, the next step is to plan a complete


After successfully running a pilot or proof-of-concept program, the next step is to determine how to deploy and scale your SD-WAN Deployment Services to meet your network transformation goals.

After you have tested and selected your SD-WAN solution, the next step is to plan a complete implementation. There are many things to consider. First, you need to choose the type of deployment locations that can include branches, regional centers, and manufacturing sites, for example.


Then you should assess your global connectivity capabilities, paying particular attention to countries where ISP availability and performance are problematic. Finally, you need to choose your preferred service model: Do you want to manage your DIY, co-managed SD-WAN, or do it for me? Defining strong service level agreements (SLAs) with your SD-WAN provider is important to ensure the highest possible performance of cloud applications and satisfy your end users.


  1. Evaluate your global connectivity requirements


The average multinational company has 23 connectivity providers worldwide. This means that your procurement team must track and intervene different service contracts and invoices to resolve disputes in the national language of each country's ISP. Meanwhile, internal IT teams have to deal with multiple technical support organizations if they have problems. A company may find that some of its ISPs do not employ staff on weekends or schedule downtime for repairs at the worst possible time. The definition of technical service can vary from ISP to ISP, making your solution more heterogeneous and difficult to manage.


When evaluating your global connectivity requirements, pay special attention to large tracts of land without an established telecommunications infrastructure connecting the branches to be connected. SD-WAN is a very attractive offer for countries like China and India, as well as for ASEAN countries like Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, but choosing the correct ISP and delivery model is crucial.


Orange uses SD-WAN gateways in China, where our overlay network has ended and a private network to reach the outside world. Some providers choose to run IPSec through the Chinese Great Firewall, but service provision is often sporadic, driving users crazy.


  1. Consider working with a managed service provider


An alternative is to work with an MSI (Multisourcing Service Integration) partner who manages ISPs and other service providers on your behalf. If there's an issue with an app, companies don't want to have to find out what's wrong. A single team that manages both the SD-WAN infrastructure and the registries, including global ISP peering relationships, addresses this problem.


For example, we check the performance of all Internet providers we work with on a monthly basis worldwide. We assess the criticality, scope, and recurrence of all service issues that arise. Global purchasing power gives us the ability to keep ISPs on the right track. We can even manage additional ISPs that a company is currently using.


  1. Choose from a DIY, DIY or Co-Management SD-WAN Service Model


Organizations can choose from a variety of flexible DIY (DIY), DIY, or SD-WAN co-management deployment models. In any case, access to a self-service portal to monitor service delivery and make changes to the network is invaluable in itself.


With the DIY approach, the company selects its SD-WAN routing devices, installs and configures them at each location, and manages a group of global ISPs. About 20% of companies choose a DIY route, compared to 80% of the managed SD-WAN route. This is the result of recent research by Frost Sullivan.


A fully managed SD-WAN service ensures that unique SLAs are established and ensures performance and connectivity, even in remote locations. Obtains a central point of contact and process for technical support, troubleshooting, and service-related communication among all ISPs. Billing simplicity and increased economic flexibility are ensured by the ability to add new regions, capabilities, application performance, and security services as needed. Organizations can choose from a range of additional security services, including cloud-based web traffic filtering, role-based access controls, and internal network segmentation.


Joint management is a popular model for service delivery for many companies. The managed service provider ensures that the infrastructure works properly and allows the client to perform some application and monitoring policy configuration tasks directly.


  1. Make sure you have a robust SD-WAN administration portal


It is important to be able to accurately pinpoint performance issues in the data center, SaaS application, network, and device stack. A unified administration panel provides visibility of application performance and the status of all connectivity links. Facilitates problem identification and reporting and ensures visibility of end-user performance. A portal should also allow you to easily make network changes and configure SD-WAN, Universal CPE (uCPE), or virtualized CPE (vCPE) devices at any branch worldwide.

  1. Think about your SLAs


SLAs that extend to SD-WAN Client Premise (CPE) computers are key. CPE repair or replacement time is critical to ensure continued operation of SD-WAN locations. A large global CSP has equipment stores, speeding up the opening of new branches and reducing downtime when problems arise. This means that the devices don't get stuck in customs and companies are not exposed to unexpected duties and taxes.


In an SD-WAN environment, your SLAs are also based on the performance of individual access connections, as well as the dynamic routing and load balancing capabilities of the SD-WAN solution. Make sure your provider makes optimal use of all available links at each location and supports different levels of availability and performance.


  1. Decide what features you need at each location


SD-WAN requirements generally vary by application and location, especially for the world's largest companies. With service chaining and micro-segmentation, companies can add WAN optimization and security features to specific regional locations where needed.


A company may need to connect a location in Asia to a cloud-based application hosted in Europe, which would require WAN optimization, which may not be necessary for more local locations. In retail, a simple SD-WAN overlay might be enough to provide quick access to and from stores to a cloud-based inventory system. However, video surveillance systems may require additional security to ensure tamper-proof operation. Point of sale (POS) terminals must be optimized and connections must be secured for fast transaction processing times and to comply with PCI regulations for credit / debit card processing.


Think about your long-term SDN strategy


When implementing your SD-WAN solution, it is important to think about your long-term SDN strategy. Connectivity is the soul of any digital company and must continually evolve. Over time, SDN tools will incorporate machine learning and artificial intelligence and will be able to predict network behavior in real time and identify potential problems before employees or customers notice them.