4 considerations when replacing managed WAN services with SD-WAN


The enterprise wide area networks are mission-critical resources for most enterprises. And when it came to managing and running the WAN, enterprises could choose between two distinct models: Do it Yourself (DIY) or managed WAN services. But with the evolution of SD-WANs, we’re seeing a new type of telco solution that merges elements of both capabilities.

Traditional WAN management models

With DIY, enterprise IT procures last-mile access at a location and deploys routers, WAN optimization, and network security appliances from several vendors. Continuous monitoring and management is done in house or via a managed service provider. In short, enterprise IT owns the complex task of maintaining, configuring and monitoring the WAN for availability and optimal performance.

In a managed WAN services model, a telco bundles all of the service components mentioned above and delivers them as a turnkey service. Managed WAN services sound like a great way to offload IT resources, but it comes at a steep price and some difficult tradeoffs. As I’ve pointed out in past blogs, telcos are biased towards the last mile services they offer. And, the complexity of building and running SD-WAN isn’t eliminated, it’s just hidden behind the carrier umbrella. All of which means enterprises end up funding the complexity of the carrier managed services in their monthly bills.

Managed SD-WAN and the impact on you

There are several implications to choosing to outsource SD-WAN to your carrier:

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