Software-Defined Wide Area Network is the newest technology to keep companies and enterprises connected. It’s an approach based on automated, programmatic processes to manage connectivity and network cost issues. More and more companies are now looking into SD-WAN procurement and making the switch.

A typical SD-WAN includes the following three elements:

  • business-grade IP VPN
  • broadband Internet
  • wireless services

However, reducing SD-WAN to these three elements alone amounts to oversimplification. SD-WAN has proven to be very effective in managing cloud-based apps and operations. It expands SDN or software-defined networking into a tool that organizations can utilize to smoothly build a smart hybrid Wide Area Network.

Today we will go through a few key things to check when evaluating SD-WAN. This will ensure that you are making the right decision and not leaving things to chance.

Your Use Cases

Evaluating SD-WAN

If you don’t have the right use cases, you may not benefit from SD-WAN services. Before buying SD-WAN services, make sure it fits your needs.

For instance, if you need inter-office VPN connectivity, you will have to look for providers who offer that feature. Not every SD-WAN provider would offer inter-office VPN connectivity.

If your use cases require active load balancing and not just failover, you will have to make sure your provider offers active load balancing.

The same complications come with remote workers. If a team is working remotely, they have the option of using software that runs on the laptop of a remote user or a special gadget for a one-person workplace. Here again, you must ensure that your provider offers all these features.

Number Of Locations And Devices

Number Of Locations And Devices

SD-WAN charges are either per device or per month, along with additional bandwidth and management charges. Before you sign up for SD-WAN, you must know how many locations and devices you want to cover.

It also helps to have devices with similar configurations across your offices. The more customization a device needs, the more you have to pay. All enterprise locations will have to use the same SD-WAN provider. If you don’t figure out the locations and devices, you will have a tough time managing your SD-WAN later.

Throughput And Bandwidth Requirements

bandwidth requirements

Depending on how resource intensive your office’s day-to-day activities are, you would need to choose higher/lower throughput and bandwidth.

Whether you are hosting your applications locally, through a private cloud service, or from a public cloud, will affect these needs. Additionally, you must consider what your employees and users are doing on those apps:

  • What are the application use cases?
  • When are they used?
  • What are the application use cases?

Depending on how you answer these questions, you can arrive at your bandwidth and throughput requirements.

Security Considerations

The most important aspect of an enterprise-grade service is security. Make sure you choose SD-WAN providers who offer top-notch security features. You can buy security services packed with your SD-WAN services, or go for third-party solutions. The choice depends on what your requirements are and the level of security requirements.


Before thinking about SD-WAN procurement, discuss these questions with your team and arrive at concrete answers. That would ensure you are making mistakes or wasting resources.

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