With the global reach for remote work and businesses becoming common, having security and maximum connectivity from everywhere in the business is vital.
However, networking and traditional options won’t just cut it. The security is either questionable or spotty.
So how can you get network connectivity, remote capability, and ironclad security for your business without affecting the quality of service?
The answer to this is using SD-WAN. Enjoying a better connection, which enhances productivity and reduces risks, doesn’t need to be complex. For you to get the most out of better connection, it will be thoughtful to look for the best business WAN provider:
1. Consider the Security
Well, network security shouldn’t be taken as an afterthought. As a business owner, you need to work with the best SD-WAN provider who prioritizes delivering services.
SD-WAN usually features a secure tunnel with encrypted traffic. This provides an additional layer of protection.
However, providers should consider adding other layers of security, including automated threat detection, remediation, alerts, managed firewalls, and 24/7 monitoring, to name a few.
Security should also be policy-based, centrally managed, and easily connected with other networks to provide maximum protection to every networking point.
2. Look at the Service Provisioning and Ease of Deployment
The ideal scenario in this situation is basically a solution, which provides service provisioning. This means you don’t require technical skills to get a new location running with network and internet services.
You don’t have to require or send on-site personnel. Service provisioning must be automated. Anyone in the business department should take vCPE/uCPE devices and plug them with MPLS and the internet.
The uCPE needs to automatically complete and request deployment configuration as well as connect with the core and cloud network to provision service.
Working with the right business WAN provider who provides other networking and internet services, which may get integrated into SD-WAN, will make it efficient and cost-effective because of sharing information across networking services.
3. Check the Application Metrics
You won’t just need to monitor the performance of the network and the internet. You will as well have to check the application metrics. Make sure your provider has a sort of application performance management dashboard that can monitor your applications.
Most providers now provide metrics, which are close to application performance monitoring. For instance, they may track transaction times and service response times.
Well, application-layer visibility may not be mandatory. However, this capability makes troubleshooting issues much easier with an application monitoring insight.
Providing application-level metrics may as well save you time when it comes to fixing problems with an application team or SaaS provider.
4. Have a Look at the Features
When your business is investigating and comparing providers to work with, consider the features that come with their network and internet services.
One feature you shouldn’t overlook is the full replacement of the existing branch office functionality. Basically, a modern branch router offers a lot of functionalities, including logs, event management, SNMP, NetFlow, dynamic routing, and IPSec VPNs. Other features you might want to look at are:
- Path control
- Transport independence
- Application optimization
- Zero-touch deployment
5. Determine Segmentation of Network
Apart from routing for a mission-critical application and carving out bandwidth, you may want to micro-segment the network the way you want.
You should look at network segmentation if you give network access to your suppliers, clients, and other business associates.
Basically, this segmentation will allow you to manage the internet’s connectivity dynamically and simultaneously give you the capability of isolating traffic.
If third-party internal devices or networks become compromised, you may want the capability to quarantine devices as well as prevent issues from spreading to other networks.
6. Prioritize Accessibility
The use of cloud grew 25% in 2022 to hit new record highs, and it is not showing any sign of declining. On average, businesses use unique cloud services for platforms, solutions, and apps.
According to Forbes contributors, cloud migration is among the main drivers of adopting SD-WAN. Those contributors also say that businesses are adopting SD-WAN so as to optimize the performance of cloud and physical environments.
The SaaS technology model offers more benefits than physical deployments; technically, SD-WAN is no different.
Deployment of SD-WAN through a reliable cloud provider will allow your business to realize a compelling use in cases like granular policy-based network administration, hybrid WAN, and hybrid cloud optimization.
But achieving these advantages requires you to look for a reliable SD-WAN business provider who will always be accessible to customers.
7. Evaluate Proactive Management
One of the first things to evaluate when looking for the best provider is to know what type of management they provide. A reliable provider with fully-managed and proactive monitoring services will make sure there is always someone to keep watch of your network.
A good provider who provides proactive 24/7 monitoring also has a team of well-trained engineers and technicians to alert you when issues arise and monitor your business network.
This aims to guarantee QoS (quality of service) and ensure your network performs as required. In addition, this helps to improve bandwidth and steer traffic to optimize an application’s performance.
8. Have a Look at the Global Orchestration
Typically, orchestration may simplify changes, deployment, and provisioning of a network in order to enhance global advances in the infrastructure.
As far as SD-WAN is concerned, orchestration will allow you to automate network tasks, troubleshoot problems, and monitor network performance with little to no disruption.
You can also address issues more often without the need to visit sites physically, as you will have access to software-defined network solutions.
But if you must visit sites, it will be best to work with a reliable provider who may quickly respond irrespective of geographical barriers.
The Bottom Line!
At the end of the day, the network and internet solution you opt for can drive improvements in IT and within the business enterprise.
Many providers will guarantee you that their products are the best. However, they only do so assuming that every client is created the same.