Best Practices for Evaluating an SD-WAN Platform

At this point, your organization has decided to move forward with software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN). As a service provider, SD-WAN will enable your company to provide reliable and consistent connectivity, and boost profits.

Now that you’re in the late stages of the buying process, though, you need to move very carefully. The service that you purchase will have a big impact on your business model, and ultimately your bottom line. Unfortunately, many service providers are learning the hard way that not all SD-WAN solutions are created equal.

The SD-WAN market, after all, is growing by leaps and bounds — a CAGR of 32.7 percent actually — and there are countless new solutions coming to market from vendors who care more about capitalizing on the buzz than taking care of their customers.

“The concept of what SD-WAN is can sometimes be lost in translation because everyone has a different definition of it. When selecting a vendor, what matters most isn’t the feature list or the marketing buzz. What should be most important to any enterprise customer or service provider is the specific use cases you’re looking to have SD-WAN solve. Focusing on your actual customer needs will help you gain clarity into which providers you should be looking at or if these providers are indeed the right solution for you.”

-Logan Campbell, VP Sales at Turnium

Unfortunately, the technology has been warped over the years. Now, most vendors are selling binding SD-WAN services that come with significant restrictions. So keep your guard up when shopping for SD-WAN, and make sure you aren’t getting the short end of the stick from a vendor.

Here are some tips to help you along your buying journey:

Stay in control

Most SD-WAN vendors will try to sell you SD-WAN on their terms. You’ll need to comply with their branding, infrastructure requirements and pricing. If you’re not careful, you could wind up forking over a large chunk of your profits to an SD-WAN vendor, instead of pocketing the returns—essentially making SD-WAN far less profitable than it can be.

Your best bet is to opt for a true white label, closed source, open architecture platform that will allow you to control everything from the logo on the box to the markup. Once you buy SD-WAN, that connectivity should be yours to control and sell as you please—no questions asked.

Take a deep dive into security

Almost every SD-WAN provider will tell you that their solution can improve WAN security. Security is one of the biggest buzzwords in SD-WAN marketing today. The truth, though, is that may vendors fall short with their security offerings. In the process, they expose their customers to a variety of threats.

One recent study, for instance, identified roughly 5,000 SD-WANs with vulnerable management interfaces. Most of the SD-WAN systems identified in the study had vulnerabilities related to insecure configurations and outdated software.

That being said, try and get a feel for the vendor’s commitment to security and platform maintenance. Don’t be afraid to ask hard-hitting questions about how they will keep your customers safe. Deal breakers should include multiple tunnel encryption ciphers, packet-level link balancing and built in traffic authentication.

Simple management is key

SD-WAN is supposed to make life easier for your global IT team. The platform shouldn’t be burdensome, or take weeks or months to learn.

Ideally, the platform will offer a cutting-edge dashboard that supplies continuous monitoring for circuit and tunnel metrics, and both real-time and historical reporting. The platform should also enable your company to set up different permission sets for team members, partners and customers, and make simple changes and configurations to customer WANs.

Ask about uptime

Availability is another major buzzword that SD-WAN vendors will throw at you. Again, though, this is something that you should investigate thoroughly. You don’t want to take any chances when it comes to ensuring customer uptime and performance.

Look for a solution that will combine links from a variety of ISPs, in order to establish true carrier redundancy.

The system should also be able to detect even the slightest drop in performance and proactively switch to another link to ensure maximum throughput.

Turnium’s approach to SD-WAN

Turnium offers a cutting-edge, white label SD-WAN platform built by service providers, for service providers. With Turnium, you can create WANs from multiple connections, service providers and geographies while retaining full control over all aspects from marketing to pricing and everything in between.

Turnium can also guarantee reliable business continuity, meaning your customers will continue to receive service no matter what happens in their local environments.

Here at Turnium, we want to help you find an SD-WAN solution that’s right for your company, which is why we’re committed to providing education and assistance. So don’t hesitate to reach out to a member of our team today with questions.

For more information, click here.

Here’s what some of our Customers have to say about us

Turnium was the only SD-WAN vendor we looked at that gave us licensing to run everything on our own infrastructure and equipment. Our IP has leveraged a lot on our own infrastructure and equipment so we wanted to make sure that anything that we selected was going to be 100 percent owned and controlled by us.
-Alex Ball, VP at QX.Net

“With Turnium we’re able to extend our MPLS networks and our WAN into areas that are geographically difficult. No other vendors I’ve seen are able to give you aggregate throughput of multiple connections while preserving IP Space.”
-Dan Rink, CEO at iTel

“We’re not re-selling Turnium’s service, we’re licensing it and selling it to our customers as our own. From a technical standpoint this was very appealing to us when we were deciding on an SD-WAN platform.”
-Mike Gach, VP Sales at Tierzero