Choosing an SD-WAN solution provider: 11 factors to consider

A group of wooden blocks with person symbols on them connected by white lines against a gray background, symbolizing a network.When one of our clients decided to replace their on-premises PBX with a Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solution, they wanted to ensure the highest possible level of voice quality across all locations. To achieve that, the company decided to purchase an SD-WAN solution from the same supplier.

This case study exemplifies a larger trend of businesses turning to SD-WAN to support cloud solutions. Cloud adoption has driven higher levels of traffic that can overwhelm traditional WANs, creating a situation that’s difficult to manage and less than ideal for application performance and data security, according to the article “What Is SD-WAN?” from Cisco.

How SD-WAN works

SD-WAN solutions apply the concept of software-defined networking for internal data centers to a WAN. This type of solution establishes a single interface for various physical components by utilizing software abstraction to create a virtual network overlay. Compared to traditional WAN, SD-WAN streamlines network management, increases IT security, enhances application experience, and improves cloud solution performance, according to Cisco.

Those benefits have driven growing demand for the networking technology: The global SD-WAN market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 26.2 percent from 2022 to 2028, reaching $5220.9 million by the end of that period, according to a Market Reports World press release.

A blue line graph with bars steadily increasing in size. The caption states that the global SD-WAN market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 26.2 percent from 2022 to 2028, according to Market Reports World.

Finding the best SD-WAN providers for your business

If you’re looking to join the many organizations that rely on SD-WAN to boost efficiency and productivity, it’s crucial to carefully consider your options and select a supplier that can meet your unique requirements. When our trusted technology advisors help clients search for ideal networking solutions, they utilize an advanced tool to generate objective comparison matrices showing how various SD-WAN providers stack up against each other.

Here are some of the details included in those matrices that you should factor into your purchasing decision. Note: This is not an exhaustive list.

    • The provider’s primary line of business: What’s the supplier’s main area of focus? The marketplace includes providers that primarily offer SASE, managed services, WAN as a Service, SD-WAN, and more.
    • SD-WAN technologies: Which platforms does the provider utilize for their top offerings and support overall?
    • Geographic coverage: Can the supplier support all your locations?
    • Ideal client characteristics: Some SD-Wan solution providers specialize in companies with fewer than 4 locations in a single country, while others prefer to serve companies with thousands of sites internationally. Be sure to find a provider whose “sweet spot” matches your business.
    • SD-WAN architecture: Is it edge-, gateway- or POP-based?
    • Firewall offerings: Does the supplier also offer next-gen firewall solutions?
    • SD-WAN management options: Consider whether the provider can fully manage or co-manage the SD-WAN solution.
    • Number of years offering SD-WAN and customer sites deployed: How much experience does this supplier have?
    • Payment model: In terms of billing, what are your options (CapEx or OpEx) if you buy SD-WAN appliances or licenses from this provider?
    • Core network: Does the supplier maintain their own core network, and do they offer last mile circuits?
    • Third-party circuit aggregation: Does the supplier resell third-party circuits (e.g., LTE, cable, broadband, etc.)? If so, from how many carriers?

These are only some of the factors you should research before you make a final decision, depending on your specific situation.

If you’d like help finding the best SD-WAN providers for your business, our advisors can assist you. We can assess your needs, pain points, and goals and draw on our experience in the SD-WAN space to identify offerings that will position your organization for long-term stability and success. Additionally, because of our price parity guarantee, working with us won’t cost you more than going straight to the supplier.

Start your SD-WAN journey today by calling 877-599-3999 or emailing

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