Managed networks in an SD-WAN environment differ from traditional WANs in several key ways. Here are some important considerations:
- More telemetry, more circuit-level metrics: Most SD-WAN solutions incorporate continuous monitoring of all paths on the network, providing detailed insights into the health of each circuit. This can be helpful when documenting performance issues with ISPs, but careful planning is required to avoid information overload
- Easier network-wide changes: Enterprises can leverage the template and profile capabilities of SD-WAN solutions to implement changes across hundreds, or even thousands of devices at once. Need to prioritize a new business application? A single policy can be applied to all devices. Add a new location? It will automatically become part of the VPN. This increased efficiency can enable the enterprise to become more responsive to the needs of the business
- Extend visibility and control beyond the network perimeter: Virtualized SD-WAN edge devices, deployed in public cloud environments like AWS and Azure, are becoming increasingly common. This can help enterprises treat these environments as an extension of the existing WAN, with the same policies, QoS rules and visibility that they have at on-premise locations
Some other topics to consider in a managed SD-WAN environment include the following:
There are options for the ownership of the deployment and management functions in an SD-WAN environment. Coevolve provides all flavors of these options to clients today
- Scenario 1: A complete un-managed environment
- Scenario 2: A complete managed environment
- Scenario 3: A co-managed environment
Coevolve’s default service model is Scenario 3. Coevolve has applied these scenarios to its life cycle approach as follows:
API-based integrated reporting
A growing area of focus in SD-WAN management is the use of northbound APIs between the Orchestrator / Controller layer and existing network management systems in the enterprise. Unlike per-device management interfaces like SNMP, most major SD-WAN solutions provide the ability to extract network-wide metrics through a single interface, which can then be used to evaluate trends.
Coevolve’s Professional Services team uses this approach to build customized reports and dashboards for clients, in some cases combining data from multiple APIs to provide a consolidated view of the network.