A move to SD-WAN no doubt carries some significant benefits. What most OZ businesses would like to know is how they can do it successfully, quickly and painlessly. SD-WAN migration challenges are real, and it takes some planning and thinking through to eliminate them.
The best course of action is to have a developed methodology before you start the migration and implementation process. If this is your first time coming in touch with SD-WAN technology, our advice to you is not to do things too quickly. This way, the process might take you much longer in the end.
When carrying out the migration from your traditional and outdated WAN to the modern and more capable SD-WAN, you will inevitably face certain challenges. These will be different for everyone. But, the return on investment for SD-WAN will be high if you end up taking the right steps.
Let’s delve deeper into the most common SD-WAN migration challenges enterprises face and the best methodology to bypass them.
Biggest SD-WAN Migration Challenges
It’s no wonder that so many organizations in Sydney and Melbourne are considering the transition to a Software-Defined Network. It improves the existing MPLS by giving it more agility, achieves cost savings, and adds more capacity and increased resiliency. However, if some basic protocols are not followed, the SD-WAN migration challenges might soon become too overwhelming and drive the implementation costs way up. Let’s see how to eliminate them.
Evaluating the Cost
We’ve decided to list the cost as the first challenge since this is usually the first thing many Spooster clients consider. What’s important is to set a realistic budget initially. This way you will prepare yourself for whatever runner-up costs appear during the migrating process.
Often, vendors offer basic SD-WAN packages, so more advanced solutions might cost you more. Sometimes, additional SD-WAN visibility tools and controllers can drive the price up. However, switching to an SD-WAN solution doesn’t make much sense without these.
Moreover, having too low of a budget means that you would need to put the migration process on hold until you procure additional funds, and end up without a functional WAN during that time.
Loss of In-house Reliability and Control
As is the case with any other network, SD-WAN is not perfect. It has its shortcomings, but if you take the right steps, you can overcome them successfully.
One of the issues you might experience is the loss of total control over an application. This might be an issue for your IT team as you will be moving your apps over to a host. This means that, in the case of a public Cloud migration, a third-party will take over a lot of administrative tasks.
However, this situation can easily be dealt with by incorporating a software that will give your IT team full access to the usage, traffic, and performance of Cloud apps.
Current Infrastructure as a Stumbling Block
You should consider and evaluate how your current infrastructure fits the SD-WAN image. Is it complementary and is it going to make the process easier or is it going to create additional SD-WAN migration challenges?
To stay on top of the situation, you should ask yourself several questions before moving on with the migration:
- How old is your infrastructure and what resources/technology does it use?
- How much traffic do your apps use?
- Do you have mission-critical workloads?
- How sensitive is your data?
- Can your apps perform well without the cloud?
This will help you determine whether you should go with a public Cloud migration or another solution. Private and Hybrid solutions will also give you security and money benefits, without the need to transfer to the public Internet.
Best SD-WAN Migration Methodology
Finding the right vendor and performing the migration to SD-WAN is not a straightforward task. There are numerous things that you need to pay attention to before, during, and after SD-WAN implementation if you want it to go smoothly and to be successful. Take a look below to learn about it or reach out to Spooster for help.
1. Reach Out to SD-WAN Providers
The SD-WAN market is booming with vendors claiming to have the best technology on offer. Each solution differs in terms of architecture, construction, how it’s managed, and how it cooperates with your existing infrastructure. Additional factors to consider include product maturity and comprehensiveness. It’s a good idea to ask for help when evaluating different options.
2. Confirm Compatibility with the SD-WAN Vendor
Why the first step was so important is because of compatibility. The current hardware and software that you use need to be compatible with the SD-WAN solution that is going to be deployed. It needs to be determined whether the new devices support the number of WAN links, what the throughput of the device is, its redundancy, etc.
3. If the Requirements do not meet…
If the SD-WAN solution does not meet the requirements set by your current networking environment, you should reach out to the sales team to discuss these and find a way to meet them. This will be of paramount importance for the future of your SD-WAN deployment.
4. Discuss each Site with the Vendor
When evaluating the migration process from WAN to SD-WAN, you should discuss each site individually with the vendor. This is because, oftentimes, different sites will have different hardware and software requirements and therefore demand a completely different approach.
5. Firewall Requirements
Evaluate what kind of firewall requirements you have. Do you need a centralized firewall security solution or do you require a per-branch option? SD-WAN provides centralized support for embedded security, which can eliminate the need for additional appliances in remote branches.
6. Categorize Your Traffic
The beauty of SD-WAN is that it can differentiate between high-priority and low-priority traffic and make sure that the high-priority traffic always gets enough resources. You should categorize your traffic from critical to least critical and set up SD-WAN policies according to the priority level.
7. Set up SD-WAN Policy for Internet Traffic
Determine which traffic you want to send through the public internet and which traffic you wish to send via an MPLS link. The most critical traffic, with high privacy value, should ideally not be sent via the public internet. On the other hand, less-critical data, such as social media, can be sent through the internet in order to free the resources for more important apps and data.
8. Test Failover
After configuring everything both hardware and software, you should make sure that the SD-WAN is working properly. Do it in stages by bringing down primary paths one by one and testing failover. Only when everything seems right and your network works well without the primary paths, your SD-WAN implementation is successful and over.
Spooster can help
We believe we’ve given you a good idea of what the migration process looks like and what SD-WAN migration challenges you can expect to encounter.
However, we can do even more for you by talking face to face and visiting your premises to evaluate which SD-WAN solution fits your current networking environment best. With our help, you can go through the migration process as painlessly as possible, with minimal obstructions of your workflow.
You can write to us directly if you have any questions or if you want to touch base with us and discuss the options in greater detail.