A better way to SD-WAN

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The case for network managed services has long been understood, but its role takes on more importance when it comes to a complicated and evolving technology like SD-WAN.  Independent research highlights how important the role of a service provider can be, not just in the deployment of SD-WAN (2019 Trends to Watch: Network Services, Ovum), but in its continual improvement when delivered as a managed service.

To avoid the risks around doing it yourself – outlined in my previous blog – you need expert help. And you need to shop around. An existing provider might not be the best partner – they could trap in you in a legacy cul-de-sac or lack the objectivity to scope a truly future-proof approach to SD-WAN rollout.

Finding the right partner is paramount, otherwise you risk missing out on the key opportunities that SD-WAN enables:

  • Innovate with new, lower-priced services and drive cost-efficiencies
  • Achieve a single point of control, transforming your infrastructure with a full view across network, IT, cloud and security domains
  • Build infrastructure that you can constantly iterate and evolve

Comprehensive change is required to realise these opportunities, not just in the network but across IT, cloud and security. So it’s crucial that you find a provider who understands the complexity of SD-WAN technologies, that a one-size solution definitely doesn’t fit all.

BT can help maximise the opportunity with our Dynamic Network Services, offering a range of very different use cases, from quick connectivity that brings new branches onto the network to data analytics capabilities that ensure critical applications are always prioritised on the network.

We start by identifying a business case that’s appropriate to each client’s situation and goals before transitioning them to a software-defined virtual environment. Essentially, it’s a three-step journey:

1.      Select fit-for-purpose solutions

We identify and implement technologies that meet your immediate business goals. SD-WAN is an overlay technology so it’s only as strong as its underlying network. To have a truly agile network you will consider the advantages of single-function hardware as compared to ‘whitebox’ solutions that can host firewalls, routers, acceleration devices and application management tools on site or at our edge node.

2.      Evolve with the right resources in place

We make sure global infrastructure is aligned to longer-term objectives with added-value services on our platform that can include security functions, VoIP gateways, IoT agents and wireless LAN controllers. We provide end-to-end application performance visibility and control over any WAN technology – MPLS, dedicated internet access, broadband internet, etc. We can also provide virtualised network functions that remove the delays associated with customs at remote locations.

3.      Drive change from a position of control

We enable you to continually iterate and transform your network on a global scale. Our network service integration capabilities means multiple underlying network services can be centrally managed as if they were one, all controlled through a single pane of glass.  This creates a super-efficient operational model with command and control over edge devices, wrapped in end-to-end security that goes beyond traditional measures such as firewalls to protect against a fast-changing threat landscape.

BT’s Dynamic Network Services give customers more choice, security and resilience, facilitating the rollout of future networks that support digital transformation projects, always keeping our clients ahead of market and user demands.

We remove barriers to adopting SD-WAN and smarter networks, providing the application intelligence to automatically ensure users always experience optimal performance.  We build networks around expected user experience and then control it. End-to-end quality of service, independent of the underlying network, delivers the best experience to every location, every time.

Check out our related reading:

1.      Ovum report, 2019 Trends to Watch: Network Services

Discover what network trends to look out for in 2019 with Ovum’s latest report covering SD-WAN, NFV, hybrid networking and cloud connectivity services.

2.      The CISO & CIO’s guide to securing networks in the digital age

Here, we outline how security will become a key component of your future network strategy.

Steve Coakley