In-life Management Benefits
As with deployment, SD WAN brings a number of benefits to the in-life management of a WAN. Again, while a large enterprise may see these directly, a managed service user may rely on the benefits being flowed down from the service provider in the form of a better service.
SD WAN reduces the admin overhead of change
With a traditional WAN, changes are often performed manually, which can be time consuming and introduce risks.
You may be able to use a Network Configuration Manager to automate this, but this tends to be for simpler changes. If a line of code is different per device, then this makes it difficult to use a configuration manager. You can also have differences in syntax across variations of IOS – so even when a command is the same in theory, you might still have to tweak per model or range.
SD WAN reduces the time needed to evaluate changes, the time taken to write the change and then the time taken to apply the change, especially if this needs to be applied to multiple devices.
Firmware updates with SD WAN will have been tested against the central orchestrator options and therefore there should be less unforeseen issues.
SD WAN improves application troubleshooting
For true application troubleshooting the entire application path needs to be understood – from application to user, across the LAN and the WAN. SD WAN doesn’t do this and to be fair neither does traditional WAN monitoring from most Service Providers. SD WAN will just look at router to router but not beyond.
However, SD WAN will do this element better and with more detail than most traditional WAN monitoring systems. This is because SD WAN monitors from a customer’s site to where their applications are based, whereas a remote monitoring system will monitor from the providers platform to the site, or from the providers platform to the where the applications are. SD WAN will do this for each site by default since these are the tunnels that have been set up.
At SAS we pride ourselves on our industry leading, award-winning monitoring platform. While we can monitor site by site and through the LAN to the servers and applications, we recognise that SD WAN makes it easy to set up. So, overall the best solution is both! You need the SD WAN monitoring to understand the granular detail on the WAN and SAS’ monitoring to extend this to the LAN, servers and application to see the entire picture.