During the past few years, we’ve continually provided our insights on SDWAN services. Nothing speaks louder than experience. Now that we’ve had time to work with various carriers and clients on these products we have some collective wisdom we would like to share with you.

1. Avoid the Bottleneck!
Some SDWAN providers restrict the bandwidth flow significantly through their devices. Sometimes this design is used to isolate and manage specific traffic for the network while leaving other activities free to travel outside the SD environment.

Priority Only SDWAN Solution

This is fine if you only want to use SDWAN for specific applications.
However, if you’re business is looking to combine ISPs for overall increased speed then this is not the design or solution for you.

This design segments puts general internet activity outside the SDWAN’s control.

If you’re looking for increased speed and availability here’s what we recommend.
Select a service provider offering tiered speeds at competitive prices. (We have a number of providers to choose from!)
In our example we’re using a broadband provider and an Ethernet Over Copper (EoC) provider.

To determine the best fit, we recommend using the following formula:
Add the download and upload speeds for both providers and then divide by 2 (2 ISPs).
In our example, our totals come to (160/2) = 80Mb.
(Most carriers don’t have an 80Mb tier so you will probably need to select the next highest level which will probably by 100Mb.)
Now, your throughput is large enough to accommodate all your activities regardless of priority.

Aggregate Bandwidth SDWAN Solution

2. Avoid Downtime!

SDWAN, like any technology, cannot guarantee 100% uptime. That’s a marketing myth.
In our own experience, devices do go down from time-to-time.
If an SDWAN device is interrupted the effect can be catastrophic to the network.
Why? The SDWAN device becomes the central apparatus in your network controlling input and output for the entire organization.

If your SDWAN link goes down both of your ISPs are cut off from your network. Bummer.

Here’s the solution . . . Hardware Redundancy

Fortunately, there are service providers who realize this potential hazard.

And, there are some inexpensive redundancy options available to ensure your business uptime.

Some providers offer a warm spare.

The warm spare solution uses a second SD device onsite that you can swap out for a defective unit.

This is the lowest cost option and allows you minimal downtime.

However, if you feel your organization can’t be down or desires the comfort of an automatic failover, then a High Availability back up is your best bet.

In this scenario, the second SD device is connected to your primary one.

The primary device is feeding the second one updated information and is ready to take over in the event of a failure.

This is also a nice option when you need to make upgrades or reprogram your primary device. The secondary device can take over service while your IT expert performs upgrades or changes on the primary one.

Hardware Redundancy Options

3. Remote Management.
How you can beat the convenience of remote access for device management?

The best SD solutions provide a web-based management tool for their clients.

(Don’t take this for granted – this isn’t a standard feature among all providers.)

With web access, you can monitor ISP performance.

There’s current and historical data that illustrates reliability (or lack thereof) with each ISP.

Further, if you need to change any parameters you have access and can make your own adjustments. Of course, you still have the option of calling tech support for moves, adds and changes.

Sample Screen Shot from Bigleaf’s End User Portal

So, consider these three points and have a conversation with RAM today.

These are just a few considerations. There’s a lot more to learn and take advantage of using SDWAN service for your organization.

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