SD WAN Carrier Comparisons
The July 26, 2016 Tuesday call brought Telarus VP of engineering Tyler Smith for an SD WAN carrier comparison. The entire call recording can be found here.
SD WAN Baselines
There are five major points that should be understood before diving into carrier comparisons. You can also review SD WAN in depth with our blog What SD WAN Is and What It Is Not
- Replace high-cost MPLS/private bandwidth with low cost internet connections
- Respond in real time to network performance and route around issues
- Easy to deploy and maintain
- MPLS-like performance of real-time and important applications (QOS)
- Performance visibility and network monitoring
The prioritization should be customizable to the types of traffic that need to take precedence in your environment, and SD WAN is a great option. The carrier options available though are going to have different added value that will make each solution better fits for certain types of customer needs.
SD WAN Overlay Providers
Freewire is an overlay solution in the SDN space. They are intended to be an MPLS replacement. They are network agnostic and are able to overlay their solution over any type of bandwidth. They use a velocloud backend and include a firewall option as well as VPN encryption.
Bigleaf is architecturally similar to Freewire but they are not specifically addressing the firewall component. They are great for a customer with a specific firewall requirement. They will focus their solution on route and performance optimization. They also don't have the capability, by design, to do VPN encryption, so that functionality is kept in your firewall.
Vonage is using SDN technology in conjunction with their hosted VoIP platform for improved performance across the internet. If a customer did not have an SD WAN solution and they deployed that over the top, virtually all of their performance issues would go away. SDN has a way of making hosted voice work very well. It is important to note that Vonage uses the same back-end as Freewire.
Earthlink has a similar solution to the Freewire because they have the same backend. But they are unique because they can also provide bandwidth along with the SDN solution. They definitely fit the magic five bullets mentioned earlier. Their customer service is also top-notch. Earthlink is agnostic and makes a good MPLS replacement. They can leverage their network assets to give the customer the best of both worlds and really accommodate a customer's needs.
This is going to be higher-end solution, since they use the technology to augment more of their MPLS environment. As a managed service, their SD WAN solution is a great fit for a more sophisticated customer and larger network. They will augment a customer's MPLS environment and layer on broadband access, 4G access, an SDN managed solution, and provide the customer with more reliability and capabilities.
CenturyLink is now in the SD WAN space and uses a different type of technology. They can also leverage the best of both worlds where the customer has MPLS and can bring in an SD WAN solution. Or, they can bring in the SD WAN solution independent of an MPLS environment. They can also do a hybrid approach or migration from MPLS to this type of environment. They use a software from Versa Networks that has a good reputation in the industry and been outlined as an up-and-coming player from Gartner.
MetTel has leveraged a Velocloud backend and can also provide an SD WAN solution. If you already have customers that use their bandwidth, this provider would be a good option to layer on SD WAN.
SD WAN Competition Hardware Solutions
As an agent in the partner community, you may have customers that already have relationships with some of these competitors and it is important to know about them. These providers are hardware driven with their own SD WAN solutions. Here are a few of the bigger players to note:
- CISCO IWAN
- CISCO MERAKI
- Silver Peak
- Nuage Networks
- FatPipe Networks
The network and hardware services are continuing to merge so competing VARs will be bringing these options to the table.
SD WAN Value Propositions
There is a lot of value in this space. If you are not having this conversation with your customers, then someone else will. Today there are more provider options and most are headed this direction because of the ability to deploy quickly, ease of management, the cost savings, the ability to scale up and down and many more. It is the new cloud for WAN networks. Explore your options and start those conversations to build your revenue.
New Brandable SD WAN Marketing Slick Available to Telarus Partners!
New in our Revenew self-service tool is our SD WAN marketing collateral. If you are a Telarus partner and do not already have a free account setup with Revenew, go here to get started: http://www.telarus.com/marketing-slicks.php