The Top 3 Myths Around SD-WAN for Government, Debunked

Government Solutions
Network Management

Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology is being deployed throughout organizations at a rapid rate and overall spending in this category is expected to reach $4.5 Billion by 2022. Early adopters of this tech are already benefitting from the improved performance, availability and reliability of a managed SD-WAN today, however, distributed government organizations should consider a broadband network architecture to connect nationwide locations. By leveraging various broadband transports, like cable, fiber, 4G and satellite to connect field locations as part of a managed service, this approach can slash overall service costs to distributed locations while simultaneously delivering the required performance and availability.

Additionally, deploying SD-WAN with a Managed Services Partner ensures around-the-clock security and end-to-end QoS to meet performance-based SLA’s. Organizations opting for Managed SD-WAN find quickly that their sites get the bandwidth, security and performance they need without having to deploy and configure everything in-house.

Because many perceive this innovative architecture as a disruptor, the amount of misinformation around SD-WAN is clouding what should be a clear path forward. It’s time to clear the air.  

Myth #1 – Broadband performance isn’t up to the task for agency networks.

  • Broadband connections on their own are, in many cases, not enough to fully support agency office locations. However, optimized broadband access in a managed SD-WAN solution delivers high availability access all the way to the edge. Broadband with policy based application routing and intelligent path control eliminates brownouts and overcomes network interruptions by automatically routing prioritized application traffic over the best available connection.

  • Leveraging a managed services partner, distributed organizations benefit from agnostic industry expertise and multiple broadband service options nationwide that can deliver on service level agreements (SLA’s) for all sites across the network. This gives the agency a variety of options to choose from, including cable, fiber, 4G LTE, fixed wireless and satellite, based on cost, availability and performance - all from various sources, all managed and delivered by one partner.

  • MSP’s can optimize broadband connections throughout the network to ensure end-to-end quality of service (QoS) is achieved at all sites. This ensures VoIP and VTC calls remain connected and clear.

Myth #2 – Broadband isn’t secure enough for agency networks

  • While legacy MPLS technology is well-known to be highly secure, its performance capabilities paired with high costs at distributed locations are not sustainable for current and future bandwidth demands. MSP’s have risen to the challenge in securing low-cost broadband connections by providing managed security capabilities both at the site with features built into SD-WAN appliances and centrally at the MSP’s Security Operations Center (SOC). SOC’s are staffed 24/7/365 to stop network threats whenever they arise.

  • Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) and Unified Threat Management (UTM) capabilities bolster network security all the way to the edge by leveraging automated and dynamic features to mitigate an evolving threat landscape.

  • Advanced SD-WAN security services include Application Control, Content Filtering, Intrusion Detection, Data Leak Prevention and more.

Myth #3 - Broadband isn’t reliable enough for agency networks

  • Among the top reasons commercial enterprises are adopting managed SD-WAN with broadband are performance and cost. SDWAN appliances and automated management techniques now ensure critical applications stay up even if primary network paths fail or degrade.

  • Further, algorithms enable application traffic to be automatically identified, compressed and routed over the best available path. Managed SDWAN delivers performance levels required without having to constantly update and manually reconfigure network policies.

  • Application prioritization and bandwidth management technologies both work to ensure applications perform and deliver the expected user experience. This means cloud services, video and other bandwith-hungry applications perform uniformly for everyone on the network, regardless of where they are located.

The Road to Transformation

Agencies understand legacy dedicated network technology is not sustainable for modern application bandwidth requirements. Federal Government leaders have openly acknowledged the days of annual budget increases to continue chasing small, expensive bandwidth increases are over. The best option ahead for distributed agencies is planning and deploying SD-WAN transformation through an MSP.

MSP’s, like Hughes, with dozens of service provider partners, can slash costs and increase performance all the way to the edge. Hughes is an industry-leading managed service provider and trusted industry partner – administering SD-WAN solutions across 28,000 sites and the largest single organizational deployment with more than 3,500 locations. The amount of SD-WAN myths and misinformation can be misleading. SD-WAN innovation can solve real-world network challenges and help agencies to meet their missions with the network they need.

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