What are some of the challenges associated with deploying SD-WAN?

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The deployment of Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology has become increasingly popular in recent years. Although there are many benefits to using this technology, there are also a number of challenges associated with it. This article will explore some of the key challenges associated with deploying SD-WANs.
One of the main challenges associated with deploying SD-WANs is network complexity. These networks are highly complex and require specialized networking expertise to configure and manage. The network must be configured to ensure that traffic is routed through the most suitable paths and that packet loss and latency issues are avoided. Additionally, the network must be monitored and managed to ensure that performance levels remain consistent. As such, it’s essential to have a highly skilled IT team with deep knowledge of the network infrastructure in order to successfully deploy SD-WANs.

Another challenge associated with deploying SD-WANs is the need for dedicated hardware. In order to take advantage of the capabilities of software-defined networks, specialised routers or switches are required. These devices can be expensive and can add significant capital expenditure costs to a network deployment. Additionally, the need for dedicated hardware also increases the complexity of the network and requires additional support and maintenance costs. As such, it’s important to weigh up these costs against the potential savings from increased network efficiency before committing to an SD-WAN deployment.

A further challenge associated with deploying SD-WANs is network security. These networks are often deployed in public environments, where the security of the network is paramount. It’s essential that all traffic is secured and that authorised access is only granted to approved users. This requires advanced security measures such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). It’s also important to ensure that all software applications and devices that access the network are regularly updated with the most current security patches.

Finally, another challenge associated with SD-WANs is scalability. In order to ensure that the network can adapt to changes in demand, the architecture must be designed to scale effortlessly. This requires a robust network design that can accommodate new devices, users and services easily. Additionally, the ability to add or remove network resources quickly and efficiently is essential. It’s also important to have the flexibility to quickly switch between different vendor solutions to ensure maximum performance and cost-efficiency.

In conclusion, although the deployment of Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WANs) offers many advantages, there are also a number of challenges associated with it. These include network complexity, the need for dedicated hardware, network security and scalability. It’s important to understand and prepare for these challenges before attempting to deploy an SD-WAN. With careful planning and the right tools and personnel, an SD-WAN deployment can be a successful and cost effective way to improve network performance.

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