Looking for Cost-Effective Business Continuity? Consider these five things before you buy.

April 25, 2018

One of the key benefits for most businesses deploying SD-WAN is the reduction in WAN costs by up to 80 percent. Continuity and resilience are also critical to businesses in today's growing cyber-threatened world. SD-WAN solutions offer multi-link support, so 4G LTE is an obvious choice for failover connectivity. Yet small- and mid-size businesses (SMBs) cannot typically afford the latest WAN solution with resilience built in. This is in part why careful selection of an SD-WAN solution is critical, as not all SD-WAN solutions provide a cost-effective 4G LTE solution.

A sound decision can be made with research, and the following five tips are a great first step:

1. Look for a 4G LTE integrated edge appliance.

Not all SD-WAN solutions support integrated 4G LTE modems in their edge appliances. In such cases, the customer is expected to either use an external 4G LTE router or a USB dongle modem. If using an external 4G LTE router, the cost of the edge devices may go up by several hundred dollars. Plus, use of USB dongle modem lacks good signal strength when the edge appliance is kept in a closet and it may also fall off or break. In both of these cases of external modems, you will lack the ability to manage them through cloud orchestration. Each would have to be managed at the "box" location, which is expensive, time-consuming, and not always possible to truly do well.

2. Secure support for multiple carriers.

Look for a vendor who can support multiple carriers. Some devices may support selection of the carrier on the field with a simple remote firmware change and new SIM card, but such features increase the cost of the edge appliances. At the least, look for a vendor that has certified appliances for multiple carriers.

3. Get the latest data overage cost control.

Most cellular data plans come with fixed bandwidth and any usage beyond the limit will result in data overage charges that could run your bill up quickly. Look for a solution that supports data overage controls. Some solutions provide instant alerts when the data usage reaches a certain threshold.

4. Leverage efficient use of 4G LTE link.

Cellular data is expensive, and SMBs typically need flexibility in using links for failover to support critical business applications such as POS connectivity. It's critical to look for SD-WAN solutions that provide the ability to control intelligent use of 4G LTE connection from the cloud.

5. Ensure you can use different antennas.

Depending on the location of the edge appliance, you may need high-performance antennas. So, look for an edge appliance that can support use of different antennas to ensure flexibility.

Netsurion Connect is an SD-WAN + security solution that removes expensive on-premise hardware by provisioning connectivity and services via the cloud. Learn more about the Netsurion Connect CXD edge appliance and how it supports all of these features above, and more. Visit Netsurion.com/contact-us.