July 18, 2024

Cloud-Managed Branch SDWAN Deployment vs On-Premises Branch SDWAN Deployment

8 min read
Discover the pros and cons of cloud-managed branch SDWAN deployment versus on-premises branch SDWAN deployment in this informative article.
A cloud-based network connected to an on-premises branch network

A cloud-based network connected to an on-premises branch network

Businesses rely heavily on their networks to connect branch offices to headquarters and other remote locations. Software-defined wide area network (SDWAN) solutions are increasingly being deployed to improve connectivity, performance, and security. Two main SDWAN deployment options exist: cloud-managed or on-premises. In this article, we will explore the differences, benefits, drawbacks, and considerations between cloud-managed branch SDWAN deployment and on-premises branch SDWAN deployment.

An Introduction to Cloud-Managed Branch SDWAN Deployment

Cloud-managed branch SDWAN deployment involves hosting the SDWAN control plane and management in the cloud. This deployment option offers simplified network management and easy scalability. Businesses can easily add new sites, configure policies, and monitor the network through a centralized cloud-based dashboard. The cloud provider automatically updates and patches the software, ensuring optimal network performance and security.

One of the key benefits of cloud-managed branch SDWAN deployment is the ability to prioritize critical applications and traffic. This is achieved through intelligent traffic steering, which dynamically routes traffic based on application type, network conditions, and business policies. This ensures that mission-critical applications receive the necessary bandwidth and network resources, while less important traffic is de-prioritized.

Another advantage of cloud-managed branch SDWAN deployment is the ability to leverage cloud-based security services. This includes features such as next-generation firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, and malware protection. By integrating these security services into the SDWAN deployment, businesses can ensure that their network is protected against a wide range of cyber threats, without the need for additional hardware or software.

An Introduction to On-Premises Branch SDWAN Deployment

On-premises branch SDWAN deployment, on the other hand, involves deploying the SDWAN solution within the business’s infrastructure. This option offers more control over the network, including security and configuration. Businesses can deploy new features and customize the network to meet their specific needs. However, on-premises deployment requires more management resources and is usually less scalable than cloud-managed deployment.

One advantage of on-premises branch SDWAN deployment is that it can provide better performance and reliability compared to cloud-managed deployment. This is because the network traffic does not have to travel over the internet to reach the SDWAN solution, which can result in lower latency and higher bandwidth. Additionally, on-premises deployment can be more cost-effective in the long run, as businesses do not have to pay for ongoing cloud management fees.

However, on-premises deployment also requires businesses to have the necessary infrastructure and expertise to manage and maintain the SDWAN solution. This can include hardware, software, and personnel resources. Additionally, businesses need to ensure that their on-premises deployment is secure and compliant with industry regulations, which can add additional complexity and cost.

Understanding the Differences Between Cloud-Managed and On-Premises SDWAN Deployment

The primary difference between cloud-managed and on-premises SDWAN deployment options is where the control plane and management are hosted. Cloud-managed deployment offers easy scalability, automatic updates, and simplified management, while on-premises deployment offers more control and customization. The decision between the two options depends on the business’s specific needs, resources, and preferences.

Another important factor to consider when choosing between cloud-managed and on-premises SDWAN deployment is security. Cloud-managed deployment may raise concerns about data privacy and security, as the control plane and management are hosted by a third-party provider. On the other hand, on-premises deployment allows for greater control over security measures and can be customized to meet specific security requirements.

Additionally, cost is a significant consideration when deciding between the two deployment options. Cloud-managed deployment typically involves a subscription-based model, which can be more cost-effective for small to medium-sized businesses with limited resources. On the other hand, on-premises deployment may require a larger upfront investment in hardware and software, but can ultimately result in lower long-term costs.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Cloud-Managed Branch SDWAN Deployment

Cloud-managed branch SDWAN deployment offers businesses several benefits. Firstly, the deployment option provides a single management dashboard that simplifies network management. Secondly, automatic updates and patches reduce the need for manual maintenance. Thirdly, cloud providers offer low upfront capital expenditure, making the deployment cost-efficient. However, one drawback of cloud-managed deployment is that businesses have limited control over the network configuration. Additionally, businesses may rely on cloud providers’ support, which can impact performance and security.

Another benefit of cloud-managed branch SDWAN deployment is that it allows for easy scalability. As businesses grow and expand, they can easily add new branches to the network without having to invest in additional hardware or software. This can save businesses time and money, as they can quickly adapt to changing business needs. However, one potential drawback of this scalability is that businesses may need to upgrade their internet bandwidth to accommodate the increased traffic on the network.

Benefits and Drawbacks of On-Premises Branch SDWAN Deployment

On-premises branch SDWAN deployment also has several benefits. Firstly, it provides businesses with complete control over the network configuration and policies. This deployment option allows customization to meet specific business needs. Secondly, on-premises deployment eliminates the need to rely on cloud provider support, ensuring better security and performance. Thirdly, these deployments can provide faster response times as traffic can often be processed closer to the source. However, on-premises deployment is often less cost-efficient than cloud-managed deployment as it requires a significant upfront capital expenditure. Additionally, on-premises deployment requires more management resources and is less scalable than cloud-managed deployment.

Another drawback of on-premises branch SDWAN deployment is the potential for limited geographic reach. This deployment option may not be feasible for businesses with multiple branches located in different regions or countries. In such cases, cloud-managed deployment may be a more practical solution. However, for businesses with a single location or a limited number of branches, on-premises deployment can provide greater control and customization options.

How Cloud-Managed Branch SDWAN Can Improve Network Performance

Cloud-managed branch SDWAN deployment can improve network performance through several ways. Firstly, cloud-managed deployment uses a distributed architecture that ensures traffic is sent through the fastest path. Secondly, cloud providers offer high availability and replication of services, reducing network downtime. Thirdly, the cloud provider is responsible for automatically updating and patching the software, ensuring optimal network performance.

Moreover, cloud-managed branch SDWAN deployment can also improve network security. Cloud providers offer advanced security features such as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and VPNs. These features help to protect the network from cyber threats and ensure data privacy.

Another benefit of cloud-managed branch SDWAN deployment is its scalability. As businesses grow, they can easily scale up their network infrastructure by adding more cloud resources. This eliminates the need for businesses to invest in expensive hardware and software upgrades, saving them money in the long run.

How On-Premises Branch SDWAN Can Improve Network Performance

On-premises branch SDWAN deployment can improve network performance through several ways as well. Firstly, on-premises deployment allows businesses to customize the network configuration to meet their specific needs. Secondly, on-premises deployment allows businesses to process traffic closer to the source, reducing latency. Finally, businesses can deploy new features and updates on their own schedule, ensuring optimal network performance.

Moreover, on-premises branch SDWAN deployment provides better security as compared to cloud-based solutions. With on-premises deployment, businesses can have complete control over their network security and can implement their own security protocols. This ensures that sensitive data is protected and reduces the risk of cyber attacks.

Cost Analysis: Cloud-Managed vs On-Premises Branch SDWAN Deployment

As mentioned earlier, cloud-managed branch SDWAN deployment is often more cost-efficient than on-premises branch SDWAN deployment. Cloud-managed deployment offers low upfront capital expenditure as the provider manages the infrastructure. Additionally, cloud providers offer pay-per-use pricing models, allowing businesses to scale up or down according to their requirements. On-premises deployment requires an upfront capital expenditure and ongoing maintenance costs, making it less cost-efficient for businesses with limited resources.

However, it is important to note that on-premises deployment may be more suitable for businesses with strict security and compliance requirements. With on-premises deployment, businesses have complete control over their network and can implement customized security measures. Cloud-managed deployment, on the other hand, may not provide the same level of control and customization, which may not be suitable for businesses with sensitive data or compliance requirements.

Security Considerations for Cloud-Managed vs On-Premises Branch SDWAN Deployment

Both deployment options offer several security benefits. Cloud-managed branch SDWAN deployment ensures automatic updates and patches to the software, reducing the risk of vulnerabilities. Additionally, the cloud provider often offers security measures, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS), and intrusion prevention systems (IPS). On-premises branch SDWAN deployment allows businesses to customize the network security to meet their specific needs. Additionally, on-premises deployment is often less reliant on external systems, ensuring better security and reducing the risk of cyber-attacks.

However, it is important to note that cloud-managed branch SDWAN deployment may pose some security risks. Since the network is managed by a third-party provider, there is a risk of data breaches and unauthorized access to sensitive information. On the other hand, on-premises branch SDWAN deployment may require more resources and expertise to maintain the security of the network. It is important for businesses to carefully evaluate their security needs and weigh the pros and cons of each deployment option before making a decision.

Best Practices for Choosing Between Cloud-Managed and On-Premises Branch SDWAN Deployment

The decision between cloud-managed and on-premises branch SDWAN deployment depends on the business’s specific needs, resources, and preferences. Businesses should consider several factors before making the decision between the two options. These factors include the need for customization, scalability, cost, security, and management resources. Additionally, businesses must ensure that the deployment option meets their network requirements, including bandwidth, reliability, and performance.

Another important factor to consider when choosing between cloud-managed and on-premises branch SDWAN deployment is the level of control that the business requires over their network. With on-premises deployment, businesses have complete control over their network and can customize it to their specific needs. However, this also means that they are responsible for maintaining and updating the network infrastructure. On the other hand, with cloud-managed deployment, the service provider takes care of the network infrastructure, but businesses have less control over the network and may not be able to customize it to their exact specifications.

Conclusion

In conclusion, cloud-managed branch SDWAN deployment and on-premises branch SDWAN deployment offer businesses several benefits and drawbacks. The decision between the two options depends on the business’s specific needs, resources, and preferences. Businesses need to consider the factors mentioned above carefully before making a decision. Regardless of the chosen deployment option, the benefits of SDWAN solutions cannot be denied, improving network performance, security, and scalability.

It is important to note that SDWAN solutions are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Businesses need to assess their network requirements and choose a solution that aligns with their goals. Additionally, businesses need to ensure that they have the necessary resources and expertise to manage and maintain the chosen SDWAN solution. With the right deployment and management, SDWAN solutions can provide businesses with a competitive edge in today’s digital landscape.

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