April 17, 2024

DIY Open Source SDWAN Deployment vs Commercial SDWAN Deployment

8 min read
Discover the pros and cons of DIY open source SDWAN deployment versus commercial SDWAN deployment in this informative article.
Two networks

Two networks

Software-defined wide area networking (SDWAN) has revolutionized networking by improving network performance and reducing costs. With the rise of SDWAN, question arises whether it is best to deploy a SDWAN solution using a commercial provider or is it better to go DIY by using open source software SDWAN deployment. In this article, we will look at the various aspects of deploying SDWAN and compare the advantages and disadvantages of the DIY Open source vs commercial SDWAN deployment.

Understanding the Basics of SDWAN Deployment

Before we start discussing the differences between the two deployment methods, we need to understand what SDWAN is. SDWAN is a software-based approach to connecting networks such as branch offices to a central location over the internet or dedicated connection. It is based on the abstraction of the underlying hardware and transport layer to create a virtual overlay network that optimizes the performance of each network segment and application. This means that SDWAN enables businesses to use multiple internet connections before prioritizing and routing traffic to achieve better performance.

One of the key benefits of SDWAN deployment is its ability to provide greater visibility and control over network traffic. With traditional WAN solutions, it can be difficult to monitor and manage network traffic, especially when it comes to cloud-based applications. SDWAN, on the other hand, provides real-time visibility into network traffic, allowing businesses to identify and address issues quickly. Additionally, SDWAN solutions often come with built-in security features, such as firewalls and encryption, which can help protect against cyber threats.

The Advantages of Open Source SDWAN Deployment

Open-source SDWAN deployment is a do-it-yourself option that offers more control and flexibility. Some of the advantages of Open Source SDWAN deployment include:

  • No licensing fees or vendor lock-ins
  • Easy customization to meet business needs
  • Can be tailored to meet specific security policies
  • High-performance routing capabilities

Open-source SDWAN deployment is suitable for businesses that have in-house IT expertise because it requires time, effort, and expertise to customize the software, and provide the required level of support needed. It is an ideal solution for small to medium-sized businesses that want to maximize their network performance while minimizing costs.

Another advantage of open-source SDWAN deployment is the ability to collaborate with a community of developers and users. This community can provide support, share knowledge, and contribute to the development of the software. This collaboration can lead to faster innovation and improvements in the software, as well as a more robust and reliable solution. Additionally, open-source SDWAN deployment allows businesses to avoid being tied to a single vendor or technology, giving them the freedom to choose the best solution for their needs.

The Advantages of Commercial SDWAN Deployment

Commercial SDWAN deployment is provided and supported by specialized vendors who offer a range of services that help to deploy and manage a solution that meets the specific needs of your business. Some of the advantages of Commercial SDWAN deployment include:

  • Managed services with round the clock support provides full support from the vendor
  • Faster deployment times with less risk
  • Better integration with cloud platforms
  • Advanced security features and regular security updates

Commercial SDWAN deployment is suitable for businesses that have limited IT resources or for businesses that want to get a SDWAN solution up and running quickly with minimal effort. It is an ideal solution for larger businesses that have complex network environments or those that require higher levels of security and compliance.

Another advantage of Commercial SDWAN deployment is the ability to scale the solution as your business grows. With a commercial vendor, you can easily add new locations, increase bandwidth, and adjust policies to meet changing business needs. Additionally, commercial SDWAN solutions often come with advanced analytics and reporting capabilities, allowing businesses to gain insights into network performance and make data-driven decisions.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Open Source and Commercial SDWAN Deployment

When deciding on a SDWAN solution, businesses need to consider the following factors:

  • Business size and budget
  • Level of in-house IT expertise
  • Network complexity
  • Required hardware and software features
  • Security and compliance requirements

After considering these factors, businesses can determine which SDWAN deployment method is best suited for their needs.

One additional factor to consider when choosing between open source and commercial SDWAN deployment is the level of support and maintenance required. Open source solutions may require more in-house IT expertise and resources to maintain and troubleshoot, while commercial solutions often come with dedicated support teams and regular updates.

Another factor to consider is the level of customization needed. Open source solutions may offer more flexibility for businesses to customize and tailor the SDWAN solution to their specific needs, while commercial solutions may have more standardized features and less room for customization.

The Cost Implications of Open Source vs Commercial SDWAN Deployment

When it comes to cost, open-source SDWAN deployment has the advantage of being free while Commercial SDWAN deployment costs money. However, there are other things to consider when assessing the costs of either option.

Open source SDWAN deployment requires in-house expertise to deploy and maintain the solution. This means that businesses should factor in the cost of supporting the solution internally or outsourcing support to a third-party provider. On the other hand, commercial SDWAN deployment has an upfront cost but comes with the benefit of vendor support and maintenance, which can reduce the total cost of ownership over time.

Another factor to consider when comparing open source and commercial SDWAN deployment is the level of customization and flexibility. Open source solutions offer more flexibility in terms of customization, as businesses can modify the code to meet their specific needs. However, this requires a higher level of technical expertise and can be time-consuming. Commercial solutions, on the other hand, may offer less flexibility but come with pre-built features and integrations that can save time and resources.

Finally, it’s important to consider the long-term costs of each option. While open source SDWAN deployment may seem like the cheaper option upfront, businesses should consider the potential costs of security vulnerabilities and the need for ongoing updates and maintenance. Commercial solutions often come with built-in security features and regular updates, which can save businesses money in the long run by reducing the risk of security breaches and minimizing downtime due to maintenance issues.

The Security Implications of Open Source vs Commercial SDWAN Deployment

When it comes to security, both open source and commercial SDWAN deployment have their strengths and weaknesses.

Open source SDWAN deployment is versatile and customizable, which can lead to stronger security if implemented and configured correctly. However, if the solution is not configured correctly, it can lead to security vulnerabilities. On the other hand, commercial SDWAN deployment has advanced security features out of the box, regular security patches, and a team of security experts monitoring the solution.

The Scalability Implications of Open Source vs Commercial SDWAN Deployment

Scalability is essential for businesses that expect to grow and expand in the future.

Open source SDWAN deployment has the benefit of being flexible and customizable, which means it can be tailored to meet the specific needs of a business as it grows. But it requires additional work to scale the infrastructure. Commercial SDWAN deployment, on the other hand, is designed to scale out of the box and can be expanded easily with additional hardware or software.

The Support and Maintenance Implications of Open Source vs Commercial SDWAN Deployment

Support and maintenance are critical for any SDWAN deployment, and the level of support needed may vary depending on the size of the business and level of in-house IT expertise.

Open source SDWAN deployment requires businesses to have in-house IT expertise or to outsource support to a third-party provider. This can be costly, particularly for small businesses. For commercial SDWAN deployment, businesses can rely on the vendor for support and maintenance. Vendors provide various levels of support, ranging from basic to advanced support, depending on the service the business chooses.

Case Studies: Real-Life Examples of Successful DIY Open Source SDWAN Deployments

There are numerous case studies that show DIY Open Source SDWAN deployments have been successful for businesses. One such example is the deployment of OpenWRT and OpenVPN at the University of Aberdeen to connect multiple campuses and reduce network downtime. Another example is the deployment of VyOS SDWAN solution in NoviFlow to improve network performance and manage costs.

Case Studies: Real-Life Examples of Successful Commercial SDWAN Deployments

Commercial SDWAN deployments have also been successful for businesses across different industries. One such example is the deployment of Viptela SDWAN by a global pharmaceutical company that enabled the business to manage thousands of sites globally and improve network performance. Another example is the deployment of Cisco SDWAN by a financial services company that helped to meet compliance and data privacy requirements.

Best Practices for Planning and Implementing a DIY Open Source SDWAN Deployment

For businesses that choose to undertake open-source SDWAN deployment, it is important to plan and implement effectively to achieve the desired outcome. Some best practices include:

  • Define clear objectives
  • Choose the appropriate open-source software
  • Assess in-house skills and resources
  • Perform rigorous testing before deployment
  • Have a backup plan

Best Practices for Planning and Implementing a Commercial SDWAN Deployment

For businesses that choose commercial SDWAN deployment, there are also best practices that can help ensure success. Some of these include:

  • Define clear objectives and requirements
  • Choose the right vendor with a good reputation
  • Ensure proper implementation and configuration
  • Choose a solution that is scalable
  • Provide adequate training and support to staff

How to Evaluate the Success of Your DIY Open Source SDWAN Implementation

After the deployment of an open-source SDWAN solution, businesses should evaluate the success of the solution based on key performance indicators such as:

  • Network performance
  • Application performance
  • Costs versus benefits
  • Time spent on configuration and maintenance

Businesses can perform regular health checks to evaluate the success of the solution over time.

How to Evaluate the Success of Your Commercial SDWAN Implementation

After the deployment of a commercial SDWAN solution, businesses should evaluate the success of the solution based on key performance indicators such as:

  • Network performance and reliability
  • Application performance
  • Ease of use and management
  • Costs versus benefits
  • Security and compliance

Businesses can perform regular health checks and audits to evaluate the success of the solution over time.

Future Trends in the World of Open Source and Commercial SDWAN Deployments

The future trends for both open source and commercial SDWAN deployments are exciting. With the rise of 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT), businesses will need to rely more on SDWAN solutions to connect a wide range of devices and support varying workloads. Open source SDWAN deployment is likely to grow in popularity with the growth of the open-source community while commercial SDWAN deployment is likely to become more integrated into cloud environments, providing even more flexibility and scalability.

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing between DIY open source SDWAN deployment and commercial SDWAN deployment, businesses need to assess their individual needs and objectives. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and businesses need to evaluate factors such as cost, scalability, and security before making a decision. With the right implementation and planning, either method can deliver a reliable and secure SDWAN solution that supports the business’s needs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *