April 17, 2024

On-Premises SDWAN Deployment vs Cloud-Managed SDWAN Deployment

8 min read
Looking to deploy SDWAN? This article explores the pros and cons of on-premises vs cloud-managed SDWAN deployment, helping you make an informed decision on which approach is best for your organization.
Two networks

Two networks

In recent years, SDWAN deployment has become increasingly popular in the networking world. As businesses adopt this technology, they are faced with a crucial decision: whether to opt for an on-premises deployment or a cloud-managed one. This article will provide an in-depth analysis of the two options, highlighting their differences and examining the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Understanding the Basics of SDWAN Deployment

Before delving into the specifics of on-premises versus cloud-managed deployment, it is essential to understand the basics of SDWAN deployment. SDWAN, or software-defined wide-area networking, is an innovative technology that utilizes software to control the distribution of network traffic over a wide geographic area. It combines multiple networks to create a unified WAN, which can improve connectivity, reduce costs, and enhance network security.

SDWAN deployment can be done either on-premises or via a cloud-managed solution. The key difference between these two methods lies in where the SDWAN controller is hosted. In on-premises deployment, the controller functions on physical hardware located in the business’s data center. In contrast, cloud-managed deployment has a controller that is hosted in the cloud.

One of the benefits of SDWAN deployment is that it can provide greater flexibility and agility for businesses. With SDWAN, businesses can easily add or remove network connections as needed, without the need for extensive physical infrastructure changes. This can be particularly useful for businesses that have a distributed workforce or that need to quickly scale their network capabilities.

Another advantage of SDWAN deployment is that it can help businesses to optimize their network performance. By using software to intelligently route traffic, SDWAN can ensure that critical applications receive priority access to network resources. This can help to reduce latency and improve overall network performance, which can be particularly important for businesses that rely heavily on real-time data or video conferencing.

Advantages of On-Premises SDWAN Deployment

On-premises SDWAN deployment has several advantages over its cloud-managed counterpart. Firstly, an on-premises deployment offers greater control over the network and the devices that access it. This is because the physical SDWAN controller is located on site, allowing businesses to customize their configurations and rules according to their specific needs. Additionally, on-premises deployments typically offer lower latency since network traffic does not have to travel to a cloud-based controller before being routed.

Another benefit of on-premises SDWAN deployment is compliance. Businesses that operate in highly regulated industries often need to meet strict compliance requirements. On-premises deployment allows for more control over network security and data privacy. This makes it an ideal choice for businesses that handle sensitive information and have stringent compliance policies.

Furthermore, on-premises SDWAN deployment can also provide cost savings in the long run. While the initial investment may be higher due to the need for hardware and infrastructure, businesses can save money on monthly cloud subscription fees. Additionally, on-premises deployment allows for easier scalability as businesses can add more hardware and bandwidth as needed without having to rely on a third-party provider.

Lastly, on-premises SDWAN deployment can improve network performance and reliability. Since the SDWAN controller is located on site, businesses can quickly identify and troubleshoot any issues that may arise. This can lead to faster resolution times and less downtime, which can ultimately improve productivity and customer satisfaction.

Benefits of Cloud-Managed SDWAN Deployment

Cloud-managed SDWAN deployment has its own set of benefits. The biggest advantage is the flexibility and scalability offered by the cloud. Cloud-managed deployments allow businesses to scale up their network resources as needed, making it an ideal choice for rapidly growing businesses or those with fluctuating bandwidth needs. Additionally, cloud-managed deployment typically requires less hardware and on-site IT resources, making it cost-effective and easier to manage.

Another significant advantage of cloud-managed SDWAN deployment is remote management. Business owners and network administrators can manage their network from anywhere in the world, as long as they have an internet connection. This makes it possible to monitor and adjust network configurations in real-time, leading to faster incident response and troubleshooting.

Furthermore, cloud-managed SDWAN deployment offers enhanced security features. With cloud-based deployment, businesses can benefit from advanced security measures such as encryption, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems. These security measures are typically managed by the cloud provider, freeing up IT resources and ensuring that the network is protected against cyber threats.

Factors to Consider When Choosing SDWAN Deployment

When choosing between on-premises and cloud-managed SDWAN deployment, businesses need to consider several factors. The most critical of these are their budget, business needs, and IT resources. For instance, businesses with limited IT resources might favor cloud-managed SDWAN deployment, as it requires less on-site management. On the other hand, businesses with strict compliance requirements might opt for on-premises deployment, as it provides greater control over security and data privacy.

Another key consideration is scalability. Businesses that expect rapid growth might benefit from cloud-managed deployment, as it can easily expand to meet their growing needs. On the other hand, businesses that require high levels of customization might prefer on-premises deployment, as it allows for more granular control over network configurations.

Additionally, businesses should also consider the location of their users and applications. If the majority of their users and applications are located in a single geographic location, on-premises deployment might be more efficient and cost-effective. However, if their users and applications are spread across multiple locations, cloud-managed deployment might be a better option, as it can provide a more centralized and streamlined approach to network management.

Security Concerns with On-Premises SDWAN Deployment

One of the biggest concerns with on-premises SDWAN deployment is security. Businesses must ensure that their physical SDWAN controller is secure from unauthorized access. This includes backing up data regularly, implementing access controls, and monitoring the controller for signs of potential breaches. Additionally, on-premises deployment requires businesses to maintain their hardware, which can be time-consuming and costly.

Another security concern with on-premises SDWAN deployment is the risk of physical damage or theft. If the SDWAN controller is located on-premises, it is vulnerable to physical damage from natural disasters, accidents, or intentional acts of vandalism. Businesses must take measures to protect their SDWAN controller from such risks, such as installing it in a secure location and implementing physical security measures.

Furthermore, on-premises SDWAN deployment may require businesses to hire additional IT staff to manage and maintain the hardware. This can be a significant expense, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. In contrast, cloud-based SDWAN solutions offer the advantage of being managed by the service provider, freeing up businesses from the burden of hardware maintenance and allowing them to focus on their core operations.

Scalability and Flexibility of Cloud-Managed SDWAN Deployment

Cloud-managed SDWAN deployment offers businesses the flexibility to scale up or down their network resources as needed. This makes it ideal for businesses with fluctuating network needs, such as seasonal demand or rapid growth. Additionally, cloud-managed deployment typically requires less hardware and on-site management, making it cost-effective and easier to manage.

Another advantage of cloud-managed SDWAN deployment is the ability to easily integrate with other cloud-based services. This allows businesses to take advantage of a wide range of cloud-based applications and services, such as cloud-based security and data backup solutions. With cloud-managed SDWAN, businesses can easily and quickly deploy new services and applications, without the need for additional hardware or on-site management.

Cost Comparison between On-Premises and Cloud-Managed SDWAN Deployment

Cost is a crucial consideration for any business looking to adopt new technology. On-premises SDWAN deployment typically requires significant upfront investments in hardware and infrastructure. Additionally, businesses must factor in ongoing maintenance costs, such as upgrades and patches. In contrast, cloud-managed SDWAN deployment typically has lower upfront costs and is more flexible, making it a more cost-effective option for many businesses.

Another factor to consider when comparing the cost of on-premises and cloud-managed SDWAN deployment is scalability. On-premises deployment may require additional hardware and infrastructure investments as the business grows and expands. In contrast, cloud-managed SDWAN deployment allows for easy scalability, with businesses only paying for the resources they need at any given time.

Furthermore, cloud-managed SDWAN deployment can also offer cost savings through improved network performance and reduced downtime. With cloud-managed SDWAN, businesses can benefit from automatic updates and patches, as well as real-time monitoring and troubleshooting, which can help to prevent network issues and minimize downtime. This can ultimately lead to cost savings by reducing the need for expensive emergency repairs and minimizing the impact of network outages on business operations.

Maintenance and Management Considerations for On-Premises SDWAN Deployment

On-premises SDWAN deployment requires businesses to maintain their hardware and keep their configurations up-to-date. This can be time-consuming and costly, especially for businesses with limited IT resources. Additionally, businesses must ensure that their physical SDWAN controller is secure and backed up regularly.

Another important consideration for on-premises SDWAN deployment is the need for skilled IT personnel to manage and troubleshoot the network. Without proper expertise, businesses may struggle to identify and resolve issues that arise, leading to downtime and lost productivity. It is also important to regularly monitor network performance and adjust configurations as needed to ensure optimal performance and security.

Performance Metrics for On-Premises and Cloud-Managed SDWAN Deployment

One of the most critical metrics for evaluating SDWAN deployment is performance. Businesses need to ensure that their network can handle their current and future demands while maintaining high levels of reliability and uptime. On-premises deployment typically has lower latency than cloud-managed deployment, but cloud-managed deployments can offer greater flexibility and scalability.

Another important performance metric to consider is packet loss. Packet loss can occur when data packets are dropped or lost during transmission, which can result in slower network speeds and decreased reliability. On-premises SDWAN deployment typically has lower packet loss rates than cloud-managed deployment due to the direct connection to the network.

However, cloud-managed SDWAN deployment can offer advantages in terms of security. Cloud-managed SDWAN solutions often have built-in security features such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems, which can help protect against cyber threats. On-premises SDWAN deployment may require additional security measures to be implemented separately.

Integration Possibilities with On-Premises vs Cloud-Managed SDWAN Deployment

Integration is an essential consideration for any business looking to adopt SDWAN technology. On-premises SDWAN deployment is often the preferred choice for businesses with existing on-premises infrastructure, as it can integrate seamlessly with other on-premises systems. Conversely, cloud-managed SDWAN deployment is an ideal choice for businesses with cloud-first or hybrid IT approaches since it can integrate easily with cloud-based applications.

Case Studies: Successful Implementations of On-Premises vs Cloud-Managed SDWAN Deployment

Many businesses have successfully adopted both on-premises and cloud-managed SDWAN deployment. For example, a large financial institution might opt for on-premises deployment to meet strict compliance requirements and ensure the security of sensitive financial data. In contrast, a small e-commerce business might opt for cloud-managed deployment to scale up quickly during peak shopping seasons.

Future Trends in the World of SDWAN Deployment

As technology continues to evolve, SDWAN deployment is expected to become even more prevalent. Businesses that adopt this technology will need to keep up with the latest trends and innovations to remain competitive. Some of the most significant trends include the increasing use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to manage SDWAN networks and the integration of SDWAN with other technologies such as 5G and edge computing.

Which Option is Best for Your Business? A Comprehensive Guide to Deciding Between On-Premises and Cloud-Managed SDWAN Deployment

While both on-premises and cloud-managed SDWAN deployment have their benefits and drawbacks, the best option for any business depends on a range of factors. When making their decision, businesses should carefully consider their budget, network needs, IT resources, and security requirements. In general, businesses with limited IT resources and fluctuating network needs might prefer cloud-managed deployment, while businesses that handle sensitive data might opt for on-premises deployment.

Ultimately, the decision between on-premises and cloud-managed SDWAN deployment should be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the unique needs and goals of each business.

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