Managed service providers, MSPs, have, in their line of work provided network services over time. There is no other part of the industry which has experienced more rapid changes than the network services provision. With the rising interests in the software-defined wide area networks services, SD-WANs, a lot of innovations have been centred on this network than has ever been witnessed in the recent history of many managed service providers.
Traditionally, organization offices have usually been served using network routers which were boosted by WAN equipment and secured by firewalls. This approach was not very effective as it resulted into a system of poorly matched components at the edge of this type of network. This problem had to be addressed for each individual device using a command line interface. There were people who had to be employed to manage this problem on behalf of the IT managers. The costs that were accrued from these services made it hard for managed service providers to make significant gains after providing the services.
Due to these challenges, innovations are now being made to unify all this services into a single entity managed remotely. This is to say that the routers, WAN optimization appliances and the firewalls is to be consolidated into a single SD-WAN service that will eliminate the need for having IT personnel travel to the physical location of the devices by having it managed centrally and remotely by a MSP. Now instead of having to drive a vehicle with the physical networking components, SD-WAN will employ the use of programmable interfaces which makes it possible to remotely control the network. With most of the former challenges out of the way, MSPs can then easily provide extra services such as back-up, data recovery and managing digital signage solutions.
Managed Service Providers have recently attested to the fact that SD-WANs has enabled them to provide their customers with greater bandwidth using business class internet connections at the same favourable prices that they have been charging for the slower MLPS lines connections. Because of this, there have been instances where the MLPS lines are replaced for internet connections. In most instances however, the networks is a mesh of both connections. However, MLPS lines are not entirely out of use.
These lines do better than internet connections when it comes maintaining consistent levels of performance and security. Because of this, many organizations have employed the use of hybrid SD-WANs which allows the network users to switch the connections from MPLS to Internet and vice versa depending on the nature of the application. Furthermore, when using this network, there is no need to route the organization’s traffic though the data centre; traffic that is destined for the cloud will be directly routed remotely to the appropriate cloud service provider.
This new approach comes with a management challenge that creates a symbiotic relationship between these organizations and MSPs. The SD-WAN provides a programmable way to manage the remote offices. The MSPs provide these services and can now do it on a scale that is a lot more profitable than before.