Managed network services cover corporate network functionalities and applications SMEs can outsource. These services are operated, monitored, and maintained by MSPs, such as IT resellers or system integrators. Among the many options offered by managed networks, we find basic access and network transport services like traditional Wide Area Networks (WANs) and Local Area Networks (LAN), as well as state-of-the-art solutions, such as software-defined wide and local area networks (SD-WANs and SD-LANs). The management of these last two networks are cloud-based and give access to other advanced functionalities such as WAN optimization, unified messaging, network administration, firewall management and virtual private networks (VPNs).
The services offered by SD-WAN and SD-LAN networks are becoming increasingly important since they give resellers and system integrators the chance to set up SDN cloud-managed networks for SMEs and provide managed services to customers. However, older network management solutions that are not cloud-based are still being sold:
- Legacy: Telnet or SSH. Their main drawback is their updating difficulties and the fact that their maintenance costs are much higher than those of cloud-based options. Moreover, Telnet also has the disadvantage that it is considered insecure, and even more so, when compared to cloud-managed networks.
- SNMP: For years, big software companies have used the Simple Network Management Protocol to set up solutions for large corporations. As a result, SNMP is not ideal for IT resellers and system integrators and their SME clients. Hence IT resellers and system integrators for the SME market have put their efforts elsewhere.
- TR-069 or CWMP: The CPE WAN management protocol is a popular option present in many routers. Although it is highly efficient, it is susceptible to security risks (since hackers can find vulnerabilities in the ACS or CPE and use them to install malware).
- Cloud-managed networks:
- Given the aforementioned disadvantages of Telnet or SSH, SNMP and TR-069 or CWMP, cloud-managed networks based on SDN / SD-WAN appear to be the best alternative for resellers or integrators to offer managed networks to end customers. Another matter worth highlighting is that SME end-users are increasingly opting for cloud-based services, such as SaaS, apps, storage, and software-defined network solutions like SDN / SD-WAN which help to optimize the performance of such services.
Two alternatives for managed networks
- System integrators and IT resellers have two alternatives when setting up managed networks to offer their SME clients new services:
- “Traditional” systems. Those installed on-site. All the devices and equipment necessary for internal networks and external communications can be found in the company’s facilities.
- “Cloud managed network” systems. Those found solely on the cloud. They present important advantages, such as cost reduction in IT infrastructure, remote access from anywhere through Internet, the system always being updated to the latest version and the fact that safety management is outsourced.
If we compare both systems, we can see that the “cloud based management approach or option can be set up far more quickly and normally reduces costs. The “traditional” solution forces IT resellers and system integrators to buy hardware and pay for the server’s energy consumption, for example. In addition, these companies must have an adequate area in which to install the server(s) in a safe environment.
IT resellers and system integrators might be worried about the safety of handling of their SME customer data on the cloud. Although opting for the “traditional” option may seem safer than relying solely on the cloud, this isn’t necessarily so. Hackers use increasingly sophisticated techniques, and the IT resellers and system integrators are still at risk even if they store data on their own servers. What’s more, cloud network providers have solid security systems and features that prevent data leaks or service problems.
The following section aims at clearing up doubts that any IT reseller or system integrator might still have on whether to choose a traditional managed network or a cloud-managed network. These would be the advantages that the cloud-managed network model would offer IT resellers or system integrators and their SME clients?
- The reseller or integrator does not have to own the hardware, as it is in the hands of the companies that offer storage services in cloud networks. These companies are equipped with the latest technologies and invest to periodically improve the power and quality of their servers.
- No initial costs in terms of infrastructure. Apart from the fact that the IT resellers and system integrators do not have to own their managed network infrastructure (as in the above point), the SME clients can use the IT equipment and mobile devices they already own when contracting the service.
- A “Pay as You Grow” option can be offered by the IT resellers and system integrators. As a result, more applications and features can be added as the SME clients’ needs grow. No need to worry about buying and installing computers, routers, and applications: just ask the company that provides SDN cloud-managed network services for an extension. They are often available in no time.
- The easy and efficient manner in which to grow. The infrastructure of traditional models can become obsolete or insufficient, forcing the IT resellers and system integrators to make another investment to keep their servers running optimally.
- No updating problems. The owner of the infrastructure is directly responsible for all updates, meaning, that the IT resellers and system integrators do not need to concern themselves with such matters.
- Continuous and reliable service. Cloud-managed networks models have hardware redundancy. As a result, even if a technical failure occurs, customers will still be serviced without noticing.
Thanks to the be.SDx cloud-managed network solution, IT resellers and system integrators have access to high-quality and advanced SDN cloud-managed networks. It is a centrally managed SDN / SD-WAN solution, specially designed for their SME clients (as this business model allows for new services to be added). In times of crisis, it is absolutely essential for companies to join the business digitalization that the market demands. Visit the be.SDx microsite by clicking on https://www.teldat.com/sme-sdn-cloud-network-solutions/, and learn more about our cloud-managed SDN network solution.