On-Net or Over the Top (OTT) SD-WAN?


On-Net or Over the Top (OTT) SD-WAN?

Jan 10, 2019


In networking land we often get asked about our SD-WAN solutions and if they sit on the network with a service provider or over the top. Working with a service provider for your SD-WAN solution can be beneficial. Often times paired with their services like circuits and carrier cloud services, you can help to limit the number of bills you have to pay each month. You’re also able to limit the amount of configuration you need to do because the SP has done a lot of the legwork already. However, they typically run their SD-WAN solutions on-net – meaning they’re run within the network.

Comparing The Pros/Cons of an On-Net SD-WAN solution

Pro of an On-Net solution
  • Simplified network solution – already configured to work within the network
  • Simpler management by being able to call the service provider directly
  • Access to cloud solutions (hosted VoIP, carrier datacenter, etc.)
Cons of an On-Net solution
  • Carrier lock in – by relying on the carrier to provide your SD-WAN, moving to a new provider is difficult
  • Having a backup network doesn’t offer much in terms of dynamic routing
  • You’re subject to their bandwidth terms
  • Shared carrier infrastructure (gateways)

Over the Top (OTT) SD-WAN

An OTT SD-WAN solution is a way to leverage the stability and performance of the service providers without being subject to the vendor lock in. Companies can pick whichever ISP has the best performance for their location. They can also work with multiple service providers to get backup circuits and enable dynamic routing within their SD-WAN solution.

Comparing the Pros/Cons of an OTT SD-WAN solution

  • Eliminate vendor lock-in
  • Opportunity to select multiple ISPs
  • Support IPsec connectivity
  • Often more cost effective
  • Need better knowledge of carrier SLAs to hold ISPs accountable for outages
  • Unless you bring SD-WAN experience, you will likely need an MSP

Hybrid On-Net and Over the Top SD-WAN

Providers, like QOS, can work with customers to get the best of both worlds. We are a full service MSP as well as partners with multiple ISPs and can configure a custom deployment as needed. Take advantage of a solution that takes the available providers into consideration and the cost efficiency per location into consideration.
Pros of a Hybrid SD-WAN
  • Per-location configuration
  • Pick based on costs and availability
  • Configure based on required application performance
Cons of a Hybrid SD-WAN
  • Multiple carrier contracts
  • Multiple carrier SLAs to manage
For more information, chat with our network team today!

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