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How to Test an SD-WAN Solution Before Deployment

July 31st, 2023 | 4 min. read

By Jordan Pioth

Business man working on computer at a desk

If your organization is looking to integrate an SD-WAN solution into your network, you can typically test the solution before deployment to ensure the solution meets the needs of your organization.

Testing a solution before purchasing it will help you determine if it is the right solution for your organization and if the provider is a company you feel comfortable doing business with.

Coeo knows how important a reliable network is to an organization and has delivered SD-WAN solutions to thousands of customers to improve their network connectivity.

We want you to understand how to test your SD-WAN solution before deployment so you can determine if it is a good fit for your organization.

By the end of this article, you will know what to look for when testing an SD-WAN solution and the ways to test it.

What to look for when testing an SD-WAN solution

Testing an SD-WAN solution can help your organization decide if a particular solution is right for your organization.

With so many providers offering many different alternatives, it can be difficult to find the one that best meets your needs.

There are many features that different providers offer as part of their SD-WAN solutions including failover and security capabilities such as next-gen firewall and Universal Threat Management.

Testing an SD-WAN solution will allow you to try the different features and determine the ones that best meet your organization’s needs.

The best approach to evaluate an SD-WAN solution is to perform testing through a Proof Of Concept (POC) with a provider.

This approach allows an SD-WAN solution to be deployed to a few of your organization’s sites to evaluate its performance.

Before testing begins, it is important to set the proper realistic expectations for what you want SD-WAN to accomplish for your organization.

For example, it is important to understand that data packets traveling from New York to California will have higher latency than packets traveling within the same state.

Automated network testing tools will enable you to test an SD-WAN solution. This type of tool can create different types of traffic to test how the solution handles each type.

Ways to test an SD-WAN solution

There are multiple ways your organization can test an SD-WAN solution. Some of the steps your organization can take to test an SD-WAN solution include:

Test failover

SD-WAN failover is a technique that uses multiple connections at the same time in order to keep your network up and running.

Using multiple connections allows your network to scan different paths and choose the best one to send data through that provides security and the quickest response time.

If one connection path is slow or disconnected, it will automatically send data traffic over a different connection that is running efficiently.

Your traffic will move away from failed connection paths and will migrate back to them when the path is restored.

An important feature to test with an SD-WAN solution is its failover. Testing the data packet loss of critical applications when forcing the failure of a link will allow you to measure the failover of the solution.

It is important to measure how much data packet loss was experienced and how long it took the solution to fail over to another connection.

Click the link below to use this free tool to learn how you stack up against your peers and learn how to stop poor network performance, reduce outages, and learn best practices for maintaining a resilient network. Free Network Assessment

Test the segregation of data

One of the benefits of using an SD-WAN solution is being able to prioritize data. This allows you to send the most important data over the most reliable, fastest, and most secure connection before other data is sent.

It is important you test the connections to make sure data is segregated and prioritized data such as voice and video packets are sent over the low-latency connection link with priority over other data.

Testing this data is more advanced and complicated so it is important to rely on your IT department to help test the segregated data.

Test internet-based links

It is important to test the internet using an SD-WAN solution. This might be the most important test since most organizations require reliable internet services to perform daily work tasks.

It is also important to test the business applications your employees use every day to test the performance of the solution.

Additionally, make sure to perform these tests during various times of the day when the internet is busy and when it is not.

For example, if you test in the early morning or during a lunch hour, the solution may perform well but there also may not be many people using the internet.

Conversely, it is also important to test during peak work hours to make sure the solution can handle using internet-based applications when they are busy.

Test the security

When it comes to SD-WAN, there is typically not a big focus on security but it is important, nevertheless, to make sure the solution is secure. Alternatively, SASE combines security with WAN for more focus on security.

Some SD-WAN providers offer additional security tools that can be integrated into their solution.

It is important to test the security of the solution and add the security features necessary to avoid any vulnerabilities.

If you would like to learn more about SD-WAN, check out our SD-WAN Buyer's Guide:SD-WAN BUYER'S GUIDE

Next steps to purchase an SD-WAN solution

Now you know how to test an SD-WAN solution and the different ways to test it. This will help you determine which SD-WAN solution is the best fit for your organization.

With so many different SD-WAN solutions on the market, it can be difficult to find the right provider for your organization.

Testing SD-WAN solutions on your network will help you determine which solution best meets the needs of your organization.

Coeo has delivered SD-WAN solutions to thousands of customers to help them improve network connectivity, employee productivity, and efficiency.

We want you to know how to test an SD-WAN solution so you can determine if it is the right fit for your organization before purchasing it.

If you would like to speak with our team to learn more about SD-WAN or ask any questions you may have you can schedule an appointment.TALK TO AN EXPERT

Now you know how to test an SD-WAN solution before deployment to get a better idea of what you want out of your SD-WAN solution.

Read this article to learn about the top SD-WAN providers to determine which one is best for your organization:

Jordan Pioth

When he's not creating content for Coeo, Jordan loves to watch sports, hang out with friends and family, and anything sneaker-related.