What is a better pick- DIY SD-WAN or Managed SD-WAN?

With growing organizations and enterprises in almost every sector, there has been an exponential increase in demand for top-quality network services. Recently, companies with branch locations have found it difficult to manage without a strong managed wifi or connection in general.

The traditional methods, where companies of almost any sector would use the normal internet connection they would require to scan codes or accept card payments are not enough today. The need for increased, strong and reliable connectivity is at an all-time high with the way technology has been advancing in every field. This is what has given this immense rise to SD-WAN. 

A software-defined wide area network or SD-WAN is a virtualized service that connects and extends organisational networks over long and distant geographical distances. Since it became extremely popular in recent years when several businesses started adopting a remote operation style, SD-WAN has managed to beat and overcome several previous obstacles.

It is also a better alternative to the previously dominant MPLS and is being adopted majorly across several countries. However, there are several types of SD-WANs. DIY and Managed SD-WAN are two types that are often used by enterprises.

But which of these is better, and who should consider choosing them?

There are benefits for both types of SD-WANs, but a majority of these completely depend on which kind of organisation wishes to deploy the same. Let’s compare them.

Advantages of DIY SD-WAN


Extra security is required to completely safeguard any enterprise in spite of an existing SD-WAN. A DIY SD-WAN set-up will ensure that the team within the company itself has safely set up all necessary security requirements. 


In several industries, there is a need to cater to an audience that can change frequently. Hence, there are changing requirements that need to be managed every now and then. A managed SD-WAN may not be able to achieve this. On the other hand, it becomes easy for a DIY SD-WAN since the deployemnt is done by the  employees themselves.

Utilising employee talent

If the enterprise consists of a strong IT team or employees who are well versed in operating and installing an SD-WAN, then it is always a better choice to go with DIY SD-WAN. This is because it will ensure that every detail regarding its operations is within the company walls.

Additional efforts

Regardless of it being handled by the service provider itself, operating and maintaining a strong SD-WAN can sometimes be the business’s responsibility. It may become a hassle to constantly coordinate with the company that deployed the SD-WAN and may end up taking up more time and effort. This can be avoided by using a DIY SD-WAN.

Advantages of a Managed SD-WAN

Complete setup provision

There is no need to bother your business or executives about the entire setup process or to learn how to deploy an SD-WAN. This is done completely by whichever service provider your organisation chooses. The equipments and the methods are taken care of by a dedicated team. Thus, the installation of the SD-WAN as a service is included while opting for a Managed SD-WAN.

Maintenance by professionals

The provider will be responsible for maintaining the smooth and efficient operation of the company’s SD-WAN. For the same, they are liable to provide experts who will be well aware of what needs to be done in order to ensure it is in the best condition.

Access to interacting with the cloud

It is possible to seamlessly interact with cloud services like Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services etc. 

A guarantee of efficiency

While this is an obvious bet, it is still a major advantage over DIY SD-WAN as a service since it ensures complete support from the side of the provider. Managed wifi or network connectivity problems of any kind can directly be taken up with the provider at any point. 

Which SD-WAN is best for an enterprise?

The reason why both types are widely seen in the market is that different organisations have different requirements. 

A DIY SD-WAN is the best choice for companies that have a huge team, and a dedicated IT department. It is usually considered by enterprises that gradually grow and need better services to match their developing requirements. Such companies have several employees who have experience or are completely adept in the installation or maintenance of something as complex as an SD-WAN.

In contrast, managed SD-WAN should be chosen by those companies which are still on the lower side in terms of employee strength or have teams that are already busy with several responsibilities. In cases where managed wifi, internet solutions or related needs cannot be fulfilled by a dedicated team within the organisation itself, it is advisable to go for a managed SD-WAN.