Shanghai China SD-WAN

3 tips for a successful China SD-WAN strategy

Are you an enterprise customer with a strategic presence in Mainland China? Or are you a managed network operator looking to offer more international services to your customers in China? Then most likely, SD-WAN is something you have already heard of and are considering. Read my article and discover the 3 essential tips, how to deliver a great customer experience and how to do China SD-WAN the right way.

What is SD-WAN and why is it great?

Software Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) are now absolutely trending, just like the word “cloud” was a real buzzword few years ago. And it’s true… because with SD-WAN, customers can connect multiple sites to a Wide Area Network (WAN) in a very fast, cost-efficient and secure way. In summary, SD-WAN enables customers to build a large WAN, utilizing existing or new dedicated internet connections. To me personally, SD-WAN’s key advantages are flexibility, lower cost and ease of deployment. But how can you successfully implement and monetize that huge opportunity that SD-WAN can offer in Mainland China? How come so many international operators fail to deliver the right performance to end users in China? And as a result, the much more expensive private leased circuits seem to be the only solution, to really increase application performance and reduce latency?

Tip 1: Select a provider in China with a large global IP Network

If you want to successfully build an international SD-WAN in China, my first recommendation is to select a provider with a very large global IP network. Select a very large global internet service provider. As SD-WAN’s technology runs on top of the global internet, you will experience far less “hops” and delays in your network. And as a result, lower latency (delay) and less loss of all kinds of packets. If you are already using a global managed services provider for your WAN, I recommend that you source and build your China SD-WAN with a dedicated Chinese provider. I recommend that you select the largest carrier and internet service provider in China. A provider that owns and operates a large global IP-Network: inside and especially also outside of China. This will significantly improve your latency for all international traffic getting in and out of Mainland China.

Tip 2: Select a provider that owns the terrestrial and submarine cables

When researching your SD-WAN provider for China, I recommend that you pay extra attention to providers that own and operate a great majority of the infrastructure. Not just the national fixed (broadband) and mobile telecom infrastructure, but especially the international infrastructure. Think of submarine or terrestrial cable networks, that are used to transport your customer’s data around the globe. Often a leading Chinese provider will have unique dedicated cable routes, to send the China SD-WAN traffic on their own global IP-backbone in multiple ways. Non-Chinese carriers and even Tier-1 carriers may suffer more from congested routes and traffic delays, while getting their traffic in and out of Mainland China. This phenomenon can be significantly reduced if you buy infrastructure and connectivity services direct from the official licensed Chinese provider. The more control this provider has over its own network assets, local infrastructure and global IP network, the better this will be for your customer’s experience and performance with SD-WAN services in China.

Tip 3: Select an official licensed operator for China

It is no secret that telecommunications are heavily regulated in China. In order to offer any services in Mainland China, an international carrier must make an agreement with one of the official licensed operators in China. Anyone who is offering services illegally and without a proper license, could potentially be cut-off and disconnected by the Chinese telecom authorities at any time. Full compliancy is essential for the non-Chinese carrier. So, ask yourself: “If your customer’s VPN’s availability and performance in China are extremely important, then why not select one of the licensed Chinese operators direct instead of going with another carrier?” Another carrier, that must interconnect and cooperate anyways with one of the licensed Chinese operators? By sourcing mission-critical local access, infrastructure, cloud and SD-WAN in China the right way, your customers will benefit from unparalleled performance and uptime. And the guarantee that their services in Mainland China will never go down.

And as a final bonus tip: I personally recommend that you always try before you buy. Request a trial to see if SD-WAN is indeed the right solution for your customer in China.

Do you know someone who is interested in SD-WAN in China and would like to read this article? Tag the person here and re-share the article with your network. Send me a message on LinkedIn if you have any questions about SD-WAN, internet, IoT or multi-cloud connectivity in China. I am looking forward to hearing from you!

Do you need help renegotiating your data center and global connectivity contracts? Or do you need support in choosing the right strategic providers? Please contact me and let’s discuss how I can help you too.

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