The Market Offers Different Types Of ZTE Choices
Technology professionals can leverage ZTE from three different methods:
A cloud-delivered service. A relatively new set of vendors, ZTE cloud-based services come from a vendor-run service like Cato Networks, using a third-party network with dozens — or in some cases hundreds — of POPs delivering cloud-edge ZTE capabilities. This approach offers all the value that organizations can get from software-as-a-service solutions. However, no company can provide all the features found in best-of-breed solutions. Of course, Forrester has found that organizations don’t normally use all the features found in on-premises solutions. Cloud solutions will often fit the needs of many organizations.
ZTE services wrapped around a WAN connection service. Others will include an existing enterprise carrier provider connecting its customers directly to ZTE networks for outsourced security functions. Comcast Enterprise and Akamai already perform this function today. Many SD-WAN hardware and software vendors, such as Versa Networks, will have partnerships with Zscaler or other security vendors. Teams can choose the best-of-breed products to ensure they get the most from both networking and security services. However, these teams won’t get the operational agility or efficiency of cloud-based systems. An SD-WAN plus ZTE wrapper approach requires extra steps from technology teams such as setting up policies for each independent service. There isn’t a single management and orchestration system for an SD-WAN and ZTE wrapper strategy.
A do-it-yourself (DIY) approach. A sufficiently large and agile organization could build its own ZTE platform using cloud service providers as the POPs and a cloud-hosted service like Barracuda’s enterprise firewall as the security service in Microsoft’s Azure cloud. This ensures services match the business demands more closely, but it requires that teams have a good pulse on business requirements and the skills to create the infrastructure and manage it. Forrester’s “Evaluate SDWAN Services Based On Branch Office Goals, Not Hardware Data Sheets” report shows that most teams are missing one or the other aspects.