This Industry Viewpoint was authored by Matt Hiles, Chief Operating Officer at Mosaic NetworX
When it rains it pours, and we all know where rain comes from… but clouds have taken on a whole new meaning in this millennium. There are many reasons why enterprises are deploying SD-WAN. The list of incentives is long, and growing, including using broadband and wireless to augment or replace legacy WANs to lower costs, simplify network complexity, improve reliability, and achieve greater agility, to name a few.
While each of these reasons can be significant, accessing the cloud is becoming increasingly important, as more enterprises migrate their applications and infrastructure to cloud, SaaS, and IaaS. In fact, according to IDC, nearly 80% of workloads will be processed in the cloud this year. And not just a single cloud service, by 2019, enterprises from small to large, will have more than a half-dozen cloud services.
This increasing reliance on multiple clouds makes it challenging for legacy networks. Connecting an office to the cloud with a site-to-site VPN is certainly achievable, but connecting multiple, or hundreds of offices to the cloud with MPLS can be a cost, implementation and logistics nightmare. This becomes more challenging, when an enterprise needs carrier diversity to protect themselves from a network service outage.
Multi-cloud Brings Multiple Connectivity Challenges
There are myriad challenges when connecting to multiple cloud services. These range from classifying traffic based on the application types, to establishing direct multi-cloud access using different network service providers. More problems can arise managing multiple service provider security services and consistent business policies across cloud applications in different locations.
With all of the challenges mentioned above, good luck trying to get reliable SLAs from your network service providers. And if they backhaul traffic through their closest point of presence (PoP), you can expect additional latency for your cloud applications. That usually means your users and business will pay the price in lost productivity.
SD-WAN management dashboards offer unified views of the network topology, including registered and online appliances and new events. The dashboards continuously and automatically reflect network events, sites, and tunnel status to validate that security policies are working as expected. You can gain insight of the entire network topology or drill into specific site, application, and user views. With improved visibility and integrated analytics, you can troubleshoot problems quickly, better plan for changes, and even rollback changes if they are not working as intended.
SD-WAN can provide an integrated solution for migrating workloads between public and/or private cloud services. It can provide secure cloud connectivity between remote offices and corporate offices, accessing diverse cloud applications, like AWS, Azure, Salesforce, UCaaS, and many others, over any network transport.
SD-WAN delivered through a cloud network is even better at supporting multiple cloud and SaaS. By routing traffic through the best Internet path and the nearest cloud point of presence, SD-WAN can lower bandwidth costs, improve reliability, and improve cloud access performance.
SD-WAN automated orchestration and policy management helps ensure applications are delivered reliably, securely, and quickly, no matter where the cloud service is located. These policies are centrally managed, and automatically enforced across diverse WANs and multiple cloud services, and all accomplished through a single pane-of-glass.
Additional benefits from deploying SD-WAN for cloud applications:
Predictable performance - Aggregates multiple network connections from any carrier and any type of Internet link. Reliably delivers direct access to cloud applications, with seamless services insertion
Complex infrastructure - “Zero-Touch” deployment for branch offices uses remote provisioning and monitoring via a cloud-based orchestration platform. This reduces the need for technical expertise at each office.
Security - Standards-based encryption provides secure connectivity over any type of transport
Fast performance - Application-aware, deep packet inspection enables enterprise-grade performance using any link, providing a superior experience for cloud-hosted services
Carrier agnostic - SD-WAN can support diverse carriers with on-net and off-net service
Ensures application reliability - for any cloud and SaaS
Supports any type of WAN connection - such as MPLS, broadband Internet, and 4G LTE
Provides network visibility - for all applications and networks connecting to diverse cloud services
To succeed in today’s competitive business environment, companies must invest in smart technology solutions. SD-WAN is expanding exponentially due to the many business advantages it offers. Enterprises are rapidly moving their workloads to the cloud, instead of wrestling with complex technology issues and tedious, timewasting tasks in-house. Leveraging SD-WAN allows enterprises of all types and sizes to pay for applications and services only when they need them.
About the Author
Matt Hiles is the Chief Operating Officer at Mosaic NetworX. With a successful career in the telecom and data center industries for over 20 years, he has also held executive and leadership positions at WorldCom, Level 3, and DCI Technology Holdings. Matt earned a bachelor’s degree in Government – US/Soviet Relations from Harvard University in Cambridge, MA.