Enterprise branches transforming to digital has a crucial impact on the network, as well as on the bottom line. Branches today are more than just touchpoints for every distributed enterprise in the digital world. They’re more experience hubs, connecting customers and users with your businesses from a far-flung corner of the world, delivering experience. And to deliver stellar user experience, branches rely heavily on enterprise networks. Users – Customers, mobile-work forces and other bodies like suppliers, distributors – etc at a remote level or local, demands seamless internet to access cloud services and business critical (SaaS) applications. This puts a lot of pressure on enterprise networks. The growing demand for add-on services at the branches, in addition to new security issues conundrum at edges (Branches), the need to leverage integrated IaaS, PaaS, SaaS and several other cloud services, are key drivers pushing enterprises to adopt SD-WAN and prepare for a multi-cloud ecosystem. Before you plan to connect your enterprise branches to multi-cloud, it is important to evaluate the challenges and requirements of your enterprise network.
Architecture wise enterprise branch networks have witnessed a change in the traditional network (hub and spoke) model. And as traffic pattern continues to change vastly, now its time to shift all focus at the edges (branches) with intelligent solutions. Traditionally, in an enterprise branch network architecture, traffic was sent first to the data center or cloud services, and the central hub acted as the main decision maker. But sending all traffic to the central hub today creates a bad user experience due to high network latency.
Secondly, using MPLS, networking teams end up paying a high cost of bandwidth and enterprises take a hit on Capex and Opex. However the reality today is cloud, software-defined networks, and the Internet. Nearly 90% of enterprises following an app-first approach are shifting from traditional IT infrastructure to multi-cloud architectures. This is helping enterprise IT to ensure reliable network performance and enforce security with nicety. And as applications move to cloud platforms (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform), networking teams are constantly challenged to help enterprises ensure applications are always available, scalable and protected, irrespective of their destination.
Currently, its not just enterprise networks but overall IT infrastructures are going through a drastic change to the centralized hybrid cloud model. This is not only allowing enterprises to benefit from servers in an enterprise operated DC’s but also reap the maximum benefit of cloud (in their own DC’s) which is Centralized Management, Scalability, and agility. Enterprises are smartly able to leverage on-demand services from the cloud and successfully build a roadmap for multi-cloud architectures. All these have contributed a drastic increase in traffic at branches (edge). Experience being top of the mind of users and businesses, it is important as ever to pay attention to the edges i.e. branches, IoT devices, sensors, etc. And the only way to ensure experience in the digital world is by amplifying network performance
Multicloud differs from the Hybrid Cloud. To put simply when an enterprise uses two or more IaaS platforms like AZURE, Google and AWS, its called multi-cloud. Apart from this, enterprises are also using private and public cloud services and resources to make IT operation flexible, agile and scalable.
Network performance and reliability are two challenges, branches need to overcome before using multiple cloud services. It is not enough to ensure the availability of bandwidth only, but also traffic prioritization. This helps to cater add on services like videos, conferencing and mission critical business applications. Post which, comes one of the most top concerns, security. The answer to how enterprise branches can seal all possible security gaps is once again in the cloud.
When enterprises connect with more than one cloud service, the internet perimeter shifts to a secure internet model to a distributed model where branches can access cloud securely. Using solutions like SD-WAN along with multilayered security is what works here. When branches connect with multiple cloud services, enterprises need to ensure that networks is integrated with all the essential network functions. For example, SD-WAN, CG NAT, intelligent routing, DOS, Firewall, Encryption, NFV, Dynamic Multipath Selection and many more. Integrating all network functions into one single platform reduces complexity, as networks get programmed with policies. Hence the key to enable seamless multi-cloud access is a flexible and multipurpose cloud native platform.
SD-WAN allows to create policy based on-the-fly private network overlays from any source to any location. This helps enterprises to prioritize the right traffic to the right SDP gateway. It’s an architecture where you can deploy best of breed networking at your edge using next generation SD-WAN, and you can deploy best of breed security at your cloud using SDP. With all these abilities poised in SD-WAN, it makes a perfect network solution for enterprises for seamless access to a multi-cloud infrastructure.
As enterprises prepare branches for a multi-cloud ecosystem, the role of SD-WAN is getting imperative. SD-WAN has the ability to enable multiple policy based management for diverse connections in a WAN which is Hybrid. Using intent based routing, SD-WAN can detect the right path based on link availability and workload demands. This makes SD-WAN a powerful solution to boost network performance, ensuring bandwidth for business critical SaaS applications and other cloud services. Poised with features like encryption, micro segmentation for granular view of networks and SD-WAN’s flexibility to sync with other security solutions also allows enterprises to build strong defense against any kind of network vulnerability.
Lavelle Networks SD-WAN platform, allows branches to add SaaS applications and services through direct internet connection or gateway for example as a regional hub or local available connections. In cases of DIA, enterprises can embed security policies with a web gateway or cloud security service. The solution platform can automatically detect the best performing path from branch to Cloud and allows administrators with granular and real time visibility of the enterprise network. Today, cloud is a core component of IT. Enterprises on the road to digital are benefiting from exceptional results in terms of an enterprise network, and most importantly in delivering bespoke user experience. Hence its time for you to evaluate a next gen software defined wide area network (SD-WAN). Ask the few basic questions before moving ahead with any solution:
Does your SD-WAN solution platform has the ability to Direct Cloud Access (DCA) optimizations for all cloud sites?
Does your SD-WAN solution allow intelligent and dynamic multi-path traffic steering for SaaS (Cloud) applications between local-access and hub-sites?
Does your SD-WAN allow scale seamless, applications, without using complex protocols like BGP ?
Does your SD-WAN solution has the ability to micro-segment, and provide granular visibility to cloud networks?