Making Networks Cloud Ready with SD-WAN
Enterprise cloud spending is on the rise. Cloud IT infrastructure spending increased to $57.2 billion, reflecting a 21.3 % increase over the previous year.
Anything today can be delivered to the customers or end users via connected “things” over the internet “as-a-service”. IT infrastructure too is offered as-a-service –servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more. The transition to multicloud ecosystem over differently deployed clouds (Public, Private and Hybrid) is helping enterprises become more agile, efficient, and service-oriented. All this has put enterprise network (WAN) into a lot of pressure. As cloud computing gains a crucial role in the digital enterprise, networks need to be cloud ready – flexible, fast, scalable and secure.
Network Demands for Cloud Connectivity
To seek the benefits of cloud along with retaining the benefits of their existing IT investment, enterprises are relying more and more on hybrid cloud to get the best of both private and public cloud.
Multicloud is happening really fast, and the reason for this big shift is simple! From enterprise networking at the edge to provisioning a branch within minutes, ICT teams today are in search of solutions to scalability, operating costs, and efficient cloud infrastructures. One of the key enablers of digital transformation, cloud computing yields improvements in the enterprise’s ability to deploy and scale up applications. This, in turn, adds flexibility, responsiveness, and improved delivery times throughout the distributed enterprise.
Dependency on Cloud has compelled enterprises to re-innovate their enterprise network. The surge of new age traffic at the edge, branch, and remote locations has increased the number of break-out points to the Internet, other public networks, and private networks.
Here are five bottlenecks to cloud connectivity with traditional networking technologies –
- Rise in the bandwidth requirement and the high cost of bandwidth with MPLS
- Deploying multiple sites to the public cloud with current infrastructure is complex and resource intensive
- Traditional networking technologies were not built for the cloud and hence impact cloud application performance
- Lack of granular visibility to the network.
Making WAN a Powerhouse with SD-WAN
77% of enterprises have at least one application or a portion of their enterprise computing infrastructure in the cloud.
Traditional network infrastructure (like MPLS) was never meant to meet the economics and agility of cloud technology. Cumbersome complex configurations, high cost, and low performance (backhauling of internet traffic in DCs) at the branch or remote location have made MPLS no match for today’s changing WAN requirements. In addition, ongoing transformation to digital also required enterprises to re-architect their enterprise network and connect securely to the internet to access the benefits of cloud computing services.
The rise of cloud models has subjugated traditional methods in enterprise IT. This is responsible for what is happening in networking today – new infrastructure, bandwidth consuming applications and devices, and new genres of cloud traffic. No matter what the demand, enterprise network should deliver seamlessly and consistently.
“WAN is about connecting people and applications, and the most fundamental construct of connectivity is Bandwidth.”
-Shyamal Kumar, CEO Lavelle Networks
SD-WAN today is one of the key enablers of the cloud. SD-WAN modernizes WAN allowing enterprises the freedom to use public cloud securely over the internet. With traditional WAN becoming a bottleneck to cloud – Public, Private and Hybrid cloud – more enterprises are upgrading to SD-WAN and adopting a cloud first strategy. Enterprises are optimizing SD-WAN to enable cloud networks and in turn their WAN into a powerhouse.
Why SD-WAN is critical to cloud computing?
SD-WAN allows IT to leverage secure local or regional breakouts to the cloud. Traffic, in this case, flows directly from the internet from the closest available link. If additional security is required, SD-WAN can segment (micro-segmentation) traffic and route the same to the cloud for further inspection.
Virtualizing enterprise networks
SD-WAN enables virtualization of enterprise networks that allows IT to create a unified fabric of all connected cloud services – Storage, WAN, DCs, Wired and Wireless LAN etc. These cloud networks have tremendous flexibility and scalability, with consistent policy deployment across the distributed enterprise ecosystem. By virtualizing networks via SD-WAN, IT can manage and handle any sort of traffic flows, even to the cloud, from one central orchestrator.
Using SD-WAN to enable network Automation
SD-WAN can route traffic based on policies. It delivers necessary business agility to gain maximum benefit from cloud services. With SD-WAN end users can automatically connect to cloud services using the best available link. Traffic is defined by policies and is routed automatically over the best path, based on business needs, security requirements, and current network health. This eliminates hectic and cumbersome manual configuration.
Delivering security with SD-WAN in the Cloud
SD-WAN enables IT teams to leverage cloud security as a service. SD-WAN can selectively direct traffic flows to the appropriate cloud security service while delivering embedded security services such as firewalls, VPNs, and user segmentation. Moreover, as the surge of multicloud ecosystem rises, SD-WAN and its security features are becoming key to secure cloud connectivity.
Making Networks Cloud Ready with SD-WAN
Transformation to digital, adopting cloud first strategy and optimizing state of art technology all sums up to one reason – Bespoke Customer and User Experience. All these initiatives are of no value if customer and user experience is poor and inconsistent. Hence SD-WAN today is at the core of digital transformation. SD-WAN provides granular visibility into application performance, network flows, and congested paths. It empowers IT with in-depth intelligence on users and devices connected to the network. It enables them to effectively deploy and manage applications and the underlying infrastructure. SD-WAN enables cloud networks for seamless access to all available ‘as-a-service’ (cloud computing resources or services) offers. An app friendly WAN architecture, making networks programmable and automated with end- to end visibility into enterprise networks – SD-WAN simplifies cloud connectivity. Powerful and easy management and monitoring of complex – cloud or hybrid networks has empowered IT network teams to address changing business requirements with agility
As enterprises continue to grow and evolve using varied cloud deployments and optimizing cloud computing services, SD-WAN is becoming a crucial technology to incorporate agility, security, flexibility and a high quality network experience to enterprise WAN. As cloud computing services continue to grow in demand, majority of enterprises are adopting a cloud-first strategy. Cloud has made the current traditional technologies if not obsolete, definitely a huge hindrance to digital transformation for enterprises across the world. No wonder majority enterprises have either shifted or are looking to shift to SD-WAN in the near future.