Optimize the Enterprise Network for Multi-Cloud- Webinar Highlights
Many still consider SD-WAN as an emerging technology in the enterprise IT space. However, SD-WAN has started to gain traction among IT leaders. Organizations world-wide that are gearing up or are mid-way through a ‘digital transformation’ drive need to take a more software-defined approach to their infrastructure. IT teams in these organizations are increasingly relying on automation to help them with the routine tasks to make IT more efficient.
Analyst firm IDC believes that SD-WAN market will reach USD 8 billion by 2020, a CAGR of 70% per year growth over the next four years. While some believe that the projected numbers are aggressive and unreal, there is a general consensus about the fact that the SD-WAN is going to impact the market immensely in the coming years. But what is sparking this increasing interest in SD-WAN technologies? How does it benefit your organization and business? What are some of things you should keep in mind while looking for an SD-WAN solution?
To answer these questions, we sponsored a webinar exploring why cloud/digital transformations and SD-WAN are mutually inclusive, featuring Scott Ferguson, Co-Editor, Enterprise Cloud News and Robert McBride, Head of Product Marketing, Versa Networks. Fergusson and McBride discuss why multi-cloud infrastructures need to be backed with a secure, agile, reliable and cost-effective network solution.
Here are the key takeaways from the webinar:
Navigating a Multi-Cloud World: Most organizations today have a mix of enterprise software/hardware needs on various cloud platforms. A research by IHS Markit found that enterprises are expecting to use on average 11 different cloud service providers(CSP) by 2019 to meet all of their off-premises cloud needs. This new paradigm of a “cloud of clouds’ within the enterprise, or Multi-Cloud, is creating its own set of management and security challenges for the enterprise.
Connecting branch locations to each CSP creates another level of complexity on a network landscape that already is a management and operational nightmare. The situation worsens when IT teams are unable to monitor application performance in real time, ensure that the network is secure yet agile and resilient and automate performance tuning to ensure SLAs between enterprise sites and cloud.
Organizations turn to the cloud because business users and customers today demand a more flexible, open, anytime anywhere access model for enterprise applications. And above all, application performance and user experience have become a critical factor for IT teams today.
However, conventional network architectures don’t support the cloud-driven application consumption patterns of today. Enterprises need to re-architect the network for multi-cloud and SaaS applications. But how and with what?
SD-WAN to the Rescue: SD–WAN is no magical tonic that will cure your networks of all its ailments. It won’t manage your clouds as well. However, what SD-WAN can do is consolidate various existing transport mediums into one functional application driven network. SD-WAN ensures that application experience is what drives traffic steering decisions from the network to the CSP. It also simplifies the network with a centralized portal to manage and control it and increases visibility across the entire network fabric. It basically can build an application-driven network that can provide business users the most fine-tuned route to access the cloud (See Fig 1)
(Suggested read: SD-WAN: Making Sense of the Cloud Cuckoo Land)
SD-WAN brings the following benefits to the enterprise:
- Intelligent routing for business apps driven by business intent and desired outcome
- Creates a transport agnostic network
- Centralized point for management, control and visibility
- Network and application active monitoring and routing
Building a Secure Edge Network: Traditionally, organizations have the option of choosing between two models when addressing multi-cloud connectivity. First is to open your branch to Direct Internet Access (DIA) to applications hosted in the cloud. This is a more optimal approach since it allows users in branch locations to gain faster and direct access to SaaS applications. However, enterprises have little or no control over the public internet and risk opening their critical enterprise data to the security vulnerabilities of the world wide web.
The second option is to backhaul all your branch traffic via the central datacentre firewall and then to the cloud via internet. While this set-up guarantees enterprise grade security, your bandwidth requirements skyrocket and lead to rising expenses. Moreover, the long path taken for the data to travel back and forth often negatively impacts application performance and end-user experience.
SD-WAN’s main intent is to ensure that the end-users get the best possible application experience, irrespective of where they are hosted. SD-WAN makes your infrastructure more intelligent to access cloud-based applications and minimizes the effort and cost required to operate a network that can support a multi-cloud environment.
Promising as SD-WAN might sound, IT leaders must keep in mind that all SD-WANs are not built equal. DIA from branch to cloud needs the promise of enterprise-grade integrated security alongside the SD-WAN solution. And that is why IT leaders need to make an intelligent and informed decision while choosing a SD-WAN solution because there are few solution providers in the market who can create the perfect concoction of software defining the WAN and reliable security.
About Versa Networks
Founded by network industry veterans, Versa Networks is an innovative vendor in the SD-WAN and SD-Security market. Versa’s solutions enable service providers and large enterprises to transform the WAN and branch networks to achieve unprecedented business advantages. Versa’s carrier-grade NFV software provides unmatched agility, cost savings, and flexibility, compared to traditional network hardware. The company is backed by premier venture investors Sequoia, Mayfield, Artis Ventures and Verizon Ventures. For more information visit https://www.versa-networks.com/ and follow us @versanetworks.