SD-WAN: Making Sense of the Cloud Cuckoo Land

You finished moving your applications to the cloud. The project went live, and you hoped that soon you would be reaping immense benefits from your cloud investment. You wait. And wait some more. And then reality strikes.

Mainstream network technologies that build up most enterprise networks of today were not built to handle the dynamic, anytime anywhere accessibility of workloads in a cloud environment. To truly reap the benefits of a cloud strategy, you need to compliment it with a network that is intelligent, cloud-native, secure and still cost-effective. SD-WAN is your answer.

Enter the Cloud Transformation Era

Enterprises are in the midst of a digital transformation and the cloud promises everything that an enterprise needs today- on-demand scalability, ease of access, simplified operations and massive cost benefits. Little wonder then, that the rate of adoption of SaaS applications (Office 365, SAP, Salesforce etc) and public cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform has been staggering. According to Gartner, 50% or more enterprise application deployment decisions by 2020 will be based on cloud strategies. Gartner Says Worldwide Public Cloud Services Market to Grow 18 Percent in 2017 – https://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3616417

But the cloud story has its own set of caveats -something that many organizations have missed amidst the buzz.

Networks- The Cloud’s Achilles Heel

The advent of cloud marked the end of enterprise data being confined within the safe and monitored boundaries of the enterprise network. The new ‘Public Cloud + Internet’ set-up poses certain challenges for the enterprise that most IT teams would have never encountered before with the conventional ‘Corporate Datacentre + MPLS’ environment.

For more than a decade, MPLS had been the default trusted and reliable mode of transport that provided secure enterprise-grade connectivity with SLAs to provide guaranteed levels of Quality of Service for network traffic. However, MPLS fails to make the cut as the preferred mode of connectivity for cloud-based applications. The relative difficulty in scaling bandwidth on demand and the high bandwidth costs of MPLS negates the two primary reasons enterprises move to the cloud-agility and cost benefits.

The public internet on the other hand provides ease of access to cloud applications and is both scalable and cheaper as compared to traditional MPLS. But it can also open a Pandora’s box of problems for the enterprise. The public internet by itself cannot prioritize mission critical traffic and is prone to congestion and packet loss especially over disperse geographical distances, hampering application performance. Couple that with the inherent challenge of the lack of security on the internet and IT teams have a big problem on their hands.

Irrespective of which flavour of cloud you use (SaaS, IaaS or PaaS), the need to move away from legacy networks to a solution built for the new application consumption model is imperative.

SD-WAN: The Future of Cloud Connectivity

For organizations facing the challenges of legacy networks, SD-WAN is the most obvious answer. The average business user only cares about the accessibility, performance and security of enterprise applications, not where the application is hosted. SD-WAN can help IT teams create a smarter and secure way of accessing cloud applications, reduce operational complexity by simplifying the enterprise WAN into a single manageable component and provide end-to-end automation with real time contextual insights into application, user, device and location.

Today’s enterprise networks must support this new application consumption model and should be built on the following guidelines:

  • Topology and application aware WAN with integrated DNS optimizations to route traffic optimally between the source and cloud
  • Built-in advanced next generation firewall capabilities to protect mission critical enterprise data from the threats on public internet
  • Dynamic and intelligent path selection and traffic steering for optimal application experience
  • Integrated monitoring tools that can enable the network administrators to actively monitor applications and network health in real time.
  • Network segmentation to isolate individual parts of the network from each other to provide separate policy and user rights and facilitate compliance.

Deploying a secure SD-WAN network as your new enterprise WAN is rightly placed for the cloud focused enterprise. The question is – how do you choose the right SD-WAN for your organization?

Versa Secure SD-WAN: Delivering on the Cloud Promise

The enterprise technology industry is flooded with SD-WAN solutions. Organizations need to carefully evaluate and choose a solution that can help them tackle the three biggest points of concern- application performance, agility and security.

Versa’s Cloud IP Platform provides networking, SD-WAN and security, all in a single cloud-native unified software package that enables you to deploy a secure network without added complexity of a managing multiple hardware and software components in your branch and cloud. Versa’s comprehensive and designed-for-cloud solutions can help organizations build an automated, agile, secure and cost-effective network environment to further enable their digital transformations.

To know how Versa can help you on your Cloud journey, click one of the links below to schedule a demo or just reach out with some questions.

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