While the shift to remote work was a swift reaction to a global pandemic, enterprises are embracing its benefits as a long-term solution that improves life-work balance for employees, offers cost savings, and drives up productivity. Now IT teams are examining remote work technology for better long-term solutions.
When it comes to network connectivity, it’s clear that the virtual private network (VPN) is not a great solution, but could software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) truly work as an option for home deployment?
For the end user, the critical piece is session stability. Networking teams might talk about specific causes like packet loss or bandwidth bottlenecks, but the only thing the end user knows is that their services have frozen up. But when it comes to keeping remote work moving, bandwidth starvation is a problem that SD-WAN can solve.
Even so, there are plenty of vendors in the market claiming SD-WAN solutions as part of their offerings, but the industry lacks agreement related to what the minimum capabilities are for a solution to be called SD-WAN. You need to know what to examine to assess whether a solution focused on user experience is adequate in a way that supports your remote-work technology goals.
Solving the Primary Problems: The poor experiences plaguing users generally come down to either a delay in packets due to latency, jitter, or congestion or basic packet loss, in which a data transmission simply goes missing. These tend to be quickly occurring and passing problems, but they do negatively affect the user experience. A video call that has frozen up is a frustrating experience for those on a video conference.
SD-WAN solves this by bonding links, each offering alternative paths when the primary connectivity is impacted by congestion or another problem. While a home isn’t likely to have multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) or other transports, many SD-WAN providers will offer a small form factor device for SD-WAN that supplements connectivity at home with 4G.
When user sessions utilize packet-based forwarding, each packet is delivered via the best transport option based on business policy.
Better Security With SASE: The move to remote work is just the latest development in a network that is increasingly moving away from a strictly hub-and-spoke infrastructure. The end user is now positioned at the edge of an interconnected meshed web of services. This setting requires new ideas for security in the form of access control and user accountability.
The solution that enterprises are increasingly employing is secure access service edge (SASE), which controls which users can perform each action and from which location. It also provides an audit trail for tracking where security compromises occur, if and when they do. It uses service chain web gateways and IP reputation control, among other tools. It’s part of the package when you choose one of the SD-WAN options that place a high priority on security for enterprises interested in moving forward with digital transformation without the sacrifice of adding vulnerability for systems and the network.If you’re trying to build better remote-work technology in the wake of the COVID-19 shift to work-from-home teams, contact us at ITBroker.com. We can help you determine the right network infrastructure to improve connectivity for employees while improving security.