In the last few months, the shift to working from home has increased an already pressing need for new WAN solutions, with software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) emerging as the clear solution for an increasingly complex networking environment.
The early days of the WAN utilized it as a way to connect users from within a company location to access resources that were in the same data center or other enterprise locations. As the cloud environment began to take over enterprise IT, a radical shift in networking was required.
According to a study from Nemertes Research, a radical change has taken place. More than half, or 56%, of workloads are run on an external cloud. The “Cloud, Network and Infrastructure: 2019-2020 Research Study” also found that the work-from-home element is likely to continue a push for updated networking solutions as fewer than a third of enterprises have plans to go back to an environment where employees are housed in a corporate office.
The shift to working from home has certainly accelerated the change to the WAN, with employers forced to think differently about networking and the ability to connect users across disparate locations and devices, including in home offices.
SD-WAN provides the necessary solution because it meets a number of requirements for enterprises:
- Centralized, automated networking allowing traffic to be prioritized and segmented according to business policy
- Sustainable management of the complex and varied connected devices and cloud services
- Autonomous use of multiple pathways for communications with the elimination of challenges like latency and dropped packets
- An ability to prioritize traffic according to its requirements for real-time connectivity or business critical nature, such as video conferencing versus email
- Built-in security measures that allow threats to be isolated and mitigated quickly without impacting other traffic
The benefits have become particularly useful as network teams attempt to accommodate a semi-permanently remote workforce. The management of the network through policy and automation allows teams to access multiple links such as broadband and LTE, as well as improving reliability and enabling better performance.
More than half of enterprises are deploying DIY SD-WAN solutions, but as teams are strained under the pressure of multiplying the number of locations and devices, they are turning to managed solutions. These may include management and support for security and other functions, with connectivity and performance guarantees included.
The switch to a fully managed solution offers network teams the ability to focus on other strategic objectives, as well as speed up deployments. Managed deployment allows for smoother integration with cloud access and policy enforcement. If your network team is overloaded with your current WAN solution, contact us at ITBroker.com. We can help you determine the specific benefits you can expect with an SD-WAN deployment for your work-from-home teams as well as in your corporate headquarters.