When applications were located in house, it made perfect sense to bring each transmission from a branch through the data center; but as more businesses adopt multi-cloud environments, the traditional WAN no longer makes sense. Increasingly, businesses are choosing to implement software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN).
SD-WAN is, in many ways, a response to the rapid transition to cloud that many businesses were forced to pursue at the start of the pandemic. While companies that had already adopted cloud migration were able to seamlessly pivot to remote work, those that had relied on traditional, in-house technology had to make quick decisions about how to keep business processes moving.
SD-WAN and the overall network architecture were the next step, as IT teams reckoned with the need for simplicity in a multi-cloud environment, the bandwidth demands of cloud solutions, the need for better security across an even-more-geographically-dispersed workforce, and connectivity challenges across the board.
Here are three ways that implementing SD-WAN will assist your business in simplifying your multi-cloud environment:
Optimizing the User Experience: The connectivity challenges were among the most pressing as teams struggled to support mission-critical applications with congestion and latency causing application performance issues. An edge-based SD-WAN solution equipped with software as a service (SaaS) optimization will secure users located at remote sites or branch locations to SaaS applications with quality of experience (QoE) offering constant monitoring.
In order to achieve improved performance through SD-WAN, look for first-packet identification to ensure that applications are recognized after the first packet. This allows it to be prioritized for its intended destination.
Supporting Your Security Policies: Different technologies will require unique approaches in order to support your security controls. To improve security without negatively affecting application performance, SD-WAN allows you to map your applications to virtual WAN overlays so that they align with the appropriate QoS, failover, and transport settings.
It’s also important to have a unified, zone-based stateful firewall employed at the WAN edge to protect secure local internet breakout.
Further Protection Through SASE: Secure access service edge (SASE) is taking the next step to a secure SD-WAN by offering cloud-native security controls at the edge where data is being generated and is most at-risk. Any quality edge-based SD-WAN will integrate with your third-party cloud security services. You can also use application programming interfaces (APIs) to fully adopt organization-wide automation for consistent security policies. This allows for zero-trust WAN edge on premises, while also benefiting from security services from a managed services provider.
When choosing your SD-WAN solution, be aware that not all are created equal, particularly in the area of security. Many solutions take the approach of bolting on security features as an afterthought, and you want to choose a solution that has native security features in its development.
For more information about the benefits that edge-based SD-WAN could deliver to your multi-cloud environment, contact us at ITBroker.com.