The shift to remote work amid the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated cloud migration for some enterprises, but many still struggle to address challenges around network management, performance, and security. Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) answers many of the obstacles, offering built-in security features, centralized and automated bandwidth management, and traffic prioritization.
Cloud migration comes with many advantages, including cost-efficiency, scalability, and all-important during the pandemic – the ability to work wherever there is a network connection. Even with all these benefits, the move to cloud can still be riddled with difficulties including performance issues resulting in packet loss and latency, security risks, bandwidth limitations, and WAN costs.
Many of these issues are directly related to the network’s ability to handle the high bandwidth demands introduced with cloud migration, as well as application performance specifications. Traditional WANs were not designed to provide connectivity in the cloud era, including these challenges:
MPLS Lines: Multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) connections are the traditional method of transport for WAN networks; however, while reliable and secure, they are a costly option for the bandwidth demands that come with cloud migration.
Security: IT teams struggle to keep control and visibility over an environment where users are accessing cloud applications, often bypassing approval from network teams. When a traditional WAN is in place, security policies must be applied manually, which can be time-consuming and allow for additional errors to be introduced.
Network Management: The complexity of the cloud environment offers significant challenges for teams determining how to supply adequate bandwidth and looking for efficient onboarding of new cloud applications. In addition, teams struggle to get enough visibility into the network to troubleshoot when congestion, latency, and other problems surface.
Enterprises accelerating cloud migration should consider pursuing the simultaneous implementation of SD-WAN to introduce centralized control and visibility, traffic segmentation and prioritization, enhanced security features, and streamlined onboarding of cloud solutions. These three additional considerations allow the organization to get the best benefit out of an SD-WAN investment:
Updated Infrastructure: SD-WAN leverages additional transport links, such as 4G LTE and broadband internet to augment MPLS connections to increase bandwidth volume. SD-WAN also offers application-based traffic routing in order to prioritize traffic and ensure an optimized transport route approach. To keep business applications running, network teams can implement failover strategies that are ready in the event of unpredicted downtimes.
Embedded Security: Your network team should pursue a plan that includes full-stack security, including malware protection, next-generation firewall, intrusion prevention, sandboxing, and more – all built into the WAN architecture. The design of SD-WAN connects cloud traffic to its destination, removing the need to backhaul transmission to the data center and improving security. In addition, granular and layered control provide network teams with greater visibility into any potential threats.
Centralized Management: A single interface for management allows teams to apply the same policies across the entire network according to business priorities. A management console offers a streamlined and simplified approach to cloud deployment while eliminating some of the complexity associated with the cloud environment.If your organization is pursuing cloud migration, contact us at IT Broker to discuss the specific benefits your team might experience with an SD-WAN implementation. From simplifying network management to introducing better security and improved application performance, a virtualized network solution allows you to optimize the advantages of digital transformation.