Digital transformation has created a fresh wave of opportunities that optimize productivity far beyond what the business world previously thought possible. This is being done using a combination of collaboration tools, big data, application and data access from virtually anywhere, anytime, on any device. In order to embark on this journey, a reliable, fast and resilient network topology is critical.
The cloud and your network
Businesses historically deployed a private network WAN topology, such as MPLS, to ensure each of its locations shared a single internet feed. All sites would traverse the WAN and access the internet via the main circuit, which was housed at company headquarters or within a secure data centre. This provided a security advantage – with one stream of internet delivery, IT limited the number of entry points into its organization’s network.
Cloud services are, in contrast, often provided and accessed over the public internet. Because the performance of cloud-enabled software improves significantly as the user gets closer to a reliable high bandwidth internet source, a private network WAN sharing just one internet source with multiple locations is not equipped to provide your on-location, mobile and remote employees with a reliable, high quality cloud experience.
SD-WAN to the rescue
Software Defined-WAN (SD-WAN) offers the best of both worlds, providing every site with direct internet access, as well as secure corporate WAN access between offices. How? Branch networking is built “over the top” of internet feeds at each site. A split tunnel allows direct access from each site to the internet and all cloud services, while the branch network overlay allows site-to-site connectivity.
The network configures itself based on the options chosen by the client in their web based management portal, constantly optimizing the routing of traffic between sites. Your IT team has access to dashboards which share the end-to-end performance of their network, congestion points and bandwidth consumption by application type. Resolving any application performance issues or end-user challenges becomes much easier given IT has fingertip access to relevant information via the live management portal, making diagnosing problems and optimizing network settings simple.
What’s better, most cloud service providers offer a SD-WAN termination option so that your cloud collaboration service (i.e. TELUS Business Connect, TELUS Cloud Collaboration) and cloud computing service (i.e. Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, etc.) is a secured extension of your corporate branch network. SD-WAN has made connecting your employees to the cloud and various digital workplace solutions easy. The productivity and agility enabled by a cloud-friendly network will define how equipped your business is to succeed, well into the next decade.
Interested in SD-WAN for your business? Learn more about the solution and our 60-day free trial, or watch a video and see how TELUS Network as a Service can accelerate your digital transformation.
Interested in reading more about how to assess your networking needs in a cloud-first world?
Read the article: Hitting reset on network availability and visibility.