Embracing a Cloud First SD-WAN approach is revolutionizing how businesses handle their network demands in the cloud era. This article delves into the top benefits of adopting Cloud First SD-WAN, highlighting how it not only simplifies network management but also ensures robust security, improved performance, and cost efficiency.
Exploring Cloud First SD-WAN: A Game Changer for Modern Businesses
Modern companies need a network that meets them where they are. They need a solution that’s optimized for the cloud.
Past networking technologies aren’t up to the task of supporting today’s data-hungry businesses. The cloud-based software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is the solution for today’s corporate networks, especially when it comes to optimizing cloud connectivity.
Businesses increasingly rely on mission-critical services in the cloud. This includes voice over IP (VOIP), virtual private network (VPN) connectivity, cloud-hosted services and applications, email, office productivity, software as a service (Saas), and so much more.
There’s no room for downtime. A failed connection is lost productivity. Are you facing any of these problems:
- Slow access to crucial cloud resources?
- Persistent latency (lag)?
- Unreliable internet connectivity?
- Lack of internet connection visibility?
- Inflated costs?
You’re not alone. It’s easy to get caught up with all the sexy next-gen technology that’s hitting the market—artificial intelligence, extended reality, internet of things, and so many more—but without a solid foundation, it’s hard to get a return from your investment.
All of these applications require tons of data transfer. And that’s not even beginning to talk about the everyday programs that you run on the cloud, like file storage, backups, phone calls, video conferencing, project management, and more.
Without a network that can handle the load, we get the IT equivalent of an asthma attack: the pipes can’t handle what needs to pass through them. That’s why so many businesses are switching to SD-WAN for cloud deployment.
Optimizing Business Networks with Cloud First SD-WAN
What is Cloud-first SD-WAN?: The cloud-first software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) uses programmatic automation and rules-based configurations to prioritize certain types of internet traffic.
This improves connectivity between multiple sites or between a single site and a cloud service provider.
SD-WAN uses software to define how users and devices access resources like cloud services, VoIP SaaS applications, etc.
If you’re wondering “what is SD-WAN used for?” then consider this metaphor. Just as air traffic control orchestrates air traffic going in and out of an airport to prevent collisions and delays, SD-WAN orchestrates web traffic that goes in and out of a company’s network.
Cloud-first SD-WAN ensures that your business always has access to the cloud resources that it depends on to get the job done.
It also provides network administrators with more control. They can prioritize certain types of traffic, set rules to ensure security, and improve capacity and resiliency by incorporating redundancy. SD-WAN also enables better network monitoring and analytics.
Cloud First SD-WAN: Enhancing Security and Performance
According to a Futuriom SD-WAN Growth Report, 92% of companies “said they are using and/or evaluating SD-WAN technology.”
Any technology reaching toward such ubiquity deserves our attention. SD-WAN is far from a speculative investment; like we said above, it unlocks a variety of advanced technologies, such as AI and cloud computing, because the network forms the basic infrastructure of the digital enterprise. Here’s how:
- Reliable cloud access: As more companies move to cloud services, concerns about communication networks have grown because they’re often not able to handle critical access to cloud services.This becomes even more challenging as organizations come to depend upon multiple cloud service providers and private data centers.
By centralizing control of these hybrid environments, companies that use cloud-first SD-WAN can reap the full benefits of digital transformation and cloud adoption.
For instance, this technology enables all of your traffic to go out of the cloud with a single IP address, regardless of what internet carrier you have. This is important for services like VoIP so that it never has to re-register mid-call. The upshot is that you never drop a call.
The same holds true for virtual private network (VPN) connectivity. With cloud-first SD-WAN, your connection will never be interrupted, no matter what happens behind the scenes on your network.
- Boosted performance: SD-WAN is good for productivity. “Through performance monitoring conducted in the SD-WAN layer, IT staff can determine optimal network settings for each application,” explains IBM.
“The IT staff can then redirect traffic to the appropriate transport service and adjust network settings to reduce application latency and improve availability to end users.”Some types of data transfer are more important than others.
With so many companies hosting mission-critical applications in the cloud, having a reliable and consistent cloud connection is essential for today’s businesses. Cloud-first SD-WAN can also prevent packet loss and jitter, both of which degrade the user experience.
- Improved network security: Reduced security risk is another main benefit. It ultimately comes down to giving administrators more visibility and control over what’s going on in the network.
SD-WAN provides an additional layer of encryption alongside built-in firewall capabilities. It’s also possible to set up a cloud-based SD-WAN with integrated threat protection and application-aware policies.
This means that the software governing the network’s behavior can automatically stop some forms of malware and ransomware.
- Reduced complexity: Cloud-first SD-WAN is easier to manage than older, less sophisticated protocols like multiprotocol label switching (MPLS). This is especially true in complex hybrid environments that include both public and private clouds.
According to Statista research, one of the biggest adoption drivers among current adopters of SD-WAN in the US is that it is “more efficient to deploy and manage.”
Many survey respondents also cite the “ability to consolidate the network into one environment” and that SD-WAN “enables orchestration across multiple types of access.” This reduced complexity also enables greater agility, both when it comes to faster network resource provisioning and responding more quickly to business demands.
- Reduced cost: The other top-cited reason in the Statista research is lower cost. It’s not uncommon for companies to reduce their network costs by 40% or more.
When companies realize that they can lower the overall total cost of ownership (TCO) of their network, reduce their IT overhead, and improve their bottom line, cloud-first SD-WAN becomes even more attractive.
Why Choose Cloud First SD-WAN for Your Business?
There’s no need to “take the leap” with cloud-first SD-WAN adoption. Instead of ripping out existing infrastructure, SD-WAN is an overlay that rests on top of an existing network and cloud deployment.
Remember, it’s all software.
That said, it’s still important to be strategic about implementation. We need to make sure that we include security by design rather than attempting to bolt it on after the fact, and we also need to ensure that the SD-WAN serves the needs of both users and the IT staffers who support them.
Especially for integrating SD-WAN into complex networks, that’s why it’s so crucial to work with a trusted partner. You need someone who can understand your needs, develop an actionable roadmap, and work with you from design to provisioning to support.
That’s why so many businesses choose Nexxis FailSAFE cloud access. They want an SD-WAN that’s optimized for cloud connectivity and that will continue to serve them for years to come, no matter where technology takes them.
Plus, many businesses realize a reduction their network costs by up to 90%
We offer a complete package that bundles together FailSAFE SD-WAN, redundant connectivity over a diverse set of carriers, full management and maintenance, and on-demand troubleshooting.
Forget the headache of trying to manage multiple vendors, invoices, and agreements. We make it easy to improve your networking with SD-WAN and other cutting-edge technologies.