The network of yesterday is not the network that can take businesses into the future. As mission critical enterprise applications move to the cloud, wide area network (WAN) must adapt to become agile, flexible, and scale rapidly. Leading IT trends such as Internet of Things (IoT), Software as a Service (SaaS), cloud storage, enterprise mobility, emerging transport alternatives, and globalization increase the importance of how network assets are leveraged and how the network is conceptualized. The advantages of public and private data centers and cloud-based applications are significantly diminished if the network is slow, inflexible, and unpredictable. Erratic network performance with high latency, jitter and packet loss can significantly impact user adoption, satisfaction, and overall corporate productivity.
As connectivity options continue to emerge, end users are no longer tethered to the office or to the localized applications and services that were trademarks of a primary or branch office. With more end users on the move or working from distributed locations, the need to access corporate applications and data 24/7/365 from multiple devices is on the rise. These users require the same experience in their remote offices as does a person located at a primary business location. The Internet provides global access for cloud applications, but is limited by poor reliability, unpredictable performance, and weak security. The solution is to orchestrate network management and visibility from a centralized, cloud location to better control traffic flows and leverage all available links (e.g. a hybrid WAN) for optimal reliability.
The increased deployment of cloud applications, storage, hosted voice, video, mobile applications, and the emergence of IoT has challenged IT and business managers to provide high-quality WAN services to the branch. Organizations typically rely on multiple cloud platforms (e.g. Amazon, Microsoft and Google) and must transmit and migrate data to and from these platforms in real time. Deploying and managing the WAN has become more challenging and costly as traffic flows are decentralized. The solution for many organizations is to place network intelligence in the cloud to monitor, steer, and secure traffic flows. Software defined WAN (SD-WAN) offers compelling advantages for distributed organizations with critical branch operations, including the benefits of business agility, optimized application performance, and increased bandwidth efficiencies.