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4 Ways SD-WAN Supports Distributed IT Environments

Software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) continues to evolve to meet the requirements of an increasingly decentralized IT environment. When the global health crisis forced organizations to make drastic operational changes, SD-WAN emerged as an essential platform for enabling secure remote access to applications and services.

SD-WAN was developed as a way to prioritize traffic and routing policies for more efficient branch office connectivity. While that remains an essential function, events of the past year have shifted networking priorities. SD-WAN now underpins the “work from anywhere” model by enabling multi-cloud connectivity, edge computing and advanced security services.

Futuriom, a research firm focused on cloud technologies, says SD-WAN has become the foundational technology for providing just about any virtualized network service that can be accessed in the cloud. It anticipates the market for SD-WAN services will nearly double over the next two years, from $2.6 billion in 2021 to $4.6 billion by 2023.

VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud is positioned to drive a good deal of that growth. The cloud-native service addresses these four key business drivers for SD-WAN:

Multi-Cloud

More than 90 percent of enterprises use multiple cloud providers to improve application resiliency and data redundancy. However, managing and securing an assortment of private and public cloud workloads and environments remains a challenge. Many connect their clouds via their on-premises data center WAN, but this often results in deployment complexity, inconsistent network performance and expensive connectivity.

VMware’s SD-WAN enables organizations to connect multiple cloud service providers over a single infrastructure by leveraging a “network of clouds” with gateways deployed in more than 150 points of presence (POPs) worldwide. These gateways serve as the first hop for traffic from multiple clouds, reducing latency and ensuring a smooth application experience.

Edge Computing

Edge computing is a distributed computing model that pushes data processing closer to data sources in order to minimize latency, preserve bandwidth and allow devices to work with near-real-time data. This requires deploying multiple edge routers beyond the corporate data center — a difficult proposition with traditional WAN architectures based on private-link MPLS connectivity.

VMware SD-WAN makes it possible to extend the network with a variety of transport types, including MPLS and broadband. All connections are active and traffic routing is automated across multiple links. That is a game-changer for remote workers because it ensures that key network resources and cloud applications are always available.

Work From Anywhere (WFA)

The shift of applications to the cloud offers unprecedented agility and efficiency but connecting remote users to these cloud resources can be problematic. Organizations typically backhaul cloud traffic to the enterprise WAN, but that overloads the network and creates latency and performance issues.

VMware’s network of clouds improves application performance for remote and mobile workers because gateways send cloud traffic directly to their destination without the need for backhauling. VMware also helps resolve connectivity issues by integrating artificial intelligence operations (AIOps) into SD-WAN. It can pull in real-time data from network devices for processing through a series of machine learning and AI algorithms designed specifically to identify and remediate network disruptions.

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)

SASE consolidates multiple network and security functions such as DNS security, secure web gateways, firewall-as-a-service, cloud access security brokers (CASBs) and threat intelligence into a single cloud-delivered solution. SD-WAN enables SASE by simplifying deployment to remote and mobile users and branch locations.

VMware’s SASE services run inside its network of clouds and is efficiently delivered to users in any location via SD-WAN gateways. This ensures the consistent delivery of multiple network and application security functions as a single service, which cuts complexity and cost.

Conclusion

The events of the past year have dramatically altered network requirements and SD-WAN solutions are proving to be essential for addressing those changes. Call your Cerium representative to learn more about using VMware SD-WAN to securely support increasingly decentralized IT environments.

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