SD-WAN is a trending topic, and you may have heard of terms like Managed SD-WAN, Do-It-Yourself SD-WAN, Operator SD-WAN, and SD-WAN Appliances. There is something else that you should know about – the Cloud-First Managed SD-WAN.
Before we jump into the thick of things, let’s take a step back and remember what it is and why SD-WAN is needed.
A Software-Defined WAN is a solution that simplifies cloud and data center connectivity for enterprise users. It reduces costs while improving reliability and security by combining various transport technologies like broadband Internet, MPLS, LTE, and Layer 2 private networks. SD-WAN is becoming essential for two reasons – Digital Transformation and rising WAN costs.
At a very fundamental level, Digital Transformation is the infusion of technology into all areas of a business to change how they operate and deliver value to customers. Digital Transformation includes big data and analytics, Smart Manufacturing, digital sales and marketing channels, digital supply chains, and cloud transformation.
The consequence of digitization is the enormous increase in volume, velocity, and data variety that traverses the enterprise WAN. Legacy WANs are not designed to cater to this data tsunami. Addressing this challenge requires a fundamental rethink of the WAN architecture. A fully managed cloud-first WAN is this new architecture thus emphasizing on the importance of why SD-Wan.
Rising WAN costs are another answer to the proverbial ‘Why SD-WAN’ question. Catering to this data deluge and branch connectivity requirements using legacy solutions like MPLS can be very expensive.
How Does SD-WAN Work?
A cloud-first SD-WAN is designed to meet the needs of the Cloud-First enterprise. It covers areas of connectivity, application acceleration, cloud, security, and analytics, all brought together seamlessly and “as-a-service.” To understand how does Sd-Wan work, follow the section given below:
More Than an SD-WAN Box
To qualify as a cloud-first SD-WAN, the solution has to be more than just an SD-WAN CPE. An SD-WAN CPE based approach leaves much to be desired. It fails to address some or all of these vital questions –
- How does it accelerate connect to SaaS applications?
- How does it ensure the security of applications, users, and data?
- Can it support innovative consumption models like pay-as-you-grow?
- Does it connect to IaaS/PaaS like AWS, Azure, Alibaba Cloud, SalesForce, etc.?
- Can it guarantee Day-1 SLAs and ensure that business-critical applications are prioritized?
Importance of an SD-WAN Platform in a Cloud-First SD-WAN
The questions above can be answered by taking a platform approach to SD-WAN rather than a box-centric approach. SD-WAN vendors like Aryaka do this with a private global Layer 2 core, with 30+ points-of-presence covering over 95% of the world’s knowledge workers. To answer the query why SD-Wan, consider that it also provides built-in functionality for WAN optimization, application acceleration, and out-of-the-box connectivity to leading SaaS and IaaS service providers. Baking in security as part of the solution caters to the emerging needs of the mobile workforce. It also makes security more user-centric in addition to application-centric. Bringing it all together is an analytics platform that delivers actionable insights into the state of the WAN.