Failsafe SD-WAN: The Key to Multi-Cloud Connectivity: Part 1

Five years ago, it was an open question whether most businesses would adopt cloud computing or stick with a traditional IT setup, due to the latter's perceived advantages in security and control as well as its general familiarity. Today, the pressing questions are more along the lines of "how many clouds apps and SaaS options have enterprises already adopted?" and "what workloads are they eyeing for eventual cloud migration?"

While on-prem data centers still process over half of all workloads in 2018, they're on the verge of a sharp decline as public and hybrid cloud deployments are set to exceed 60 percent of the market by 2022.  In fact, 2019 is shaping up to be the year cloud finally takes the top spot. This ongoing digital transformation means big changes at the network edge. Enterprise WANs must now morph to match this new reality.

More than 80 percent of enterprises had a multi-cloud strategy at the start of 2019, according to RightScale. Connecting all of these disparate applications and services to their users, who themselves are increasingly mobile and particularly reliant on real-time apps like UCaaS VoIP, CCaaS and video requires enterprises to rethink their network.  Enterprises must move evolve their networks beyond the standard, decades-old designs of business WANs originally built for the predictable flows of legacy client-server traffic.

SD-WAN Evolution and the Journey to a Multi-Cloud Enterprise

The case for SD-WAN is often presented solely as the need to upgrade from MPLS. The driving business need is clearly demonstrated when enterprise's need to connect with customers as part of their digital engagement (e.g. Banking) story, though: While MPLS is increasingly mixed with SD-WAN in a hybrid WAN, the limitations of older WANs go beyond the fact that MPLS doesn't "do" cloud. MPLS WANs with Internet links simply added at each site for cloud access still have many challenges: they're hard to manage and not very automated, do not efficiently use multiple bandwidth options and fail to deliver the Quality of Experience (QoE) end users expect as cloud-based services become more mission-critical to their business workflows.

These shortcomings are why the traditional WAN is ripe for an overhaul to meet the real-time, always available network needs of the multi-cloud world. In contrast, SD-WANs solidify the enterprise WAN, helping it meet current requirements for security, agility, cost through features including:

  • Streamlined, zero-touch provisioning.
  • Better SaaS performance through secure direct-to-cloud connections.
  • Compatibility with broadband, cellular and satellite in addition to MPLS.
  • Centralized orchestration and policy control.
  • Improved app availability via bandwidth aggregation and multi-path technology.

These capabilities set an enterprise SD-WAN worlds apart from a conventional MPLS WAN.  However, most SD-WAN solutions still can't guarantee high QoE when using Internet links to augment, let alone replace, MPLS. Users expect predictable application performance across both TCP and real-time apps: everything from email and CRM to voice and video should "just work" when accessing cloud-based applications. Unfortunately, most SD-WAN solutions, despite their other benefits, don't actually deliver this.

Enter failsafe SD-WAN technology. A failsafe SD-WAN like the Oracle's Talari offering ensures MPLS-class availability and predictable application performance (a.k.a. QoE) for all applications regardless of the underlying transport.

In the second part of this series, we will examine failsafe SD-WAN tech in more detail. Be sure to check out our FAQ or request a demo of the Oracle's Talari SD-WAN in the meantime. Also, stay tuned for a new white paper collaboration between Oracle and ZK Research expanding upon the business need for failsafe SD-WANs.

Categories: WAN to Cloud

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