How SD-WAN Improves Cloud Performance

By now, it’s clear that the cloud is here to stay. Concerns about usage and security have all but vanished as enterprises continue to migrate more workloads to off-premise environments. In fact, cloud use is rising faster than ever before, with businesses leveraging this technology for more mission-critical capabilities.

This doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement, though. As new solutions continue to emerge, it’s helpful to see how these systems can work together to provide the best support and user experience possible. Such is the case with SD-WAN and the cloud – when used in tandem, these technologies can provide a wealth of valuable features and capabilities. But what would a strategy like this look like, and how does SD-WAN boost the power of the cloud?

Intelligent visibility

According to RightScale’s 2016 State of the Cloud report, the average enterprise now utilizes six cloud environments, which include a mix of public, private and hybrid platforms. What’s more, many enterprises are also experimenting with at least one additional public cloud and one private platform.

“The average enterprise now utilizes six cloud environments.”

All of these different environments can create challenges for IT and network administrators, especially when it comes to application visibility. Thankfully, these issues can be effectively addressed with an SD-WAN solution, which provides end-to-end visibility of all traffic on the network. This means that admins are never in the dark when it comes to their cloud connectivity.

Link monitoring

An SD-WAN proactively measures key performance metrics of all links supporting access to cloud-based platforms. Things like latency, jitter, packet loss and availability are all continually measured by the SD-WAN technology, which then uses this information to select the best path possible for all traffic.

In a cloud setting, this means that all traffic heading through the corporate data center to the cloud takes the most optimal path. This strategy ensures that users experience the best performance when using the cloud, as data packets are routed around any problems occurring on any of the company’s MPLS or broadband links.

Applications that utilize cloud environments must go through a more complex process for delivering traffic. An SD-WAN can help simplify this process while at the same time ensuring that path quality is continually monitored.

Automatic encryption

While security concerns are no longer the top challenge when it comes to cloud usage, this doesn’t mean that enterprises should approach data protection in the cloud with a lax attitude. SD-WAN helps at this point as well by providing end-to-end encryption of all network paths. This means that even when data leaves the local network and heads to the data center and into the cloud, it is protected throughout this journey. This helps seal any gaps that might have existed in security previously, providing continual protection for even the most sensitive data.

This capability is particularly important for enterprises with compliance needs, as encryption and proper data security are often part of these requirements.

An SD-WAN can help ensure that your company's cloud environments provide the best performance possible.
An SD-WAN can help ensure that your company’s cloud environments provide the best performance possible.

Remote management

RightScale found that the top challenge for today’s cloud-forward businesses is a lack of resources and expertise. This issue is compounded within companies with multiple branch offices, as these locations typically don’t have the resources and on-site IT personnel that the company’s headquarters does.

An SD-WAN can offer considerable benefits in these cases as well thanks to the technology’s remote management capabilities. In this way, the IT team can enjoy overarching visibility of all network resources, including those leveraged from branch office locations.

SD-WAN and the cloud: Hand-in-hand solutions

As the cloud continues to be a more critical piece of the corporate infrastructure, it’s imperative that users experience the best performance possible. An SD-WAN solution like that provided by Talari Networks can help address the major pain points that companies face while providing increased visibility, boosted security and remote management.

For more information, check out our Cloud Solution brief, as well as our eGuide, “10 Tips for Building a Failsafe Network” today.

Categories: Application Performance/Application Quality, WAN to Cloud