The Last Mile of Bandwidth Access: Creating a Failsafe Branch-to-Cloud SD-WAN

Not that long ago, your enterprise WAN traffic primarily flowed from your business’ branches to its data center, or from one remote site to another. Then along came the cloud and, on its heels, a drastic change in traffic patterns as the volume of enterprise Internet traffic exploded, driven by digital transformation initiatives and migration of business-critical apps to hybrid-cloud architectures.

The cloud’s effect on your WAN wasn’t immediately apparent, as workers tried it out for file sharing and remote data access. But then they began adopting innovative, cloud-native SaaS apps, and IT began to relocate on-premises IT systems to the cloud, too. Many companies have re-architected key applications to take advantage of Platform-as-a-Service, which makes the ability to optimize application performance from the LAN to the WAN to the Cloud even more significant.

As the cloud’s influence on the enterprise has grown, WAN performance often degrades. There’s no tolerance for the trombone effect that can plague traffic traveling from branch to cloud over legacy WANs—possibly adding tens of milliseconds of access latency. And no IT budgets continually increase investments in high-bandwidth solutions. That’s particularly a problem for those cloud-based services that are married to mission-critical applications, potentially resulting in an untenable user experience.

The situation won’t get any better on its own, given the continuing expansion in the use of cloud apps. Cloud application services represent one of the largest segments in the global cloud services market: It’s expected to grow 21.7 percent in 2016 to reach $38.9 billion, according to Gartner.

Indeed, most IT organizations aren’t even fully aware of the scope of the issue they’re already dealing with when it comes to the use of cloud apps, and the significant traffic influx they create. Enterprises are using 20 times more cloud apps than they track and monitor, according to the Shadow Data Report. Employees and business units are able to easily sign up for cloud apps on their own—all they need is an expense account, not IT’s permission, which adds to unpredictable latency at the edge.

The Next Generation WAN for the Cloud

The foundation of cloud application transformation lies in embracing failsafe SD-WAN technology. A failsafe WAN frees businesses from having to rely solely on traditional high-bandwidth transport methods such as MPLS, so familiar to the legacy networking model of moving data between remote sites and an enterprise data center. The costs to grow MPLS links as mission-critical traffic to the cloud increases and as bandwidth demand spikes can become onerous. SD-WAN suits today’s world by offering faster and more affordable options for companies to connect their various sites with the cloud.

WANs need to be more flexible, scalable and affordable, and connected directly to the cloud. Talari’s Failsafe SD-WAN cloud solution, for example, provides adaptive, deterministic intelligent routing that makes it possible to match workloads between a company’s branch offices and cloud instances to the best transport method, whether it’s broadband or MPLS. Two or more links are aggregated to connect locations to the cloud, with each path constantly measured and assessed in each direction for availability and quality so that each packet travels down the best path.

Next-generation SD-WAN jacks up last-mile WAN performance and ensures that enough bandwidth is always in reserve for QoS-priority mission-critical apps. It maximizes application quality while also assuring rock-solid reliability, by automatically and instantly moving traffic to a higher-quality path in the event of any single network failure or problem, including congestion-based loss and latency increases.

A recent survey conducted by Talari reveals the importance of failsafe WANs that deliver superior business-critical application reliability and resiliency. The research found that more than a third of respondents had no outage tolerance, stating that “no downtime was acceptable.” More than 25 percent said “only a couple seconds without a critical business app was acceptable.”

Additionally, Talari provides manageability and visibility into cloud connections, extending the reach of the corporate WAN. Having granular visibility into all network activity and application performance, including branch-to-cloud traffic, improves IT’s ability to manage resources. It can use that information, for example, to determine what policies to deploy to ensure that critical real-time cloud applications perform as robustly as required for all users, wherever they are.

Branch Sites See Cloud Connectivity Benefits with SD-WAN

Lextron, one of the largest distributors of animal health products in the country, simplified the management of its remote sites by moving to a private cloud infrastructure. But this came at the cost of using expensive private WAN connections between locations.

As Lextron introduced and expanded network services such as SharePoint and video conferencing, the pressure on available bandwidth grew. WAN optimization products wouldn’t fix the problem, since they don’t accelerate Lextron’s VoIP and video conferencing traffic. The innovative solution deployed came in the form of Talari’s Failsafe SD-WAN.

“Talari’s SD-WAN technology allows us to direct each packet over the best, most reliable route, over multiple paths, whether those are private line, MPLS, DSL, cable modem or whatever,” says Tim Hays, Lextron’s director of IT. “With Talari’s SD-WAN, I can reduce my dependence on expensive bandwidth at existing sites by using more Internet connectivity and immediately bring up new locations at much lower cost.”

Learn More

Many businesses can enjoy the benefits of a reliable last mile for branch-to-cloud traffic flows. You can find out more out how to provide superior support for your branch infrastructure and enable the best-quality user experiences here.

 

Categories: Application Performance/Application Quality, Branch Connectivity, Business Agility, IT Challenges, Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN), WAN to Cloud

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