In my previous blog, I highlighted five SD-WAN multicloud challenges to consider when leveraging multiple cloud providers. The need to efficiently manage and navigate traffic to and from the cloud, as well as between clouds, has become essential during the current situation. With companies accessing an average of five clouds and spending more than $1.2M on cloud services, according to Flexera, many have accelerated their cloud deployments to accommodate all the employees who are now working from home.
IT heads are under immense pressure to have extensive visibility into the networks they must troubleshoot and manage, while delivering on the expectations of remote workers and customers. The burden on IT was significant before now, but with so many working from home this ascends to an entirely new level. Productivity and responsiveness have never been more dependent on the WAN infrastructure than in a time of crisis.
Whether a company is connecting many remote locations or just a few with bandwidth constraints, the need is the same: high availability and predictable quality of experience (QoE) and this need to now extend to people’s homes as “good enough” is no longer good enough. Wherever fast, reliable networks are demanded for critical and real-time applications, software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs) are needed to manage the complexity of hybrid and multicloud environments. SD-WANs securely and reliably direct traffic to cloud-based apps by automatically adapting to changing network conditions.
Unlike traditional WAN deployments involving costly multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) circuits, a company has flexibility in determining how a SD-WAN is deployed—such as the physical edge, the virtual edge, or in the cloud. But not all SD-WANs offer businesses comparable performance, as some are more basic, while others are more sophisticated.
Businesses that want to reduce cloud risk during the crisis should look for these “must-haves” when choosing the right SD-WAN:
If a SD-WAN meets all the above criteria, there is one more important aspect to consider: the solution must be easy to deploy in multicloud environments. When SD-WAN vendors and cloud service providers have strong partnerships, businesses can more easily manage a complex blend of multicloud resources. That’s one less pain point for IT leaders, who are already dealing with many challenges during these troubled times.