Cloud technologies and SDWAN are two of the most disruptive ecosystems for business leaders in the current communications landscape. The SDWAN landscape, set to reach a phenomenal value of $859 million by 2024, is basking in the momentum of a 20% CAGR. Companies are relying on software-defined networking to ensure great versatility in a flexible environment.
The cloud, on the other hand, is set to reach a value of $947.3 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 16.3%, as companies search for scalability and agility in a digitized world.
Together, cloud and SDWAN could represent the perfect combination of disruptive new technologies. Both of these innovations are becoming increasingly important to companies in search of a more flexible level of control over their applications and crucial tools.
As digital transformation continues for many leading brands, SD-WAN and cloud adoption are beginning to go hand-in-hand.
SDWAN Is the Perfect Partner for the Cloud
All over the world, investment in cloud computing is growing. Organizations of every shape and size are embracing a new world of flexible software, with the rise of “everything-as-a-service” changing the way we unlock new technology. Today’s business users aren’t just using cloud applications, they’re using a whole host of them on a daily basis.
From UCaaS and CCaaS tools, to Microsoft Teams, CRM services and more, virtually everything is on the cloud these days. Unfortunately, the more cloud-delivered services these teams attempt to access, the more congested the bandwidth environment becomes.
Implementing a stack of SaaS solutions into the business environment, all of which draw their own network resources, can leave companies facing a problem with capacity. Fortunately, this is an issue SDWAN can help to address.
Providing a centralized environment for configuring and managing traffic, SDWAN allows companies to control their cloud ecosystem as effectively as possible. You even get a single pane-of-glass environment where you can visualize the performance of tools in real-time.
One of the key drivers of SD-WAN adoption in recent years, and the reason the technology is essential to 82% of decision-makers, is its agonistic approach to underlying WAN connections. With SDWAN, traffic is dynamically monitored and managed across the entire network, based on business intent. Being able to prioritise network traffic according to business requirements means administrators can direct crucial applications onto the right networks.
At the same time, real-time visibility into the network means administrators can routinely manage and monitor traffic performance and bandwidth consumption of various sites, averting bottlenecks and collisions remotely.
Maximizing the Benefits of the Cloud with SD-WAN
SDWAN technology provides companies with a multi-connection for controlling WAN environments. The traditional WAN (Wide Area Network) landscape was never designed to allow for the advent of cloud technology. These tools required users to backhaul traffic from various branch offices into a comprehensive data center, which significantly slowed down the overall network.
The conventional “router-centric” model of traditional WAN meant companies struggled with a number of productivity and performance issues in recent years. Now that organizations are moving more aggressively towards the cloud, the SDWAN environment offers the perfect alternative for leveraging the flexibility that cloud landscapes can offer.
SDWAN makes the old-fashioned WAN landscape more resilient, flexible, and intelligent, while still using broadband links to access the internet in the same way as MPLS. However, unlike MPLS, policies for SDWAN can be easily applied across multiple WAN devices without the need for predetermined routing terminating at a central hub environment.
SDWAN takes the everyday internet lines today’s companies are relying on in a cloud-based world to create a secure and reliable tunnel between sites. Where traditional WAN solutions were based on the use of conventional-first routers, SDWAN was created to take the flexibility and scalability of a cloud environment into account.
SDWAN solutions aren’t just the answer to the problem of network capacity created by the rapid evolution to the cloud. The right technology can also reduce the workload placed on the network management team, while enabling administrators to address issues before they have an impact on the operations of the enterprise.
Many SDWAN providers offer tools which allow for the creation of automated workflows. This means administrators can pre-configure responses to a range of network conditions and scenarios, including sudden spikes in traffic.
The Future of SDWAN and Cloud Technologies
As we move into a more distributed cloud-focused future, demand for SD-WAN in the cloud is likely to continue accelerating. Robust cloud-based communications complemented by SDWAN can allow for a more reliable and flexible communication network, designed to enable the modern hybrid and remote workers of the new post-pandemic era.
With evolved SDWAN solutions like SASE (Secure Access Service Edge), which combines the power of SDWAN with security tools and additional cloud resourcess, companies can even access a comprehensive network-in-a-box solution. With SASE, there’s the freedom to create a comprehensive multi-tenant approach to WAN technology, which allows companies to support applications at any edge endpoint.
In other words, SASE and SDWAN in the cloud ensures remote and hybrid employees can access the same high-quality performance and secure connections as people in a standard office environment. Speaking of security, SASE also allows companies to implement higher levels of protection alongside their SDWAN infrastructure, to tackle the concerns around networking in the cloud.
Analysts like Gartner believe the future of cloud and SDWAN will be defined by the proliferation of comprehensive SASE technologies.
Does Your Cloud-Focused Business Need to Transition to SDWAN?
For companies thinking of embracing a more cloud-first future, the transition to SDWAN may be a necessity. Increasingly, the cloud is becoming an essential investment in business continuity. Since the pandemic, companies have begun to realize that access to crucial services and tools in the cloud can ensure they keep the lights on, no matter what happens in the wider world.
SDWAN empowers companies to move beyond the rigidity of a traditional WAN infrastructure. For the many companies already in the initial stages of cloud adoption, harnessing SaaS applications, collaboration tools, and cloud storage solutions, an SDWAN offering is fast becoming a connectivity must-have. With support for better resilience, mitigated disruption and new opportunities for remote workers, SDWAN and the cloud make the perfect pair.
Of course, just like any major investment in digital transformation for your business, it’s important to make sure you’re investing in the right SDWAN service. Some SDWAN offerings are undoubtedly better-suited to your business than others. Make sure you answer the following questions before you start spending your budget:
- Do I need SDWAN or SASE?
- How secure and reliable is the SDWAN offering?
- Is dynamic management and service automation available?
- How much control do I have over the WAN orchestration?
- How much support can my vendor give me with transitioning to SDWAN?