July 10, 2020 | 3 min read
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Boosting Cloud User Experience With SD-WAN

Salim Khouri

Director of Global Solutions Engineering

In just a few short years, the term “digital transformation” has gone from being a boardroom buzzword to an absolute necessity for businesses that want to remain relevant and competitive.

By gradually migrating their applications onto the Cloud, organizations are able to increase productivity, scale effectively and make their workforce more agile and adaptable - not to mention the peace of mind that comes with not having to manage and host applications in-house.

In fact, according to research carried out by IDC, more than 90% of enterprises worldwide will be relying on a combination of different Cloud architectures to meet their infrastructure needs. In other words, the future of businesses is going to be built on Cloud applications.

However, it’s not so much the decision to move their applications into the Cloud that’s troubling businesses. Organizations know that Cloud migration must play a key role in their digital transformation strategy and are usually keen to accommodate it. The “what” isn’t the problem; it’s the “how” that trips many businesses up. It’s all too common for staff to end up with a really poor user experience due to limitations related to traditional single WAN architectures. That’s where SD-WAN comes in, a far more agile solution that can ensure maximum Cloud productivity.

Common issues with Cloud adoption

User experience is king when it comes to Cloud adoption, and unfortunately, that’s where traditional WAN architecture tends to fall short in 2020. For several years now, businesses have been migrating their applications into the Cloud as part of their digital transformation process, leaving legacy hardware behind as they move toward a more agile model.

Naturally, this throws up concerns around security. In traditional WAN architectures (MPLS being the most common), businesses would rely on a single service provider to manage all of the endpoints, effectively creating a private network for the organization. This solved the security end of the puzzle but presented limitations when connecting those users to the Internet.

In adopting Cloud with traditional WAN architectures, users would be at the mercy of how that network was built. Internet access in a traditional MPLS network would be enforced at key locations, which leave users in remote branches with poor access to the Internet, due to limited MPLS bandwidth and latency from a distance, thereby affecting the performance of Cloud applications.

The result? Lower productivity and a poor user experience.

Cloud user experience optimization with SD-WAN

This is where software-defined networking can really start adding value. In order to improve user experience at the branch, direct Internet access is needed. But what about security? Security is no longer an issue with SD-WAN as encrypted tunnels are built from the branch through the Internet.

Additionally, SD-WAN introduces dynamic capabilities to enhance connectivity to the Cloud, enabling the use of multiple underlay circuits (including traditional MPLS circuits) to manage and steer user traffic depending on the best performing path, the type of traffic (Voice, Video, etc.), and its destination.

With SD-WAN, network stakeholders have the ability to slowly migrate off of their traditional MPLS network, into to a more decentralized Internet-centric environment, while retaining full control and full visibility thanks to an SD-WAN orchestration management layer.

Why the underlay is more important than ever with SD-WAN

Everyone knows what the Internet is, but few actually think about it in terms of SD-WAN. Although SD-WAN technologies have numerous features built in to enhance the overlay, it is usually not enough to overcome poorly performing underlays.

Expereo knows both. Our experience working with over 3000 suppliers around the world has given us a unique insight into how global Internet works. If you thought Internet access is just Internet access, you would be shocked to know that unless you’re in a well-supplied area, with many tier 1 providers, your choices to Cloud is sadly lacking.

This is why Expereo built its own enhanced Internet access called Expereo Enhanced Internet. It is a service built using the Internet’s routing protocol, BGP, and uses our proprietary software-defined technology to manage and optimize connectivity to Cloud.

Our route optimization engine scans worldwide Internet traffic in real-time to identify the optimal path for your Internet or SD-WAN traffic at any given moment. With both SD-WAN and Enhanced Internet, you have two software-defined technologies to manage your underlay and overlay, giving you the best performing connection to Cloud.

The result? Happy and productive users.

Sound interesting? If you want to learn more about SD-WAN or our very own Enhanced Internet service, get in touch with us today and speak with one of our in-house experts.

Salim Khouri

Director of Global Solutions Engineering

With over 20 years’ experience as a technology professional, Salim is the Director of Solutions Engineering to support Expereo’s managed global network and cloud connectivity solutions. His expertise includes, but is not limited to Global Internet, SD-WAN, and Security.

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