How to upgrade your Azure connectivity with SD-WAN
Whilst companies used to utilize MPLS lines across the globe, these have become too expensive for linking devices and branch locations to the Azure locations. And so, some companies have opted for a complete internet-based WAN, which works fine.
Situation A: You’ve got apps on every continent on Azure, but unlocking Azure via MPLS lines is too expensive, managing the connections via a VPN is too complex to manage, and performance is unreliable. What should you do if you want to decrease complexity and increase user experience? Microsoft has got you covered with Virtual WAN Hubs, and together with our SD-WAN solution by VMware, we’ll make sure you’re connected.
Situation B: You’re a global company with branches on multiple continents. To increase your agility, you’ve embarked on your journey to the cloud using Azure’s private cloud. This way your business can roll out services fast and easy, within the secure environment of Azure. But how do you ensure a fast and secure connection when you want to connect to an app on Azure in Asia from your location in Europe?
The problem with MPLS
Whilst companies used to utilize MPLS lines across the globe, these have become too expensive for linking devices and branch locations to the Azure locations. And so, some companies have opted for a complete internet-based WAN, which works fine. However, connecting to applications on Azure on different continents has become complex when it comes to management, routing, and implementation. In some cases, the world wide web isn’t as reliable as you’d hope when it comes to performance.
In order to help global companies that support their business with local Azure private clouds, Microsoft has teamed up with our SD-WAN partner VMware to come up with the solution by offering Azure Virtual WAN Hubs on every continent. Instead of building secure tunnels across the globe from the device of the user or branch location to the Azure instance or region where the app is hosted, the traffic first goes to the local – or at least the nearest – Azure Virtual Hub, after which it is forwarded to the Azure location where the app is hosted via the Microsoft Azure Global Network.
The benefits of working with Azure Hubs
Why is Microsoft’s solution of steering traffic through their virtual hubs better than your own secure tunnels? Well, for quite some time now, Microsoft has been building a global backbone, called the Microsoft Azure Global Network, between their data centers, optimizing the routes and securing the traffic between those datacenters. This way, all Azure regions are unlocked for all customers, which is of course exceptionally beneficial for international companies.
There’s another plus side to working with Azure virtual WAN hubs as opposed to your own tunnels: even though SD-WAN will find and set up the optimal route, it’s dependent on static connections between the SD-WAN network and the Microsoft Azure environment. So, your connection will last only as long as that one tunnel is performing well. However, in this new set-up, Microsoft and VMware create dynamic tunnels – additional tunnels to ensure data flow – which is enormously beneficial for your availability.
Another benefit: setting up the connection to the Hubs is a one-time action. Once your SD-WAN edge is connected to the Azure virtual hub, Azure is unlocked for all your connected sites. Microsoft will ensure that all routing is intelligently done by the Azure Virtual WAN, making it a lot easier to manage these connections.
Better monitoring and prioritizing
The new setup also has a positive influence on monitoring and prioritizing your data flow. With the traditional secure tunnels, you’re able to prioritize traffic and allocate bandwidth based on a site location. However, by utilizing a network virtual appliance in the Azure virtual WAN hub, you can determine the prioritization based on the app, no matter where the traffic is coming from – ensuring that critical business processes are never interrupted.
At Expereo, we’ll manage your SD-WAN environment, including security, ISP services, and your global backbone. Therefore, we’ll set up and manage the connections with the Azure Hubs for you. You as a customer will be in full control of the Azure configuration. Not sure how? We’ll help you make the right decisions. Together, we’ll future-proof your infrastructure with SD-WAN through VMware and Microsoft Azure.
Are you ready to enhance your journey to the cloud? Get in touch to speak to one of our experts.