2021 saw a sustained acceleration of innovation and digital transformation as organisations continued to navigate the effects of the global pandemic. With more offices adopting a hybrid model of in-office and remote work, with the flexibility to work from home and anywhere, there has been an increased need for agile work arrangements.
Needless to say, this has led to an increase in the need for cloud computing. Some organisations such as manufacturing and healthcare are also taking advantage of this opportunity to explore the use of Internet of Things (IoT).
All of these new initiatives are changing the connectivity and networking landscape as we know it. Security is more of a priority than ever before, and software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WAN) are helping organisations to manage their network infrastructure as the volume of data grows and becomes increasingly complex.
The widespread adoption of WAN solutions in organisations across various verticals is often driven by the adoption of a hybrid cloud multi-cloud environment, which requires connectivity between multiple end points and networks.
Distributed Workforce Challenges
With hybrid multi-cloud environments on the rise, more enterprises will be using SD-WAN for managing access and connectivity for remote workers, branches, data centres and applications. IT teams are increasingly challenged by ‘cost vs efficiency’ with solutions that are adaptable to any type of work model and address all workforce scenarios.
Some key challenges include:
- Home IT Issues – It can be difficult for ICT teams to remotely solve issues for an increasingly distributed workforce, without in-office visibility.
- User Experience – With teams spread across different towns, cities and even countries, there is a much heavier reliance on ensuring a seamless user experience (UX) with applications and tools for communication, collaboration and productivity.
- Security Risks – Being away from a traditional office can pose a higher risk for security breaches, without proper measures in place.
- Maintaining Efficiency – Organisations will need to rethink and evolve their digital transformation roadmaps since cost-efficiency can be difficult to maintain, particularly for hybrid environments where office costs are still present.
Prioritising Security and Application Performance
With cybersecurity becoming a focal point for all kinds of businesses, a new approach to enterprise networking is needed to integrate security functions with WAN capabilities.
Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a new package of technologies encompassing SD-WAN, Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) and Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA). This approach supports the dynamic secure access needs of businesses when managing distributed locations, branch offices, remote sites and users.
There’s also a higher demand for edge data centres to address latency challenges that come with remote working, particularly with video calling and real-time collaboration tools, as well as a growing data volume, and reduction in data processing speed. Enterprises can accelerate, orchestrate and simplify this WAN edge with SD-WAN, and improve the performance and access of their applications for employees.
We’re also seeing a larger shift from Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) to SD-WAN. TeleGeography’s latest WAN Manager Survey found that MPLS usage across enterprises dropped by 24% between 2018 and 2020, while SD-WAN saw a 25% growth in the same period. This is a continuing trend as more enterprises see SD-WAN as the more agile and cost-efficient alternative, enabling them to build a modern WAN that drives maximum value from their IT investments.
Moving Forward with Agility
Enterprises want more control over their WAN, and in turn, service providers need to offer SD-WAN solutions that deliver visibility, control and application performance with WAN optimisation and integrated security.
Epsilon SD-WAN promises high performance, secure enterprise networking with centrally managed secure enterprise networking orchestration. It supports all types of connectivity and is backed by our global private network for security and reliability.
Traditional SD-WAN vs Epsilon Secure SD-WAN
Epsilon Secure SD-WAN
Throughput subject to the underlying infrastructure performance
Optimised network and application performance with enhanced security
Latency based on best effort route
Optimised routing for low latency and end user experience
No or limited security features – need additional appliances
Integrated security solution without the need for separate appliances
Portal with limited features
Centralised orchestration with comprehensive application visibility and control