Top Ten Reasons to Think Outside the Router – No. 10: It’s Getting Cloudy

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Borrowing from the iconic David Letterman Top Ten List segment from his former Late Show, this new blog series will countdown the Top Ten Reasons to Think Outside the Router.

The #10 reason it’s time to retire traditional routers at the branch: It’s getting cloudy!

In fact, it’s already cloudy. In November 2017, Forrester projected that 2018 would be the year that more than 50% of enterprise applications would be hosted in public and private clouds. Here we are in 2018, and  96% of 997 SMB and enterprise companies surveyed now use cloud services. The migration to cloud-based applications and infrastructure continues to accelerate and is happening faster than anyone predicted. The challenge: enterprise router-centric WAN architectures weren’t designed for the cloud.

Conventional router-centric WANs typically backhaul SaaS and IaaS traffic back to the data center where advanced security screening – too expensive to deploy in every branch – can be applied before routing traffic across the internet. This backhaul impairs SaaS and IaaS performance due to added latency. As a result, businesses can’t realize the full extent of productivity gains and efficiencies originally promised by moving applications to the cloud.

An advanced, application-aware SD-WAN solution addresses this challenge by enabling secure, “direct-to-net” access from branch offices to trusted SaaS applications and IaaS instances. By intelligently steering trusted SaaS and IaaS traffic directly over the internet from the branch, application performance significantly increases. Web traffic requiring verification or further inspection can be directed to security services and infrastructure in the cloud or back at headquarters.

An advanced SD-WAN solution must also keep pace with constantly changing IP address tables utilized by popular SaaS applications such as Office 365, Salesforce.com, Box and others and automatically update each site on a daily basis. While some available SD-WAN solutions may be able to selectively breakout web traffic by application using ACLs, they will fail when IP addresses change. Address updates that require highly manual re-programming or reliance on third-party application signature libraries simply can’t keep up. See how an advanced SD-WAN solution increases SaaS and IaaS performance while protecting branches from threats using rapid application identification techniques, secure internet breakout and cloud intelligence.

A complete SD-WAN solution can include an integrated firewall, full routing capability and optional WAN optimization to create a unified branch WAN edge solution. Not only can an advanced SD-WAN solution replace conventional routers at the branch, it can also replace the firewall in most typical branch environments. Need more security? No problem. Security can be extended through seamless service-chaining to provide more robust screening from Check Point, Fortinet, Forcepoint, McAfee, OPAQ, Palo Alto Networks, Symantec and Zscaler.

The Silver Peak® Unity EdgeConnect™ SD-WAN solution is engineered to deliver all four of these key branch network functions – SD-WAN, WAN optimization, routing and security – all in a single unified software instance also providing the ability to service chain to industry-leading security partner solutions. This significantly reduces the hardware footprint at the branch, simplifies branch WAN edge architecture and lowers cost. And Silver Peak Unity Orchestrator™ manages all four functions from a single screen for 50 branches, 500 branches or 5000. This not only increases the operational efficiency of managing the WAN infrastructure but also ensures consistent QoS and security policies across the cloud-first enterprise no matter where apps reside.

If you’re continuing to migrate applications to the cloud, it’s time to retire conventional routers and deploy an EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution.

Learn more about why the time is now to think outside the router.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.