SD-WAN can help solve challenges of multi-cloud

Cooperation between SD-WAN vendors and cloud service providers contributes to easily managed cloud connections across multiple cloud providers and creates a secure, low-latency multi-cloud environment.

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With SD-WAN becoming remote users’ primary access to cloud-based applications, and with organizations deploying multi-cloud environments to optimize performance, it’s important for IT pros to choose SD-WAN technology that supports secure, low-latency and easy-to-manage connectivity to their cloud providers.

What is multi-cloud?

Multi-cloud is the use of two or more cloud providers for the purpose of enabling the flexibility to run applications on the most appropriate platforms, and most enterprises have embraced it.

Most IT organizations have a mix of internal data centers, applications deployed on infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platforms and multiple best-in-breed software-as-a service (SaaS) applications.  These multi-cloud environments may have come about by choice, via merger/acquisition with another company or by end-user desire to rapidly deploy new applications on cloud-based platforms.  Regardless of how they got there, IT organizations are now responsible for the security, management and quality of user experience for all cloud-based applications.

Each cloud environment has its own set of strengths, weaknesses and cost profiles.  For example, most legacy applications and some new ones are likely to remain on internal data centers for reasons of security, compliance and cost.  Each IaaS platform has a unique development environment and associated ecosystem that makes it appropriate for certain types of applications.  For example, Amazon AWS is suited for E-Commerce applications, Microsoft Azure for applications designed around SQL and Active Directory, and Google Cloud for Kubernetes-based container applications

Each SaaS platform has best-in-breed applications and cost profiles for unified communications, office suites, CRM, accounting, etc.

The challenge for IT leaders is that each IaaS or SaaS provider has a unique set of services, security mechanisms, APIs and management tools. To optimize quality of user experience, IT must navigate the connectivity offered by each IaaS and SaaS provider, such as the provider’s local point of presence.  Most IT leaders report that managing this complex mix of multi-cloud resources is very challenging.

SD-WAN capabilities

SD-WAN combines multiple physical WAN links into one logical network and provides traffic prioritization to accelerate application performance to on-premises and cloud-based applications. Using network abstraction, SD-WAN improves the economics of branch connectivity by enabling organizations to leverage inexpensive circuits such as the internet to address growing bandwidth requirements. SD-WAN is an overlay technology that maps new services – application prioritization, security, management – on top of existing physical networks.

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