SMOAD Networks

March 23, 2023

How Can SD-WAN Improve Cloud Connectivity?

SD-WAN is a cloud-based approach to managing WANs. The rising cloud traffic results in demand for bandwidth, one that traditional WANs will be unable to sustain due to their limitations. SD-WAN is a popular alternative to traditional WANs as it simplifies and optimizes branch connectivity. Traditional WAN is not meant for a cloud environment. In the WAN environment, the traffic is backhauled from the branch to the hub. Though, this approach was viable when the users connected to the corporate data directly to access business applications. With traffic jumping to the cloud, the centralized network does not offer uptime, resulting in a lack of latency, QoS, and productivity. Moreover, the traditional WAN architecture lacks flexibility and is expensive.

SD-WAN improves cloud connectivity.
Given below are the three paths to improve cloud connectivity via SD-WAN

Creating appropriate network paths for applications
Network engineers need to identify and prioritize the traffic path based on the application. Creating a set of rules for SD-WAN devices to choose the right network path throws open the option to use broadband connectivity effectively in coordination with traditional MPLS. In this manner, SD-WAN can move the critical application packets down, using appropriate bandwidth and low latency. Similarly, low-priority traffic like internet browsing and backups can be moved through cost-effective channels where performance is less.

Moving traffic through last-mile congestion
Monitoring the performance of SD-WAN using metrics like packet jitter, dropped packets, and latency is vital. Whenever there is congestion or an issue with the WAN connectivity, the metrics get bad. To avoid this scenario, SD-WAN can be set up to move traffic along the most viable path. A congested link can be steered through a healthier cloud connection.

A combination of SD-WAN and WAN optimization
Though SD-WAN has the potential to steer the network traffic away from congested links to increase performance, there is a limitation. If all paths are bad, SD-WAN cannot help. WAN optimization is the best way to enhance the performance of congested links and also helps with high-latency connections. WAN optimization uses several methods to decrease the packets passing through an SD-WAN connection. With the number of packets reduced, the data transfer speed is increased. Moreover, WAN optimization helps to mitigate the latency risks by streaming unimportant protocols when the client and the server are located at a long distance.

The SD-WAN and cloud partnership
Conventional networks like WAN and MPLS were not designed to accommodate the cloud. SD-WAN comes into play here since conventional routers cannot handle digital connectivity. SD-WAN is designed to support on-premises apps, private and public cloud, and SaaS in the most appropriate manner.

In traditional WAN, the network traffic, inclusive of cloud communication, is passed from the branch office to the headquarters data centre. It is at the data centre the security inspection is done. The process is expensive and slow, impacting IT performance and high latency. SD-WAN can solve these problems. SD-WAN adds value and enhances functionality giving your business flexibility. It provides secure, local access giving direct access to the cloud resources delivering high network availability and improved application performance. Businesses using cloud infrastructure benefit due to the high productivity and controlled costs as it supports remote working.

Why are businesses investing in SD-WAN?
Many organisations are embracing the cloud, with others harnessing cloud capacity in one way or the other. Today SD-WAN is becoming essential when it comes to connectivity and security. Apps, productivity tools, and critical data are accessed through the cloud for the sake of resilience, remote working, and mitigation of disruption.

SD-WAN is widely available, and it is time for every company to take advantage of the cloud-ready network. Now is the right time to phase out MPLS and adopt SD-WAN into your business environment.

To learn more about SD-WAN business solutions, contact SMOAD.

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