SMOAD Networks

February 7, 2024

How does SD-WAN help meet the challenges of a mobile workforce?

SD-WAN is an advanced technology capable of consolidating networking, management, and security to the organisation’s advantage. Yet SD-WAN is not without its risks. This blog discusses the inherent challenges organisations face while choosing the right vendor to support their mobile workforce. Let’s get started.

The major challenges confronting the mobile workforce include:

  • Low-quality network results in poor connectivity
  • Geographical remoteness results in unreliable connectivity
  • Shared internet access results in traffic snags due to failure to differentiate business and entertainment traffic.

How do you choose the right SD-WAN vendor to mitigate mobile workforce challenges?
Some of the challenges confronted by enterprises while supporting their remote workers are as follows:

Selecting the right vendor
Picking the right vendor can go a long way in mitigating the challenges in the network space. SD-WAN has evolved to cover technologies like Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) and integration of cloud providers. Features like security and cloud help remote users to work securely. It is the responsibility of the IT team to understand the services offered by the vendors before making a choice. Moreover, the present and future business application flow can also be documented by the IT teams.

Shift from WAN technology to MPLS.
Modern businesses are adopting a public cloud-first strategy across IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. The challenge here is choosing a single IP backbone or a multi-ISP strategy. A single IP backbone comes with more predictable latency and jitters and is suitable for large enterprises with traffic within an autonomous system. Meanwhile, national networks opt for a multi-ISP strategy that depends on individual postal codes.

MPLS network operations are highly focused and come with troubleshooting options. When it comes to ISPs, troubleshooting lies with the vendor. When choosing an SD-WAN vendor, the business must choose vendors who provide service-level agreements for monitoring and troubleshooting the network.

Cloud connectivity
There are three types of SD-WAN providers based on their ability to access cloud services:

  • Native cloud access: SD-WAN vendor deploys cloud gateway architecture; though it is not popular, it is a viable option to connect to the local cloud data centre.
  • Vendor uses public gateways and private backbones to route traffic efficiently.
  • Customers deploy appliances within the cloud data entry. Though it is ad hoc, it is a simplified architecture.

Cost saving proposition
SD-WAN is adopted into the organisation due to its affordability. The overall benefits have to be quantified and not just reduced cost. For instance, SD-WAN with SASE is efficient; though the enterprise does not consider users to access applications as a budget item, it can benefit the business in a big way.

Local site-by-site internet underlay is a cost-saving proposition in comparison with MPLS circuits. In this case, there is a significant business saving. Vendors offering appliances with SD-WAN, SASE, and cloud access combined into their platform can be a cost benefit for the organisation. Consolidating these features will make it simple to use and manage SD-WAN. The fewer resources there are, the better it is for the IT teams to manage the network.

With SD-WN, there is no differentiation between DIY, co-managed, and fully managed SD-WAN. Now, enterprises are free from choosing a management level. Vendors who do not own the complete stack need to provide additional expertise. The traditional format is to build piece by piece. This results in a slow process and does not work well. On the contrary, vendors owning the complete stack can manage their WANs based on the business requirements. Vendors are well-positioned to manage the services if they control the technology. While choosing a vendor for your enterprise, ensure they combine underlay and overlay with multiple vendor options. Engaging multiple vendors becomes a time-consuming process, resulting in less agility.

How do SMOAD SD-WAN solutions promote a seamless remote work environment?
SMOAD SD-WAN solutions are highly suitable for your mobile workforce. SMOAD uses off-the-shelf components as network devices. Features like software level as a network overlay, simplified setup, centralised management, and quick upgrade of network devices enable uninterrupted connectivity at a lesser cost. Software Defined Mobile Aggregated Data (SMOAD) is the next-generation SD-WAN solution to keep your network up and running all the time. It aggregates bandwidth across mobile links for uninterrupted connectivity and smoother traffic flow. Scale across boundaries with SMOAD SD-WAN solutions to improve network performance and sustainability.

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