Increase Team Productivity and Reliability With a Re-Imagined SD-WAN

Tom Daly
December 15, 2021
Big Network is redefining SD-WAN to support the modern hybrid workforce. Discover how our innovative solutions combine VPN, Secure Network for Teams, and multiple internet connections to enhance productivity, reliability, and security.

Network reliability is an increasingly important business objective, emphasized by the COVID-19 pandemic. The cost of downtime differs from firm to firm but can be quite significant.

  • In March 2015, a 12-hour Apple store outage cost the company $25 million.  
  • In August 2016, a five-hour IT power outage cost Delta Airlines $150 million. 
  • In March 2019, a 14-hour outage cost Facebook an estimated $90 million.

Traditional Reliability Inefficiencies

Keeping a network up is no easy task. Circuit troubles, equipment failures, software bugs, supply chain delays, and human error all contribute to the instability of networks. We traditionally create resilience by duplicating network resources: redundant hardware with multiple and diverse WAN connections, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing, with all of the complexity associated. We’ve deployed semi-rigid designs that leverage systems such as Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) but they put control in the hands of carriers, not us, and not our automation tools.

Improving availability became even more challenging once the pandemic struck. The majority of traffic left the enterprise network and moved to Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) over the internet. This, in turn, massively grew the number of points to touch to secure networks, while maintaining reasonable performance. Any miscalculation can lead to systems being knocked offline or open to attack. Consequently, businesses have been on the lookout for a way to simplify the work.

Evolving VPNs and SD-WAN

VPNs are designed to create a secure tunnel from remote workers back to a central concentration point. Great for when that central concentration point is the office, where there are resources to be accessed, or can ride on SD-WAN to reach Cloud resources.

SD-WANs were designed to link office branches and datacenters together. These products and services take advantage of modern virtualization techniques that decouple the network infrastructure from the controller software and automate legacy manual processes.

In addition, they have a flexible design. They overlay all types of access technologies, including dedicated Internet Access (DIA), Ethernet Services, and MPLS. As a result, they work with a number of access technologies: fiber, cable, DSL, LTE, 5G, etc. SD-WANs enhance reliability by making it easy to take advantage of multiple internet connections, seamlessly offering failover and multipath capabilities.

That all being said, the movement to work from home intersected with Cloud is causing the conventional design of SD-WAN for the branch and VPN for the remote worker to cave upon itself. Why route traffic destined for the Cloud via an empty office building? Zero Trust networking assumes an optimal direct path, but what about the Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE) monitoring available by using SD-WAN? What about redundancy for the remote worker; most of us do not have multiple internet connections at home.

Ready to Bring it All Together?

Today’s pandemic induced modern hybrid workplace has new demands we’ve never seen before from networks:

  • the soft perimeter and scale of a remote access VPN but without its routing inefficiencies especially in accessing cloud resources.
  • the resilience of SD-WAN and multiple internet connections at the office but delivered to the office, the home, and the remote worker.
  • the performance of native internet connections, without hairpin or trombone routing of traffic, regardless of the source (the office, the home, or remote) and destination (the enterprise datacenter, the cloud, or a SaaS service).
  • the visibility and monitoring afforded in using VPN and SD-WAN technologies that may or may not be offered in Zero Trust designs.

Big Network is revolutionizing the way companies think about connectivity. We fuse VPN, Secure Network for Teams, SD-WAN, hardware, and software that lets companies use multiple internet connections at the office and at home, providing a soft perimeter, and visibility to the network, while still enabling Zero Trust access principles.

Our diverse product and service offerings can be combined to create the “new SD-WAN”, but this time optimized to support remote and hybrid workforces with no performance losses or increased security vulnerabilities.

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