Network expansion has always caused headaches. Whether it was connecting a branch or remote office to the corporate network or adding a new office building. But that has only become harder as businesses have embraced cloud computing and remote work. Now, the “network” can be an amalgam of physical locations, both in data centers and corporate offices, public cloud, and even private cloud. This has been further complicated by overlays like VPNs, for remote access, and dedicated connections such as MPLS and Frame Relay. The list goes on and on. Today’s corporate network topology is nothing like it was even a decade ago.
This complexity, though, can be a significant drain on enterprise IT services. Not only in managing these challenging topologies and architectures, but in expanding the network further especially as more workers are remote.
In a simple answer, point solutions. The problem with private networks is that they are full of legacy technologies built upon ecosystems of hardware and software. Selecting the technology is hard enough, but then choosing a vendor just makes it even harder. Is it Cisco for this piece and Juniper for that one? Or is it Intel for that, and HP for this? Throw in a bit of telecom equipment, VPNs, and UTMs and it’s almost too much to manage for any enterprise. But the real issue isn’t just with the gaggle of networking equipment. It’s the place that traditional hardware-based networking gear fits into the world of cloud. Some of it has a natural place in private datacenter deployments (basically on top of the corporate network) but it’s not even possible to connect devices in AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud. Those are their own networks even if they have become logical extensions of the corporate architecture.
The promise of Software Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) was supposed to make the pain of expanding the corporate network a little more bearable. Rather than relying on purpose-built hardware for network connectivity (such as ATM and Frame Relay), this newer approach abstracts the physical network into a software layer that can operate on any commodity hardware. That means it can be deployed within public cloud environments. When combined with Infrastructure-as-Code, the ability to extend and expand the corporate network becomes much easier.
But that doesn’t mean that all SD-WAN solutions are equal. In many, they lack integration with VPN leaving remote workers segmented on their own, siloed in a different network space. This ultimately creates a new layer of complexity as IT professionals must figure out how to route traffic effectively and ensure proper security. In fact, according to a recent report from Altman Vilandrie & Company, despite its solid implementation rate and growth potential, the SD-WAN is still considered “more evolutionary than revolutionary,” with seven out of ten IT buyers still holding on to legacy networking technologies that SD-WAN was intended to replace.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can take advantage of SD-WAN right now without feeling like you are gambling on the security or stability of your network.
You want to expand your network to include your remote and branch offices. You want to do it without the headaches of patching different networks together. You want a scalable way to do that and SD-WAN seems like it would fit the bill. That’s where Big Network’s SD-WAN For Branch Offices solution comes in.
With our simple network appliance (the Big Edge), you can build private networks across remote users, main offices, branch offices, and even the cloud. The great thing about this solution, though, isn’t just that the process takes just a few minutes (where it might have taken days or weeks before) but that it can all be managed from the Big Network Portal. You can manage, maintain, and expand your network whenever you want. Just drop in another Big Edge appliance and connect it up.
SD-WAN is an exciting future for the corporate network. Promising to replace many of the legacy technologies in your network, it holds the key to easily adding different offices, whether branch or remote, to your topology. Imagine having all of your offices under the proverbial “same roof?” How much easier would it be to manage the network as a single logical architecture while, at the same time, ensuring a global security profile and enabling employees to more easily collaborate in the same network space? With Big Network SD-WAN for Branch Offices, you can do just that. You don’t have to thank us right now for giving you an out-of-the-box SD-WAN solution you can set up while sipping a latte. But we’ll be waiting. ;)