With many of us working from home during COVID-19, one unexpected benefit remote workers may be experiencing is better performance and faster response times to the business applications that are used daily to perform our jobs, such as email in Office 365 or GSuite, Salesforce, Dropbox and many other cloud-based applications. This improved performance may be a result of not traversing across a corporate network to get access to the internet to reach these cloud-based applications. You may have a more direct path to these applications from home than you have from your office, especially if you work at a remote branch office that is tied to a corporate network.
This unprecedented event has proven that the internet is clearly capable of providing enterprise level networking. Surely, each of us has experienced the occasional fuzzy video or audio drop, but by and large, the internet has held up well with the big spikes in network traffic since stay at home orders were put in place.
As organizations will look to cut costs with reduced budgets, Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) provides an opportunity to lower network costs while improving application and network performance for the branch offices to cloud-based applications you’re accessing from home today. SD-WAN enables you to augment or replace your traditional legacy WAN services with lower cost broadband internet services for direct access to cloud-based applications and ensures that performance is not sacrificed in doing so.
Security must still be a key consideration when implementing a SD-WAN solution as enabling direct internet access at branch offices opens the network to more entry points for potential threats. Combining network security and SD-WAN onto a single platform provides the ability to gain improved remote branch application performance while ensuring your critical assets and data are protected from outside threats. A combined Secure SD-WAN platform also reduces equipment costs and management complexity. Organizations with legacy MPLS network infrastructure should take a hard look at the performance and cost benefits a secure SD-WAN solution can provide as more and more applications move to the cloud and out of the corporate data center.
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