Enterprise networks have seen many changes in the past many years. The evolution of enterprises continues with the rise in cloud migration, growing urge to deliver an advanced digital experience, and emerging dispersed workforce. This holds for the enterprises especially those are located in distant areas, promoting data and applications across a hybrid mix of computing environments and platforms along with the private and public cloud. Enterprises require diversified connections, management of hybrid network infrastructure, and unique and evolving needs which can be fulfilled by expertise for seamless working and a broad spectrum of network technologies.
An enterprise provides hybrid network solutions by offering low-cost broadband internet and other connectivity access to widen their MPLS lines. Enterprise Hybrid Network has the capabilities to combine the surety and conviction of MPLS and power and adaptability of SD-WAN. It gears up the enterprise to move ahead to SD-WAN by pushing multiple network technologies into one hybrid design which will not only improve the performance of the application but also has cost efficiencies.
The world has seen unprecedented times in 2020. The economy too was unaccustomed to the impact of the pandemic. However, businesses across the world persisted in increasing investments in technologies. Corresponding to a recent study by IFS, almost 70% of businesses have either improved or maintained their digital transformation expenditure amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially working remotely came as a forced and shocking decision to businesses, but as organizations settled with a work from home approach, it became clear that the creation of sustainable teleworking conditions is a necessity of the time.
Not that this digital transformation happened just after COVID-19 struck the globe. Some businesses were rapidly evolving before COVID-19 through technology progressions in IoT and mobility meanwhile preparing for the forthcoming 5G wave. Nevertheless, the surge in remote work and stepping up of the cloud-connected teams, have put digital requirements at the vanguard. Access to the internet is the need of the hour for any business that thrives to be flexible, and cloud-centric.
Remote Work Teams
Remote work allows a large number of users to connect from different locations and access multiple applications simultaneously. It is predicted that almost 20Bn devices are expected to be connected through the internet by 2020. (Source: Gartner)
Flexibility and security at work are the prime concerns for any employee. They need the flexibility of choosing their work environment be it working from their home or anywhere they are comfortable and work faster still connected to their workspace in a secure network.
Presently in this new era of working remotely, the cloud is the most significant need for any business; the bigger the organization, the greater the need for a more connected network. Since numerous devices and users connect to applications from multiple cloud sources, enterprises are adopting cloud-based solutions such as Salesforce, Cisco Webex, G-Suite, and Microsoft 365.
The rise in the number of users working remotely has raised the demand for more connected networks posing numerous challenges such as slow down of application performance, deteriorating voice service quality, and increase in security threats. To cover up these challenges, enterprises are seeking options to increase bandwidth. Many of them prefer the advantages of an MPLS or SD-WAN solution or a hybrid enterprise SD-WAN approach.
Typically, businesses have used conventional WAN solutions such as multiprotocol label switching (MLPS), but internet connectivity in WAN becomes a serious issue for businesses. To make up this shortfall, many organizations are seeking a way to software-defined networking in a wide area network i.e SD-WAN.
The number of enterprises looking for prospects in SD-WAN is increasing, making its way into their network WAN strategy exclusively or as a component of a hybrid WAN. SD-WAN promises to assist in simplifying the complex enterprise network and also assure to improve performance of significant applications.
Commonly, SD-WAN provides a more concentrated view of all the network resources that are available and enable to control of the network traffic dynamically. This helps in increasing the bandwidth available without increasing the network usage at large.
There are two ways in which SD-WAN can be used for improved visibility so that traffic flows can be optimized. Firstly, prioritizing the traffic by sending the important traffic with assured performance such as MPLS, through the higher quality network routes and sending more latency tolerant traffic having low-cost connections, over the least assured network. Secondly, change the network utilization ways at different sites. Many sites have varied MPLS or internet backup lines where one line is utilized only when the primary line fails or does not perform for any reason. SD-WAN utilizes both lines simultaneously at the same time, continues to function as failover links for each other as and when required, consequently doubling up the bandwidth available on-site.
SD-WAN services provide simpler and faster quality of service management. It allows making changes in the central policy through a self-service portal and releasing them out to the network. It is usually helpful for organizations that are extending their network and its specifications by enabling a higher level of agility and speed.
SD-WAN makes it easier for the hybrid networks in optimizing the application performance. It allows the power to match the demands of the application traffic with the various connectivity options available in the network.
It has turned out that SD-WAN is a progressive step to corporate networking and easing out the complexities of a hybrid network. However, envisioning the benefits and potentials of this innovation requires the support of a trusted and managed service provider who can design and implement solutions that suits your businesses. Not to mention, it will cost heavy on pockets for governance and incident management but it is worth an investment.
Hybrid Network Technology
The switch to SD-WAN does not imply that MPLS is forgotten. Many organizations are choosing the option of a hybrid approach and continuing to depend on MPLS for ensuring reliable connectivity by keeping it as a component of their transport layer mix.
Every location or branch/office of an organization will have different performance needs. It is unrealistic to not allow the organizations from choosing between performance and cost for each location. A hybrid SD-WAN can be a more cost-effective solution for businesses to build their new networks.
Today the bandwidth demands are such that it is crucial to require the ability to mix and match the internet solutions (underlay). The best part is the businesses do not have to choose between SD-WAN or MPLS as a hybrid solution gives an excellent outcome.
Hybrid network technology provides an edge to a network-enabled competition to any organization that seeks a smart and secure infrastructure solution. It not only boosts digital transformation but also gives access to speedy and scalability to the growth and transformation.
A hybrid network is the most cost-effective solution for cloud-based applications to optimize performance. It enables total application operational time to support a supreme digital end-user experience.
Hybrid network technologies hold few advantages above any other network services which makes them have an upper hand over the other network technologies. Benefits of having hybrid network technology are:
Security – It serves multiple managed large enterprise security offerings which make broadband internet befitting the purpose. MPLS which is a private network complements SD-WAN which encrypts data to provide a secure overlay to safeguard the sensitive data.
Stability – The cloud is crucial for multiple and diverse connections or access types especially for large businesses as these require more connectedness. The hybrid strategy provides resiliency and improves the reliability over networks, allowing businesses to continue to grow. It also consolidates and integrates prevailing WAN infrastructure with no need for any substitution. It is resilient and diverse enough to increase uptime.
Scalability – Hybrid network technology is flexible and caters the unique needs with agility and scalability to support future growth and innovations by adding the new bandwidths and network locations using fiber, Ethernet, fixed wireless, or 4G wireless backups.
Application optimized– It utilizes network capacity to the fullest by allocating the applications that are less performance-sensitive to best-effort connections available with them. For example, any large organization that has its offices/branches in many different locations can use MPLS for their main office while use SD-WAN for their supporting offices as an overlay in different locations. This would enable the business to function more efficiently and direct the traffic over the best path for high performance and low latency tolerance.
Hybrid enterprise network solutions offer a cost-effective strategy by decreasing the expenditure on network infrastructure and adding low-cost bandwidths to improve application performance. Its simplicity to rationalize infrastructure management today and an intelligent pathway to provide SD-WAN for tomorrow adds to its advantages. Enterprise Hybrid Network infrastructure will empower the dynamic enterprises to leverage the best technology solutions to connect the diverse applications and locations without compromising the network. It customizes a solution according to your present needs and can evolve to meet those needs in the future.