Thinking big on future of networking

December 20, 2018
Justin Rice
Director, SD-WAN and NaaS

It was great connecting with all of the IT leaders in Houston at our SD-WAN CIO Summit. Everyone was thinking big about the future of networking. As with any large gathering of technology professionals, many lively discussions took place about the impact of disruptive technologies like SD-WAN, NaaS, and UCaaS.

Some thoughtful questions came up including:

  • What are the pros and cons of SD-WAN?
  • Will SD-WAN replace MPLS as the WAN technology of choice?
  • How has cloud computing enabled Network as a Service?
  • What is the value of SD-WAN and NaaS beyond cost savings?
  • Is UCaaS a better model than on-premise communications?

These are all vital questions for IT departments, but let’s delve deeper into the discussions we had in Houston about the impact of SD-WAN on today’s mobile and distributed workforce, and the benefits at the branch office and remote site levels.

SD-WAN differentiators that empower employees

As we began talking with clients about the ways to improve on conventional WAN and MPLS technologies, we had several discussions about how today’s cloud-based applications impact network performance. With a significant portion of clients’ compute and storage functions already hosted in the cloud, the additional bandwidth required for apps like Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, and Webex has taken its toll.

Employees often experience lag while running multiple cloud-based apps at once, and more frequent interruptions degrade the quality of VoIP and video conference calls. We’ve heard many of these same challenges from our CIO Summit attendees.

So, if you’re considering making a move to SD-WAN, let’s examine the key differentiators we discussed in Houston when evaluating SD-WAN implementation:

  • Bring your own bandwidth: Clients should be able to choose the best performing private or public transport for their locations and budget, and not get locked into specific, often expensive carriers and circuits.
  • Global management: Ability to access, monitor, and manage the network or any edge device from anywhere in the world with internet connectivity.
  • Intelligent load balancing: Monitor flow across multiple circuits and steer data on a per-packet basis to maximize throughput across all circuits.
  • Error detection: Detect errors and brownouts and direct traffic to best circuits during outages or latency over both public and private connections.
  • Application awareness: Prioritize quality service for business-critical applications and tools as defined by the organization’s objectives.
  • Site-to-site security: Create VPN tunnels between each site and encrypt all packets traversing across sites to ensure security.

All of these critical SD-WAN components empower branch office and remote site employees with steady and secure access to the data, applications, and tools they need to reach their organizational and professional goals.

In a futureĀ  post, let’s follow the conversation and thinking of the IT leaders in Houston with respect to improving their networks at headquarters along with their primary connections to the internet. We’ll discuss the benefits of NaaS and UCaaS, and why CBTS is excited to engage further in meaningful conversations about the Cloud Networking technologies making a difference for our clients.

Learn more about SD-WAN, NaaS, and UCaaS.

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