As organizations flock to new technologies like cloud, mobile, big data and analytics, they increasingly look to software-defined, wide-area networking (SD-WAN) to improve efficiency and productivity. Realizing the full promise of SD-WAN; however, takes a keen understanding of the do’s and don’ts of deployment.
IDC predicts the SD-WAN market will grow from just $225 million in 2015 to $1.19 billion by the end of this year. This stellar growth rate is no surprise, considering SD-WAN offers a variety of benefits to far-flung enterprises, most notably:
- Better performance: SD-WAN can utilize a variety of connection types (e.g., MPLS, Internet or LTE) and then dynamically choose the best path for every app and traffic stream.
- Lower cost: Organizations can also dynamically choose the least-cost route for each app and traffic stream, substituting lower-cost Internet or LTE services for more expensive MPLS links on-demand as business needs change.
- Simplified management: Deployment at remote or branch offices is, in many cases, easier than configuring home Wi-Fi.
With SD-WAN Come Challenges
As more users use SD-WAN to access critical applications in a distributed fashion (via mobile devices or direct connections to cloud applications), security must also be deployed and designed to work in kind. Traditional perimeter-based solutions that protect only one type of traffic across one type of network segment won’t cut it. Instead, SD-WAN adopters must deploy more dynamic security that can follow (or blanket) users and applications as the network changes.
And that means organizations that want to ensure their SD-WAN deployment meets both performance and security requirements must follow these five SD-flavored golden rules:
- DO inventory your apps: Ensuring the best performance and security end-to-end means knowing which apps are critical, who uses them and why.
- DON’T forget to classify and prioritize them: Once you know the what, you need to determine how exactly critical apps need to be accessed, including level-of-security and performance requirements.
- DO perform deep packet inspection: With more than half of all traffic today being encrypted, any SD-WAN solution you choose must not only be able to inspect SSL-based traffic but do it quickly and efficiently – without affecting overall quality-of-service (QoS).
- DON’T lose visibility: With SD-WAN, the best path for data changes constantly depending on a variety of network and business factors. Any solution, then, must be able to support end-to-end visibility – across both the network and applications – to ensure problems are identified and addressed quickly and QoS is preserved.
- DO focus on the end user: User experience is the primary motivation for most SD-WAN deployments. Ensure your solution can monitor application delivery across various network types (mobile, wired, etc.) and devices to ensure optimal return on investment (ROI).
Fortunately, new technologies address all of these security and performance issues in one easy-to-manage proven solution. Not only does it provide full end-to-end network and application visibility – no matter the underlying topology – but it also provides dynamic load balancing, high throughput SSL inspection and a dynamic cloud application database. CCSI enables you to build the high-performance network you need without ever compromising security.
CCSI can ensure you follow the right steps and deploy the right technologies to fully realize the promise of SD-WAN.