What is VMware’s SD-WAN used for?

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VMware’s SD-WAN has proven to be useful across several use cases. But can SD-WAN help your business reach full efficiency? Here at Exertis, we’re discussing the most common use across companies who use the solution. And we’ll also explain SASE, the cloud-based solution used to converge WAN, security, and compute.

Deploying multiple links (MPLS/Broadband/LTE)

Branch locations will often have a single active line for all connectivity. This is then used for all traffic in or out of the site, regardless of application needs or criticality. This link is usually a private circuit (often MPLS), but may also be using a broadband connection.

Often, the cost associated with a private circuit makes it impractical to have multiple links, meaning that a network outage or congestion can create a serious impact for the business. The ability to add additional links cost-effectively can be of significant value.

VMware SD-WAN brings visibility and control to single or multiple links. These can include existing lines, broadband, Ethernet, and LTE links where limited options exist. If offers the ability to respond quickly to network events and optimise the network, while being aware of the critical requirement of each application. Defining the business importance and specific requirements of an application are critical, and VMware SD-WAN can do this quickly and easily.

Simplifying and accelerating branch deployment

Rapidly deploying new branch locations has always been a challenge, with the ordering and provisioning of private circuits often contributing weeks’ worth of time to this issue. Other issues usually include the need to schedule site visits from trained IT teams for installation, incurring extra cost as well as coordination with other teams. Set-up and maintenance times need to significantly shorten to greatly simplify the process.

With SASE converging cloud networking with security, users are provided with simplicity, scalability, flexibility, and security. Combining these functions with WAN capabilities, SASE delivers secure, optimal access to applications and workloads in the cloud for a virtually automatic process. Regardless of the location or users and applications, secure access can be delivered from a single management platform. VMware’s SASE is also deployed on the individual’s machine, allowing for a more stable remote working environment.

VMware’s SD-WAN can then deliver zero-touch provisioning of new network endpoints and allows for physical and virtual appliances to automatically configure. This streamlines the set-up process and allows a network engineer to then perform the remaining configuration remotely.

Access to IaaS and SaaS

The universal need to leverage cloud infrastructure resources or applications can be anything from accessing public cloud workloads, cloud-based storage, or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications. While these resources are commonly being utilised, they are rarely accessed from branch locations in an efficient manner. With traditional WAN, the traffic is often backhauled to the data centre for security policy reasons, and this almost always leads to an increase in latency and negatively impacts the user experience.

VMware’s SASE combines SD-WAN with other technologies to offer a powerful solution to optimise access to cloud resources, as well as global access to SaaS. Using broadband links, VMware SD-WAN allows branches to connect dynamically to these locations, providing direct access to the closest required cloud resource, thus avoiding unnecessary backhauling of traffic.

Globally managed WAN

In an economy which is becoming increasingly globally connected, new challenges have begun to arise. It isn’t uncommon for global WAN operating organisations to encounter situations where a service provider lacks the required connectivity in certain countries within the carrier’s network. This means that the different providers must agree to peer between one another to fulfil global connectivity needs, leading to often costly and complex environments, and a lengthy link process.

VMware SD-WAN simplifies and optimises connectivity, allowing branch locations to connect to one another regardless of which service provider’s connectivity they are leveraging. Since it uses centralised orchestration to manage the entire network infrastructure of an organisation, the result is a simpler, cheaper, and faster way to deploy and manage the WAN.

Enhanced security in the branch

Network security is an ever-present challenge for all companies, especially with hybrid working now being present in many companies. The deployment physical security appliances at branch locations is expensive, complex to maintain and operate, and frequently lacks application awareness. Another approach is to heavily centralise the enforcement points to possibly reduce costs and complexity, but this leads to all traffic being backhauled to the central location.

VMware SD-WAN addresses these issues in several ways. The first of which being the ability to deliver optimised access to cloud-based security services. The solution can dynamically connect to third-party cloud-based security providers on a per-application basis. This reduces the requirement for physical appliances and greatly simplifies the deployment and management of the branch security services.

The recognition and optimisation of SaaS applications is another feature built into VMware SD-WAN. This allows the network architect to designate different security policies for well-known SaaS applications than for non-trusted internet traffic.

For more information on how VMware’s SD-WAN technology can benefit several sectors, contact a member of our team.

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