Removing Complexity in an Evolving Multi-Cloud Environment

Part 2: 3 Ways SD-WAN Simplifies the Multicloud by Paul Bulmer, Director of Product

Paul Bulmer, Director of Product, Maintel

17th March 2022
By: Paul Bulmer, Director of Product

Using multiple cloud environments means you need to be able to seamlessly interact with them in a way that emphasises performance, manageability, and security. 

Nearly every organisation today is using a mix of public and private cloud services to create their operating environment. Assuming you fit into this demographic, you are likely doing so to meet very specific business needs that seek to balance those services with cost, accessibility, availability, durability, speed, privacy, and security. But the biggest challenge with the cloud – that still exists today – is that when you leverage the cloud, you give up some degree of both visibility and control.

This creates a material amount of complexity for internal IT teams; without visibility and control, being able to manage service delivery, performance, and security across what are, essentially, disparate environments attempting to act as one is far more challenging. You can’t manage what you can’t see; and you certainly can’t manage what you don’t control.

In this second blog in a 5-part series on removing complexity in an evolving multicloud environment, we’re going to look at how that multicloud environment can be simplified using software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN).

To address this growing concern, businesses today are embracing SD-WAN. It virtualizes the convoluted mix of on-premises networks, cloud environments, and the networks that sit in between, making them act as a single, unified network where managing and directing the traversing traffic is much more easily accomplished. Conventional networking would leverage dedicated WAN paths to connect remote locations. As you may well know already, SD-WAN instead sees the WAN in multiple planes – data, control, and management – separate from the actual networking hardware, so routing of traffic become something definable and policy-based to meet business needs.

There are 3 ways the use of SD-WAN helps to simplify your already complex multicloud strategy:

  • Creates a Single, Scalable Environment – Adding cloud provider upon cloud provider only exacerbates the problem of having little-to-no visibility or control. But SD-WAN obscures the specifics of each environment, presenting the complex mix of an on-premises, along with private and public clouds, as a cohesive single environment. This creates a scalable environment in which visibility and management are maintained, regardless of how large or complex the underlying networking really is.
  • Optimises Network Utilisation –There are optimal network paths certain traffic should take, whether that be application-to-application or user-based. But as the environment grows and business needs change, it’s imperative to have an ability to dynamically change routing accordingly. With SD-WAN, policies are established to dictate which routes should be taken and when, to ensure traffic takes the most cost-effective routes, resulting in less downtime, lowered costs, and a continually productive workforce.
  • Creates a Unified Experience – A hybrid workforce includes a varying mix of Internet connectivity, ISPs, and resources needed to be accessed. A multicloud strategy creates a wide range of user experiences based on the presence or lack of network performance. The previous two ways SD-WAN simplifies your multicloud strategy combined provide a single environment that uses optimised paths to connect users with their needed applications and data. This means the business operates, with rare exception, under the guise of a unified experience for all users.

Simplifying the Multicloud with SD-WAN

Your current strategy of taking advantage of the next new cloud application or platform is pretty much status quo. But at some point (if you’re not already there), you’ll realise the complexity of the environment you’ve created is becoming unmanageable.

By taking advantage of SD-WAN, you can eliminate the intricacies of management, creating a singular environment where managing, scaling, and using it is as simple as a traditional on-premises network.

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