Advanced Secure SD-WAN Keeps Pace with Organizations' Evolving Needs

December 09, 2020

By Special Guest
Michael Wood, CMO, Versa Networks,

Companies today face greater pressure than ever to be agile and responsive. If they can’t rapidly address the changing needs of markets and their customers, they will be replaced.

Instead of relying on conventional networking, hardware-centric options, or traditional SD-WANs, there are a number of important reasons why a company might choose an advanced Secure SD-WAN to address their wide area networking needs. Those reasons have been driven by dynamic market and customers’ evolving needs, and SD-WAN technology has been tasked with trying to keep up.

When SD-WAN solutions were first introduced to the market a few years ago, network administrators were attracted by their promise of significant cost savings, possibly up to 50 percent of the costs of hardware-based networking options and traditional access methods such as MPLS. Early SD-WAN solutions were also positioned to offer better network and application performance in widely distributed working environments, including branch offices.

Since the cloud now delivers so many critical applications to workers, business needs have followed suit and they require an SD-WAN that can maximize their evolving SaaS (News - Alert) strategies. It goes without saying that companies’ requirements to support work from home (WFH) strategies and remote workforces have never been so important, as some estimate life post-pandemic will not return to “normal” for up to 12 months from now. Network administrators must support a more mobile and fluid WAN edge than ever before, and they need an advanced Secure SD-WAN to help them get there.

In today’s evolving marketplace, networks are the key to agility and responsiveness. If a company’s IT requirements need to quickly scale due to unforeseen circumstances, it takes the right kind of Secure SD-WAN to help them get there, enabling change to happen in hours versus days or weeks. Traditional networks do not support this type of agility, which can support the very essence of digital transformation.

With the rapidly changing market and business conditions, advanced Secure SD-WANs have been designed to evolve to keep pace with these dynamic requirements. The technology has far eclipsed being a simple solution for connecting branches and endpoints. Today’s advanced Secure SD-WANs have become much smarter and are architected to deliver integrated comprehensive security, scalable advanced routing, full-featured SD-WAN, genuine multi-tenancy, and sophisticated network and application performance visibility and analytics in a single operating system. Secure SD-WAN has evolved to provide a seamless network experience and serve as the unified fabric that ties together mobility, cloud, and “as a service” needs. For the network to protect mobile users and workers everywhere, tightly integrated security must be architected from the beginning.

Most SD-WAN offerings are trying to play catch up and can’t deliver the necessary breadth of built-in native networking and tightly integrated security for the WAN edge. This is simply not enough for a market looking to support remote workers like never before, and one seeing the rapid emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) on the horizon.

Network administrators should seek advanced Secure SD-WAN solutions that bundle comprehensive integrated security, advanced routing, WAN optimization, multi-tenancy, orchestration, and analytics to meet dynamic requirements at the WAN edge for organizations from small businesses to enterprises to service providers. Their advanced Secure SD-WAN of choice must deliver the advantages of visibility into network traffic between applications, devices and users, regardless of location. It needs to take the complexity out of correlating and managing data for each individual role. Today’s SD-WAN needs to enable the software-defined enterprise to extend end-to-end, across branch offices, clouds, data centers, campuses, edge computing, 5G, mobile, wired and wireless. That’s a lot to ask for a technology that has been evolving over the past few years, but today’s advanced Secure SD-WAN is up to the task.

Let’s not forget that, since IoT deployments require enormous scale, performance, and prioritization to run smoothly and in real time, administrators should keep this in mind in selecting a solution that supports massively scalable IoT deployments, including support for IoT devices, gateways, analytics, storage, and compute.

Before SD-WAN came along, remember everything stemmed from the data center as the hub of the wheel. Disparate security and network architectures ran unintegrated, and legacy network architectures limited companies’ agility, responsiveness, and ability to compete. This, of course, all goes against today’s requirements for a software-defined business, where users, applications, data, services and devices are often located outside of the headquarters. In order to survive, today’s businesses need applications that run smoothly with consistent, reliable performance, all with less complexity. The WAN must be a competitive enabler – it can no longer be a business inhibitor. 

There is increasing demand for security and network functions delivered through the cloud, with deep application knowledge that understands the data context. This is where advanced Secure SD-WAN continues to differentiate itself from the pack, keeping pace with today’s dynamic and changing business landscape. 

About the author:  Michael leads the Versa Networks marketing organization and drives brand awareness, messaging, positioning, product marketing, demand generation, analyst engagements, press relations and corporate communications. He is an industry veteran with 30 years of experience in marketing, product and engineering at companies such as StrataCom, Cisco, Akamai (News - Alert), VeloCloud, VMware and Apstra.  Mike holds a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology (Computer Electronics) from San Jose State University.

Edited by Erik Linask

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