Businesses are rapidly turning to cloud-based solutions for their communication and collaboration needs. This has become increasingly common for companies with multiple branches because cloud-based apps and systems offer greater convenience, flexibility, and a richer set of features to address the needs of modern, mobile workers. Due to the increasing use of cloud-based services (including VoIP systems, video conferencing, cloud storage solutions, and other bandwidth-intensive applications), companies often face the problem of consuming more wide area network (WAN) bandwidth than their network can handle. This, in turn, can drag internet speeds, communications performance, and overall productivity to a crawl.
So what options do companies have today to help ensure stable connectivity and optimize overall business communications performance?
Michael Wood, the Vice President of Marketing at VeloCloud, a cloud-delivered SD-WAN company, believes that a reliable and consistent network is the answer, which can be achieved with SD-WAN. In this article, Wood shares with VoipReview.org some insights on what makes SD-WAN a critical component of a business’ digital transformation strategy, in addition to how VeloCloud’s solution helps companies increase enterprise WAN agility, simplicity, and application performance.
Ensuring Network Reliability with SD-WAN
Enterprises in all sectors are looking to achieve true digital transformation to improve business operations and strengthen their customer engagements. One of the ways to do this is by leveraging various technologies such as voice, video, and data communications. Legacy WANs, however, were not designed to securely or efficiently support a dynamic, internet-based environment. This means that access to cloud-based apps may often come with a host of frustrating (yet entirely preventable) issues including wasted bandwidth, packet loss, delay, and jitter--all of which lead to inefficiencies and a poor experience. Because of this, more companies are looking to transform their WANs and make the shift to a more reliable, cost-effective, and high-performing solution: SD-WAN.
“Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) is a transformational approach to simplify branch office networking and assure optimal application performance,” says Wood. “Unlike traditional WANs, SD-WAN delivers increased network agility and cost reduction. SD-WAN has its roots in Software Defined Networking (SDN), the underlying principle of which is to abstract the network hardware and transport characteristics from the applications that use the network.”
It is no surprise why interest in SD-WAN is exploding as of late, with the worldwide SD-WAN market for infrastructure and services predicted to exceed $6 billion by 2020. A number of cloud communications service providers have also jumped onto the SD-WAN bandwagon, offering SD-WAN solutions to help improve the reliability and quality of business communications. These include Vonage, Mitel, MetTel, GTT, as well as AT&T and Cincinnati Bell. Beyond delivering business communication services, these carriers have one more thing in common: all of their solutions utilize VeloCloud’s Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN technology.
VeloCloud - The SD-WAN Leader
VeloCloud is one of the many SD-WAN vendors in the market, but they are considered to be the undisputed leader with their technology being deployed by today’s leading carriers. According to Wood, “VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN enables simple, agile and secure branch office wide area networks. VeloCloud SD-WAN includes a distributed network of VeloCloud Gateways, a cloud-based VeloCloud Orchestrator and a branch platform, the VeloCloud Edge.”
“VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN delivers true multi-tenancy across data plane, control plane and orchestration plane to deliver economies of scale for thousands of customers," Wood explained. "Cloud services (SaaS, compute, IaaS, storage, security) performance, quality of experience and reliability are provided down to the last mile over the Internet to every Enterprise site. VeloCloud enables automation and zero-touch deployments reducing IT costs, support, and maintenance."
- VeloCloud Edge - A zero-touch enterprise-class appliance, the VeloCloud Edge is a compact, thin edge, easy-to-install device that provides secure optimized connectivity to applications and data. “Application and traffic prioritization are performed across multiple on-premise networks via VeloCloud Edges,” says Wood. It can also connect to the system of global VeloCloud Gateways to ensure performance, security, and visibility for cloud services.
- VeloCloud Gateways - VeloCloud Gateways are deployed globally at top-tier cloud data centers around the world. They provide scalability, redundancy and on-demand flexibility. VeloCloud Gateways also implement Dynamic Multi-Path Optimization (DMPO) which optimize data paths to all applications, branches and data centers. It also offers the ability to deliver network services from the cloud.
- VeloCloud Orchestrator - According to Wood, “Network-wide business policy creation, distribution, and enforcement based on applications, traffic and network conditions are delivered via the VeloCloud Orchestrator.” It also enables one-click provisioning of virtual service, whether in the branch, the cloud, or enterprise data center.
Why VeloCloud SD-WAN
Cloud-based communications have a number of advantages over traditional services, says Wood. Scalability is one huge benefit. Also, cloud-based communications solutions are also constantly up-to-date with the latest security patches, vulnerability mitigations, and software versions. In addition, they offer a richer and current set of features to subscribers. Despite these, however, Wood believes it also has one significant drawback.
“A drawback of cloud-based solutions is that to be cost-effective they must rely on the Internet for transport. The Internet is a best effort network which experiences packet loss, delay, jitter, and unreliability,” explains Wood. “In fact, VeloCloud data indicates that in at least 18 percent of the business day the Internet is not suitable for business critical applications due to packet loss and jitter,” he added. This is the challenge that VeloCloud seeks to address with their Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN. Their SD-WAN technology measures the health of the networks, steers around issues and repairs poor performing links for a company’s most important applications, such as Unified Communications, VoIP, Video, VDI, etc. This is done for both cloud applications and on-premises applications.
“VeloCloud has taken a unique approach to SD-WAN and is the only vendor to offer a fully cloud-delivered architecture to address the expansion of applications and compute to the cloud,” Wood says. In addition to simplified branch SD-WAN deployment and optimized use of multiple WAN transport links, VeloCloud SD-WAN also delivers unique cloud delivered benefits:
- Performance optimization, security and manageability benefits are available to on-premises applications and to SaaS, IaaS and cloud services via SD-WAN gateways as a service at the doorstep of every major cloud datacenter.
- Dynamic multipath optimization that delivers private network-level performance over the Internet for sensitive real-time applications, interactive SaaS in the cloud, and enterprise datacenter. Application-aware optimization includes per packet steering of traffic flows across links and on demand remediation of transmission errors.
- Architecture for multi-tenant deployments by service providers for cloud datacenter and private network integrated SD-WAN services.
VeloCloud also provides flexible deployment models: a choice of public, private or hybrid cloud network for enterprise-grade connection to cloud and enterprise applications; branch office enterprise appliances and optional data center appliances; software-defined control and automation; and virtual services delivery. Wood further highlights that VeloCloud SD-WAN technologies are 100 percent channel-sold through SPs, MSPs, SIs, and VARs to level the playing field and help create competitive pricing for Enterprises.
|Key Features of VeloCloud SD-WAN
|Dynamic Path Selection
|Link Steering and Remediation
||Enterprise Grade Security
|Application Performance Monitoring
||VeloCloud Automation and Orchestration
VeloCloud SD-WAN Technology Partner Program
Recently, VeloCloud also introduced its SD-WAN Security Technology Partner Program, which is considered a big step toward a comprehensive security system. Aimed at protecting users' branch, data center, and cloud networks, the program combines the VeloCloud's most flexible enterprise SD-WAN architecture with premier security solutions from some of the leading security vendors.
In a release, the company said that "VeloCloud’s vision of the SD-WAN Security Technology Partner Program spans all three parts of the SD-WAN security framework comprising network, cloud, and management. This includes network security interoperability in the branch and security VNF integration on the VeloCloud Edge; Cloud security via direct connect from branch to cloud and security in IaaS through VeloCloud Edges and VeloCloud Gateways; and interfaces to leading Security Operations Centers, SIEM solutions and security analytics."
Learn more about VeloCloud and how they are transforming enterprise networks and performance by visiting VeloCloud's website.
VeloCloud is the Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN company. Founded in 2012, VeloCloud helps today's increasingly distributed enterprise enjoy a robust and reliable network by automating deployment and improving performance over private, broadband Internet, and LTE links. Because of their innovative technologies and solutions, VeloCloud has earned various accolades, including being named as a Gartner Cool Vendor 2016, the Frost & Sullivan Product Leader in the SD-WAN Solution Market 2016, and a Best of Interop and Best of VMworld winner. VeloCloud has headquarters in Mountain View, California and currently has 120 employees and 150 registered partners.