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5 Ways SD-WAN Optimizes Your Network for a Hybrid Workforce

Graphic of staff working remotely Graphic of staff working remotely
Eugene Likhovid August 4, 2021

As a growing number of businesses operate with a remote or hybrid workforce, the job of managing and securing an increasingly distributed corporate network falls on IT departments. You may need to ensure solid performance for a growing number of bandwidth-intense applications. And securing all premise-based, cloud-based, or SaaS resources may also be on your shoulders, as end-users continue accessing them from a wide range of different devices and connections.

With legacy network architectures, meeting the security and performance demands of such distributed infrastructure is impossible. But modern solutions like Secure SD-WAN can extend your network perimeter to the end user and safely connect your distributed users to distributed resources, all without sacrificing application performance. Here is how.

1. SD-WAN Secures Your Network and Resources

Securing your network and resources even as end-users continue to access them remotely is imperative. Secure SD-WAN provides easily manageable solutions to do so, from enterprise-grade, multi-factor authentication to granular control over each application running on your network. You can manage strict rules for each person, group and application. And you can even integrate your SD-WAN service with various authentication servers and protocols, including Active Directory, SSO – OKTA, LDAP, and SAML2, making it easy to identify and authenticate your users. 

2. SD-WAN Secures Your Remote Users

With the network threat perimeter now extended to the end-user, it is important to enable your team to connect to company resources safely, whether they are stored in private data centers, the public cloud or SaaS locations. With Secure SD-WAN, you can enforce security policies directly on your users’ devices. SD-WAN also creates encrypted connections from end-user devices to cloud gateways and, once authenticated, from cloud gateways to public and private cloud resources, safeguarding your mission-critical infrastructure.

3. SD-WAN Keeps Applications Running at Peak Performance

When part of your team joins meetings remotely using conferencing and collaboration software, ensuring that your network can manage the load is imperative. SD-WAN gives you a wide variety of options for managing bandwidth on your network and ensure that your communications channels are running at peak performance.

You can load balance sessions across all or some of your ISPs. You can send business-essential traffic over dedicated, low-latency lines, while routing less sensitive traffic over your more affordable broadband lines. You can even configure SLA monitors to continuously measure and evaluate the traffic flowing through your network and dynamically shift sessions from low performing or failed links to higher performing connections based on your specific configurations.

4. SD-WAN Ensures Exceptional Application Performance for Remote Users

Backhauling traffic to high-performance security protocols at your headquarters or data center, or creating a series of VPN tunnels for remote employees can severely degrade application performance. But with its intelligent application-based multi-path steering, Secure SD-WAN allows you to protect your resources, users and network without compromising your team’s application experience.

Network optimization functionalities extensively deployed at branch locations are now available for your remote users as well, including SLA Monitoring, Traffic Engineering and Forward Error Correction. Driven by application performance from branch to cloud and remote user to cloud, Secure SD-WAN allows you to set user and app-specific SLAs and routes all your business-essential traffic on the best available connection and gateway based on real-time network data.

5. SD-WAN Simplifies Your Network and Security Management

Managing a growing, distributed network can become a gargantuan task even for the most experienced It teams. Secure SD-WAN offers a highly scalable solution to managing all your network endpoints, routing configurations and security policies using a single admin portal.

You can monitor and manage your network, users and applications, as well as review real-time analytics in one place. You can create templates, set up branches and new users in minutes, and mass-deploy policies to any number of locations and devices with just a few clicks.

Secure SD-WAN even allows you to consolidate your network functions into a single device at each location. It combines SD-WAN, Routing, Secure Web Gateway, Remote Access, Next Generation Firewall, LTE WAN backup and Analytics into a single cost-effective subscription.

Keeping up with the changing needs of a hybrid workforce can be challenging. But by enabling you to extend the network perimeter to the end-user, Secure SD-WAN provides you with a robust solution that keeps your infrastructure secure and your applications running at peak performance, no matter where your team is located.

Let Us Help

If you find it challenging to manage your distributed network, get in touch with our team. One of our Client Technology Advisors will be happy to show you what SD-WAN can do for your business and help you create a customized network design.

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