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Optimize Your Network for Azure, AWS or Google Cloud with SD-WAN

March 13, 2018
Public Hybrid Cloud Migration

In the last several years we have seen a major shift in the data center. Reliance on IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) providers like Azure, AWS (Amazon Web Services) or Google Cloud has become more widespread than ever.

The limited lifespan, high capital expense and complex and rigid management of on premise hosting, as well as the pace at which such technologies are going obsolete are cited among the main driving forces behind this migration.

As a result, enterprise traffic patterns have changed as fewer and fewer apps reside within on premise corporate data centers. While some businesses limit their usage by storing only their backups in an IaaS cloud, many companies have completely moved to public cloud, proving that such services are mature enough to earn even the trust of corporations with stringent regulatory compliance requirements.

With the proliferation of public cloud service providers, network administrators are seeking out more optimal ways to connect to their cloud storage, focusing primarily on providing speed, agility, security, reliability, and as a result, outstanding app performance for end users.

Here are 6 ways in which SD-WAN can provide a reliable infrastructure for accessing the public cloud.

A Simplified Connection to the Cloud

Connecting to AWS, Azure or Google Cloud under the existing, traditional WAN model involves rigid, lengthy processes for setup, management and network changes alike, requiring the deployment of VPN connections for each branch-to-cloud and branch-to-branch link. This traditional model doesn’t support dynamic configurations and leads to inefficiencies, as well as an overall costly operational model.

Thus many businesses turn to SD-WAN to simplify their WAN architecture and achieve more agility. SD-WAN creates a comprehensive network of connections managed through one central interface to provide users with full site-to-site and site-to-cloud connections. With SD-WAN, deployment becomes much easier, requiring only one box installed at each location and a virtual router deployed in the public cloud. With its zero-touch provisioning capabilities and centralized management, the technology simplifies network changes as well, providing admins with the agility they need.

Efficient Cloud Migration

More than half of organizations around the world are migrating their on premise applications to public cloud service providers, which can be a challenging process with various complications. Problems could include a high costs for licenses required to access on premise applications by the cloud, the complexity of data fragmentation across two disparate environments, or the degradation of application performance during the migration process.

With SD-WAN providing an easy and elegant solution to this challenge, it comes as no surprise that cloud migration remains the top reason why companies choose to deploy an SD-WAN solution on their network.  Providing comprehensive, reliable access to apps and data stored on premise or in a public cloud, SD-WAN makes cloud migration remarkably easy.

Intelligent Traffic Steering

Traditional WAN architectures are not designed to support efficient access to apps residing in the cloud, forcing them to traverse unnecessary hops. Deploying a WAN network to support a public cloud like AWS, Azure or Google Cloud may result in wasted bandwidth, high packet loss and latency, as well as poor end-user experience.

With its application awareness, intelligent traffic steering and bandwidth optimization capabilities, SD-WAN ensures optimal performance for all cloud applications. Policies based on business intent give priority to mission-critical applications, and intelligent traffic steering helps ensure that users connecting to cloud-based apps or data are given the fastest possible route, without backhauling the traffic to a POP or HQ data center first. This capability relies on the ability of the software to identify traffic based on the first packet received; it minimizes bandwidth waste and helps ensure correct destination, app SLAs and meeting compliance requirements.

Seamless Failover

With the static IP addresses characteristic of VPNs, traditional WAN environments are also unable to provide the seamless failover SD-WAN technology is known for. In order to ensure continuity in a WAN architecture, network administrators need to double their already high workload by setting up two distinct links for each site-to-site or site-to-cloud connection and create a separate VPN for each of them. While this method does provide relative reliability, the lengthy failover still causes significant interruptions in application sessions whenever a circuit goes down, and creates an overgrown network very difficult to manage, particularly for businesses with numerous locations.

SD-WAN makes such high maintenance, overgrown networks obsolete by connecting all circuits into a centrally managed network. Its seamless failover capabilities ensure no interruptions in application sessions and continuity for all end-users.

Increased Security and Compliance

With its built-in next generation firewall, SD-WAN also ensures that all application sessions connecting to the cloud are secure and compliant, without the need for expensive MLPS circuits. The wide range of security features may include deep packet inspection (DPI), an intrusion prevention system (IPS), encrypted traffic inspection, website filtering, antivirus inspection, and third-party identity management integration.

Reduced Licensing Costs

Connecting all branch locations to a public cloud storage provider using traditional technologies can easily turn into an expensive affair. Each individual location requires its own license, and costs can add up quickly, especially for businesses with numerous locations.  SD-WAN circumvents these expenses by connecting all locations into the virtual router installed in the cloud. These secure SD-WAN connections provide reliable access to all data and apps stored publicly, ensuring excellent end-user experience at a lowered cost.


With the fast increase in businesses that move their applications and data to a public cloud, it is imperative to find more optimal ways to connect to this resource. SD-WAN provides companies with the secure and reliable connections they need to their third-party public clouds with its simplified network management, seamless failover, intelligent traffic steering and next-generation security capabilities.

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