Enterprise Networking Improves With New SD-WAN Features

One of the biggest challenges for IT teams adjusting to the mass shift to remote work is juggling the concerns around enterprise networking in terms of both security and performance. For organizations already utilizing software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN), the transition was a bit easier than for those still on traditional hub-and-spoke WAN architectures.

Enterprise IT continues to adapt as it is becoming evident that many workers will continue to spend half or more of their time working remotely. Whether it’s an option offered by enterprises as a way to save resources, provide more work-life balance, or simply because productivity improves with remote work, remote work is likely to be a permanent consideration for enterprise networking.

SD-WAN providers are recognizing the same trends, and their offerings are evolving to support varying networking requirements. Here are five features you will increasingly see as a part of your SD-WAN solution:

Zero Trust Network Access: As remote work became widespread, the shortcomings of virtual private network (VPN) were on full display. Enterprise IT saw the need for remote connectivity that offered ongoing security approaches, and many SD-WAN providers are beginning to offer zero trust network access as a way to ensure that no matter which device workers are using, their access is protected.

SASE: Secure access service edge (SASE) is the cloud convergence of security and network performance, and most SD-WAN providers are now offering this functionality. While most solutions are unable to truly fulfill the long list of SASE features encompassed in the approach, they are increasingly offering next-generation firewall, secure web gateway, application delivery controller, cloud access security broker, and zero trust network access for a comprehensive solution for network security. 

SD-Branch: SD-branch is an approach that consolidates WAN connectivity with security plus local area network (LAN) and WiFi for a unified and centralized enterprise networking solution that eases deployment and management for IT teams. You can expect more SD-WAN solutions to add this capability as a complete package for enterprises.

5G: A 5G cellular network now offers speeds comparable to broadband internet, while also offering easier provisioning and quick spin-up of new branches for enterprises. 5G is expected to be increasingly available as a circuit for SD-WAN connectivity, even if it’s only for reliability and backup options as a start. As competition increases and prices drop, 5G use will become more widespread.

Managed Services: Many of the early SD-WAN implementations were handled by enterprise networking teams in house; but since then, there has been a growth in utilizing managed services. Facing new levels of complexity with cloud solutions, dispersed remote teams, and the security challenges of home devices being used for work, enterprises see the value in outsourcing networking to the SD-WAN experts.

Are you considering an enterprise networking upgrade to your infrastructure? SD-WAN may be the right solution to manage network security and performance while improving visibility and control over network traffic. Contact us at One Connect to learn more.