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Aryaka CTO on SD-WAN and the future of network security

Aryaka CTO on SD-WAN and the future of network security

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Ashwath Nagaraj, Founder and CTO, Aryaka, talks us through the importance of SD-WAN for global enterprises and offers some best practice advice for CISOs looking to implement such solutions.  

Can you provide an overview of SD-WAN and its importance to global enterprises?

Legacy WANs are unfit for the digital era. The public Internet continues to be plagued by congestion and reliability problems caused by exponential traffic growth, bandwidth-intensive applications and expanding network complexities.

MPLS was designed before the cloud and brings high costs, inflexibility and long deployment times. These deficiencies have given rise to a technology known as SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network).

As enterprises embark on their transformational journeys, they are experiencing key business and technology trends causing them to migrate to SD-WAN.

The driving forces help drive the competitive advantage for businesses in today’s cloud era:

  • Globalisation is having an impact on virtually every enterprise today, incorporating mergers and acquisitions; expanding into new markets and dealing with customers across time zones. To maintain competitive advantage in this environment, enterprises need global networks that can be deployed quickly and ensure the delivery is that of performance and not latency. 
  • Enterprises may not have the required resources or interest in maintaining complex infrastructure. A managed network takes the operational burden off so companies can focus more on running the business. IT outsourcinghelps increase agility and reduce capital and operational cost.
  • Cloud adoption changes the functioning of business applications that used to reside exclusively in the corporate data centre. In fact, over 50% of enterprise WAN traffic can be attributed to cloud. A network that is optimised for multi-cloud connectivity and application delivery is paramount.
  • Businesses across the globe are adopting new business applications – team collaboration, voice and video conferencing, IM, file transfer and project management, for example, are commonly used by enterprises daily to increase productivity.

Many of these new applications are cloud-based and delivering a consistent, high-quality experience to users anywhere in the world should be a key capability of the network. This is made possible by SD-WAN networks with much ease

  • Mobility has increased as enterprise users utilise multiple devices and connect from remote locations. Wi-Fi or other public networks are typical used for access which introduces a whole set of security risks. SD-WAN ensures it protects users, data and applications due to its multi-layer security.

Owing to this, the global SD-WAN market size is expected to grow from US$1 billion in 2018 to US$4.1 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 32.7% during the forecast period.

The increasing number of cloud-based applications increases traffic in the network and SD-WAN provides better cloud connectivity than MPLS does.

What are the security and speed benefits of SD-WAN?

Increasing amounts of data are being transferred among data centres, cloud environments, branch offices and other remote locations, driven by data analytics, media traffic, storage demand and data backup. This traffic creates the need to optimise the performance of wide area networks (WANs) and the applications that run on them.

As traffic levels steadily rise, network administrators are also seeing an increase in latency-sensitive data transmissions. WAN and application performance optimisation solutions have become a necessity in order to deliver the scalability and throughput that this traffic demands.

Optimisation uses several techniques to improve performance, including the monitoring and management of bandwidth capacity, network latency, protocols and overall network traffic. Techniques such as deduplication, compression, Secure Sockets Layer and other protocol optimisation are used to enhance performance.

SD-WAN as a networking approach helps deliver multiple performance and cost benefits, including end-to-end network visibility and feedback to improve transmission efficiencies on the fly.

This technology also creates a painless pathway from proprietary hardware devices to software-defined WANs that are agile and programmable, enabling organisations to keep pace with IT innovations

Another benefit of an SD-WAN solution is that it can improve network security, by encrypting WAN traffic as it moves from one location to another and by segmenting the network so that if a breach occurs, the damage is minimised. SD-WANs can also help IT administrators detect attacks more quickly by providing constant visibility into the amount and types of traffic on a network.

How does Aryaka offer something unique to enterprises and what are the company’s ongoing growth plans?

Some organisations choose to build their own SD-WAN and take it upon themselves to manage everything from evaluating vendors to implementing the solution, solving application performance issues and re-configuring the network every time the organisation rolls out a new application, all resource-intensive activities.

Its opposite, a fully managed SD-WAN solution such as the one pioneered by Aryaka, offers a more efficient option: the foundational technology needed to migrate to the cloud combined with the simplicity of having a single partner to manage that network.

Aryaka SmartCONNECT is a fully managed, SD-WAN as a Service that provides organisations with secure enterprise-grade connectivity that can be deployed within hours – anywhere in the world. It has quickly become the only viable solution for CIOs at enterprises looking to accelerate the performance of business-critical applications globally.

Our core focus at Aryaka is to deliver a simple, fully managed Network-as-a-Service that delivers predictable application performance for today’s digital-first, global enterprise.

SmartCONNECT continues to be a leading choice for CIOs and IT leaders because it provides a global fast lane for all of their business-critical applications, particularly as they migrate services to the cloud.

With Aryaka’s managed SD-WAN solution, customers benefit from 24x7x365 engineer level support and a SaaS based visibility portal along with an enterprise grade network and application acceleration. Aryaka also offers a single vendor solution that deals with all aspects of the customer’s network.

What best practice advice would you offer CISOs on selecting SD-WAN solutions?

It is important to realise that not all SD-WANs are created equal. There are three key attributes to consider when looking to achieve the full benefits of SD-WAN.

  • The SD_WAN solution must be purpose-built and optimised for application delivery

Most SD-WAN offerings are not purpose built. Aryaka’s solution has been designed to deliver any application, anywhere in the world in hours. Offering SD-WAN as a service, Arkaya’s solution ensures WAN optimisation, QoS, multi-cloud connectivity, SaaS acceleration and multi-layered security.

  • The network should be private and not shared like the public Internet

An SD-WAN that keeps up with the pace of digital change in an organisation should operate over a global private network rather than the Internet or MPLS. Aryaka leverages a software-defined, Layer 2 network that reaches 95% of the world’s business population in 30 milliseconds or less.

  • SD-WAN should be offered as a fully managed service

Enterprise networks are complex, so it is important that organisations weigh the time and money involved in design, deployment, management, and monitoring, not to mention handling multiple network contracts and inconsistent customer support. Aryaka provides the only SD-WAN as a Service that is backed by a 99.99% reliability SLA.

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