Why SD-WAN is Crucial in Workload Migrations to Azure


A glimpse into challenges facing attendees at Microsoft Ignite

While I was at Microsoft Ignite and saw tremendous buzz around Azure and Office 365. Everyone I spoke to, during my three-day stint, had some significant cloud initiative underway. Challenges of “Hybrid” is a common dilemma that cloud architects, application owners, DevOps and infrastructure staff, all are grappling with. SD-WAN should be on the technology shortlist to make hybrid infrastructure more effective.

My conversations were dominated by “How do I move my workload to the Azure cloud,” “How can I manage a hybrid WAN,” or “How do I assure the performance of cloud apps.” Although Enterprises moving to the cloud isn’t a new concept, the reality of performance and the complexity of migration is real and significant as they cross the chasm.

Rippling effect of cloud strategies 

A key component at the center of this conundrum is the network; specifically, the wide-area network.  Workloads housed in the data center with sites connected over MPLS based WAN are moving to the cloud. Backhauling the traffic from the branches to the data center was perfect for workloads in the data center. According to Gartner, 30-50% of large enterprise traffic is shifting to the cloud, changing traffic flows and making traditional WAN suboptimal.

The dilemma of dynamic workloads over static infrastructure

The traditional router infrastructure is just not agile to facilitate the dynamic workloads running in a hybrid IT environment. Added latency of moving the workload into an IaaS platform, congestion points created at the Internet egress and significant cost of increasing capacity of MPLS connections are hindering cloud rollouts.  A complete rethink of network and security architecture is necessary to reap the benefits of cloud strategies.

Why the flexibility of SD-WAN is crucial during migrations

SD-WAN is widely acknowledged as a strategic technology to help enterprises migrate to the cloud. The traditional router-based approaches to WAN connectivity are rigid, complex and expensive. One of the key capabilities of SD-WAN is policy-based application steering to dynamically send the traffic to the cloud over the most optimal path. The recently announced Riverbed enterprise SD-WAN is designed to address these very issues facing large organizations to confidently deploy SD-WAN within the most complex and secure networks.

What makes Riverbed SteelConnect EX SD-WAN different?

The SteelConnect EX series delivers a unique combination of enterprise-grade routing, best-in-class SD-WAN, industry-leading application acceleration and advanced network security, giving you the power to migrate workloads from your data center to IaaS providers or adopt SaaS applications.

  • Native enterprise-grade routing simplifies SD-WAN integration into an existing network
  • Integrated application acceleration, mitigates latency issues of migrating the workload to the cloud
  • Advanced security and service chaining eliminate central Internet egress congestion with local Internet breakouts
Riverbed SteelConnect EX Components

Riverbed SteelConnect EX Components

Learn more about what SteelConnect EX and the Digital Networking Platform can do for you!

Are you facing other WAN infrastructure challenges which are slowing you down from moving to the cloud? Use the comments below to share your thoughts with me—it will be interesting to see how these conversations evolve by Ignite in 2020!

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