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Is your network ready for digital transformation?

Genius Wong, President, Global Network Services, Cloud and Data Centre Services at Tata Communications | Jan. 17, 2017
A look at SD-WAN - one of the most promising technologies in global networking

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

When your personal pocket supercomputer gives you the ability to access (almost) anyone else in the world with a tap of a screen, it's easy to forget how it reaches the other end over the Internet. This practically ubiquitous connectivity granted by the Internet has unlocked new markets for enterprises and lowered the barriers for international expansion. It has paved the way for a whole new platform economy where new business models emerge and transform entire industries.

Crucial for the growth of the platform economy is the data that fuels it, the applications that power it, the clouds that underpin it, and the connectivity that brings organisations and consumers together to create value from it. But as the platform economy continues to grow, this critical connectivity is growing in complexity.

The Internet is run over different autonomous networks from different providers, so it is not possible to guarantee enterprise grade performance. That is why many enterprises subscribe to private wide area networks (WAN), linking together the various global strands of the business across different countries and continents to allow rapid and reliable engagement between data centres and branch offices.

The problem with a traditional WAN

Having to rely on WAN connectivity can hold back an enterprise with international growth ambitions, as these private connections can't simply be switched on in an instant. So, by the time a new WAN is in place, you will have to play catch-up with more agile competitors already present in that market.

As enterprises have become more and more reliant on cloud applications, maintaining a WAN has turned into an expensive and complex operation, exposing the limitations of traditional private network design.

Delivering a seamless user experience for employees and customers globally across a diverse infrastructure, spanning legacy systems, private and public clouds of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google platform, can be a huge challenge. Traditional WAN architectures are simply not fit for the cloud. They are too slow, inflexible and expensive. And, as the public Internet can't meet enterprises' needs for secure, reliable and predictable performance, this has resulted in the need to have a network platform with predictability and end-to-end performance guarantees for access to business-critical cloud applications.

Reinventing networking with a software defined WAN

As the world moves towards the platform economy - fuelled by petabytes of data, powered by millions of applications, and underpinned by the cloud - ubiquitous, reliable, superfast connectivity that brings enterprises, their employees and customers together on a global scale becomes paramount. That is why we need to reinvent the network. Only then will enterprises be able to grab their share of the growth opportunities that this new digitally driven, borderless, collaboration-focused economy brings.


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