Reimagine your network so your SD-WAN can blossom
Building off of last month’s thought on the network being like the foundation of a house, I would like to dive deeper into reimagining the network. Your network, much like a foundation, is made up of more than just one item. It is several components working together to create a strong base to your infrastructure. These components are your infrastructure itself, your internet solution, your private wan solution local, regional or global, your remote solution and your cloud solution.
To reimagine your network, you'll need to be open to change and something new. For most of us, this is a challenge. Why? Well, it can take years to fine tune how you build your networks. And I am suggesting you potentially change everything you know and feel confident troubleshooting and resolving when there are issues. These very thoughts could turn some of you off and some of you may already be thinking about closing this button on your browser. But I encourage you to stay and at least read through to the end. If you have moved your resources to the cloud, your core really isn’t your core anymore. Your core may be larger than it needs to be now that there are not as many users/devices physically connected. Could you begin to imagine a decentralized infrastructure?
Historically, most company data required network access and in-house servers. These days, most company applications are accessed through the cloud. And in most cities, it is affordable to provide the large amounts of bandwidth required for cloud services. If you still have data stored in-house and most employees are working remotely, they are accessing the company data through your existing internet service. In most cases, your internet service was not sized for that because the need was not there. You may need to imagine new virtual connections when sizing out your recent internet needs.
Most small to medium businesses with single locations have not had the need to discuss WAN. Now that many businesses have moved applications to the cloud, you may want to imagine a new way to connect to your data. If your company has been using WAN to connect local, regional and global offices, it may be time to imagine a new way to utilize WAN technology, reducing costs rather than increasing them.
Conventional business practices and conventional learning has changed since the pandemic with the rise of the remote work force and remote learners. Most were forced to work and learn remotely. We continue to adjust to our new ways of working and learning as we move to a more hybrid mix of remote and in-person. Traditional networks and infrastructures struggle to support this new way of life. Building for the future will require us to imagine a more decentralized infrastructure with abilities to access everything you need from anywhere.
There can be hesitation when discussions are had regarding moving company data outside the walls of your physical building or datacenter to the cloud. Why? Some think their data may not be safe off-site. But when technology changes, do you want to stay responsible for patches and updates? Or would you prefer to outsource to a company required to remain in compliance? Several manufacturers are pushing business to the cloud as their only service options, whether we are ready for it or not. Now is the time to imagine a place where all your data and applications can grow dynamically.
Yes, your network will most likely need to change, but this isn’t something that will be hard to adjust to. It will just be different. There will be more things out of your control. Is that necessarily a bad thing? When you introduce new WAN circuits, they are connections you pay for from an internet service provider (ISP). Vetting the one that fits your business correctly is key when researching options. You will also need to consider where your remote users are connecting to and from. It can be done. It will be worth adjusting to where technology is already taking us. Be open to what is possible so that your SD-WAN can blossom.