Building and securing a managed SD-WAN in a cloud first-world

by Felix Massoth 

11 January 2021

SD WAN transformation

Accelerate your WAN and security transformation with NTT Ltd and Silver Peak

The network is the foundation of the modern organization, but as more applications migrate to the cloud and embrace Software-as-a-Service models, the demands on the network are ever changing. More than 58% of respondents to our 2020 Global Managed Services Report indicated that they were either considering or undergoing SD-WAN transformation, an increase of 84.7% on a year-on-year basis.

Businesses are increasingly reliant on the cloud to remain competitive, but in addition to this, the number of devices connecting to an organization’s network is exploding. Greater numbers of remote workers and Internet of Things devices are just two of the reasons that the modern network needs to be more agile and flexible than ever before.

The rapidly evolving IT environment means cloud-first organizations look towards SD-WAN to ensure they can quickly evolve to support business objectives. The requirement for an intelligent network means that organizations are leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to allow the network to automatically adapt to changing traffic patterns.

Reaction time is critical

This applies to both traffic optimization and network security. As the nature of the network changes, with more devices on the edge, the way we secure these environments will have to change as well.

Robust, reliable networks have proven to be the backbone of successful organizations. These companies are expanding their focus beyond branch and campus networks to support remote and distributed working.

A flexible, secure, stable network can support workloads and applications running in hyperscale as well as on-premises, private and/or hosted environments, enabling organizations to deliver more agile business outcomes.

SD WAN transformation

Delivering flexible and secure networks remain a key concern for IT teams

SD-WAN is creating greater agility in enabling businesses to change the shape of their organization in response to market demands, including rapidly provisioning and securing branches with direct internet access.

With adaptive internet breakout, from SD-WAN providers like Silver Peak, organizations can implement intent-bases policies that enable users to connect to specific internet applications directly and securely from wherever they are.

Security is evolving

Critical to securing these new environments is the shift towards a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). This is an emerging network architecture that allows for SD-WAN and security to be delivered as a unified cloud-based service, simplifying WAN deployment, improving efficiency and security, while providing appropriate bandwidth per application. In a constantly changing world, it’s no longer enough to address networking and security separately, they need to be integral elements of the same solution.

In a cloud-first IT environment reducing complexity is critical to speeding up IT’s response to business needs. Because SASE is identity-driven, cloud-native, globally distributed, and able to securely connect all parts of the IT environment at all edges, it enables organizations to reduce both complexity and cost.

Developing an integrated and future-proof WAN and security transformation strategy should allow for the flexibility to choose the best-of-breed SD-WAN platform and best-of-breed cloud security platforms that support the principles of SASE without compromise.

33.3 % increase in organizations looking for managed service providers. More than half planning on ‘smart sourcing’ the management of their network within the next 18 months.

Source: 2020 NTT Global Network Insights Report

We partner with carefully chosen organizations, such as Silver Peak, recently acquired by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, to leverage our respective SD-WAN expertise to enable organizations to integrate their security solution of choice, including cloud-delivered security, SASE-ready platforms into a single, centrally managed SD-WAN platform, delivering the optimal user experience for any application, from any location, in a secure manner.

Felix Massoth

Felix Massoth 

Head of MS GTM and SCOE Relationship