As the great cloud migration has demonstrated, many enterprises have found that no single strategy meets all of their technology needs. It’s common for an enterprise to invest in some public cloud solutions while also maintaining some on-premises systems and private cloud for some other workloads. A multi-cloud environment often helps an enterprise hit the right balance in terms of cost, security, and performance.

Along with this complexity in the IT approach comes a demand for a new networking solution. The traditional hub-and-spoke model with a firewall protecting the boundaries is no longer relevant to the ways that enterprises incorporate cloud technology. The perimeter of the network is all but nonexistent, and it often makes sense to connect directly to cloud solutions, rather than backhauling all traffic through the network before it heads out to the internet.

As a result, many enterprises are adopting software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN). SD-WAN applies a virtual overlay onto the physical network, allowing enterprises a centralized view and management of network activities. There are a few reasons why this approach makes sense for multi-cloud environments:

Prioritizing Traffic: One of the most crucial advantages to SD-WAN for a multi-cloud setup is the ability to route traffic based on automated policy. Each cloud and on-site system is going to have specific priorities that need to be addressed through networking, and SD-WAN makes that possible.

For instance, if you have a cloud communications solution, there is little room for dropped packets or latency. Real-time connectivity is crucial not only for voice calls but also for features like videoconferencing. SD-WAN allows for the prioritization of these types of transmissions, while applications like email can be relegated to a less-critical pathway.

Reducing Costs: One of the factors happening alongside and because of cloud solutions is the increased need for bandwidth. Given the historical reliance on multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) pathways, handling the volume of transmissions going to and from cloud applications can be costly. While MPLS lines are highly-reliable and secure, SD-WAN provides alternative pathways for handling traffic, such as broadband.

Improving Security: SD-WAN solutions offer end-to-end encryption, adding to the security that device firewalls introduce. In the event of a potential threat, segmentation of the network makes it possible to isolate the affected area, allowing the rest of the network to operate as usual.

Supporting Agility: In a multi-cloud environment, it should be easy to add new applications and remove them. SD-WAN makes for easy on- and off-ramping of specific cloud applications, so that business decisions are supported with quick, streamlined action.

If you’re managing a multi-cloud environment, you’re likely encountering some bottlenecks and challenges around networking. Let’s see what SD-WAN can do for your networking approach. Contact us at Clarksys for more information about SD-WAN and its ability to support multi-cloud.