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How SD-WAN can relieve home office networking pains
Wed, 10th Jun 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

As organisations and employees adapt to remote working conditions, there has been plenty of discussion about the benefits and downsides to distributed workforces at scale.

Remote working is testing how well every organisation's remote connectivity can scale, particularly in areas such as VPN infrastructure and connection quality.

The experts at Silver Peak recommend three core components of network architecture: SD-WAN backbone, SD-WAN hardware, and VPN client software.

The SD-WAN backbone

An SD-WAN backbone is the foundation of any connectivity architecture that needs scale and high performance.

Once users are connected via a localised hub, through client-VPN software or SD-WAN edge appliances, they can leverage the Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform, enabling critical applications to be prioritised, protected and secured, over any combination of WAN transport.

Enterprises that already use a Silver Peak SD-WAN solution can integrate existing data centers with a cloud instance of EdgeConnect software to connect users to applications directly and securely without sacrificing performance or reliability.

For example, an IT team can select regional targets, deploy a new EdgeConnect instance from compatible leading cloud providers with corresponding network and IaaS infrastructure, and then add it to the existing SD-WAN fabric using Silver Peak Unity Orchestrator.

VPN connectivity

VPNs provide a secure connection between a user's device and a corporate network, but they can't provide direct access to other cloud-based applications. VPNs can also be difficult to use, and may not be able to sufficiently scale and cope with a large influx of users, which is not ideal when most of an organisation's workforce is now working remotely.

Silver Peak's SD-WAN fabric can assist organisations with connecting to major VPNs, such as Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure client VPNs.  Once users are connected into a regional hub, they can leverage the security, reliability and performance features of Silver Peak's SD-WAN fabric.

SD-WAN hardware

SD-WAN hardware is also available to organisations that require the highest quality connection. By deploying an EdgeConnect appliance in their home office, users benefit from ultra-resilient connectivity at home and realise the same, or even better quality of experience as what they get at the office.

SD-WAN architecture in action

TrialCard is one organisation that was forced to quickly and efficiently adapt to the remote working environment. It was able to shift its entire network architecture to support a ‘work from anywhere' model, capable of supplying remote users with access to applications without performance degradation.

A normal branch or call centre deployment means that the zero clients are connected to a trusted LAN. However, in remote environments, there is a new challenge: how to extend a LAN-like network into employees' homes and ensuring quality of service.

TrialCard extended its SD-WAN deployment to more than 400 remote call agents – all in less than two weeks. It did this by deploying the Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge Ultra-Small and Extra-Small appliances in employees' homes through zero-touch provisioning.

Silver Peak explains, “EdgeConnect enforces software-defined application routing policies in the form of business intent overlays. Standardised QoS policies ensure that Voice over IP (VoIP) and virtual desktop integration (VDI) traffic receive proper treatments, while security policies block any unwanted applications. All allowed traffic benefits from Silver Peak industry-leading path conditioning capabilities paired with unified WAN optimisation.

Protecting voice and optimising business-critical applications is key, and with the capabilities of EdgeConnect, TrialCard could deliver uninterrupted service to their customers throughout the healthcare crises.

Learn from the Gartner 2019 Magic Quadrant Leader for WAN Edge Infrastructure, Silver Peak, on how to build a work-from-anywhere WAN.

Watch the webcast here, and receive your complimentary Gartner report here.