Creating the right connection for software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) requires enterprises to consider several factors, including security, performance, and connection methods. Generally, the leading SD-WAN providers offer cloud integration with their solutions, delivered through connection to a private point of presence, utilizing an internet virtual private network (VPN) or using back-to-back access.
Enterprises often use VPNs for connection to a cloud provider, where the provider uses encryption and firewalls to secure transmissions in a virtual WAN infrastructure.
Enterprises are now familiar with the benefits of SD-WAN, including traffic segmentation and prioritization, centralized provisioning and deployment, and improved security. These benefits also apply to SD-WAN cloud connectivity, but the way in which enterprises structure their SD-WAN cloud connectivity depends on the provider they partner with for their solution.
Some cloud providers have developed integration with certain SD-WAN solutions, resulting in a service that delivers both VPN tunneling and baked-in security. This creates a seamless connection from the enterprise to the cloud, with benefits like comprehensive reporting for cloud activities and local point of presence (PoP) preference.
This access to PoPs is geographically dispersed and subject to multiple ISP peering arrangements, so SD-WAN providers generally build into cloud platforms at a variety of levels, depending on the specific architecture. This is accomplished through back-to-back connectivity with the major public cloud providers and dedicated gateways at the ends of the connections.
Determining how best to facilitate SD-WAN cloud connectivity is largely dependent on the capability of the WAN design. It’s important to note how the WAN provider is integrated with its infrastructure in data centers at the national and global levels. Here’s a summary of the three main options for connection:
In this approach, SD-WAN providers partner with cloud providers to offer dedicated gateways located on premises, and which terminate in the cloud environment. The benefit to back-to-back access is the ease with which provisioning can be handled because tail circuits are not necessary.
Private PoP Connection:
Choosing an SD-WAN provider with private backbones results in optimized traffic paths extended to each cloud provider. Performance is improved if the VPN is connected to the gateway prior to discontinuing the cloud provider’s resources. This type of connectivity allows VPN traffic to be transmitted on the local internet, and hop-to-hop traffic transmits over the SD-WAN provider’s private backbone.
With this connectivity option, SD-WAN design offers an internet VPN that connects to the cloud provider via tunnels. This approach lessens the necessary time to connect enterprise locations to SD-WAN solutions.
If your enterprise is considering SD-WAN cloud connection options, contact us at eXemplify. We can help you decide which of the three types of connectivity provides the right benefits for your needs.