by Todd McKown, Business Unit Manager – Networking at Scientel

Cloud-based networks are essential to scale, secure, and streamline connectivity for increasingly distributed workforces.

Many US-based companies, school districts, municipalities, food service providers, and medical professionals spent 2020 scrambling to meet the demands of a workforce that did not have any choice but to work remotely, with some being more prepared than others. 

Networks with multiple locations around the country or those that were geographically separated across states fared much better than those who relied on traditional VPN connectivity to a central headquarter site. Regardless of business type, one thing was immediately apparent: businesses needed Cloud-connected applications and SD-WAN to secure the evolving workforce.

SD-WAN (which replaced the typical DM-VPN firewall technology due to simplified configuration) has been around for roughly 5 years, but up until the last year, was not a widely adopted technology. Because of the Pandemic, there is now a clear and justifiable reason to create a flexible network that can change at a moment’s notice without the need to make costly and difficult configuration changes. 

SD-WAN provides benefits that are not typically seen by traditional firewalls. In many instances, it can completely replace the firewall altogether depending on how a company’s network is adopted. In a world of Cloud-connected users, files, and video, SD-WAN provides network engineers the ability to expand, migrate, upgrade, enhance, and secure all communications across the organization – regardless of user location.  

SD-WAN is guaranteed to provide enhanced and expedited connectivity to Cloud providers due to most providers having resiliency in multiple data centers across the US. It’s essentially like having a traditional, robust data center – minus the cost of hardware, battery backup, and cooling for all the equipment. All that is needed today is an internet connection sufficient to support users at their respective locations and an SD-WAN device to get connected across multiple business sites. 

Gartner estimates 2021 technology business spending to be $3.8 trillion – a 4% increase from 2020.  SD-WAN is among the key ways that companies are evolving their networks to include Cloud-connectivity for a workforce that can be located anywhere.

As SD-WAN evolves, the use cases for what it can replace are limitless. SD-WAN devices provide both Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity as a cost-effective solution for locations that may not have direct network connectivity, but need communication or monitoring. Some instances of this have been observed in cities that are looking to adopt IoT expansion, but do not have the fiber infrastructure or capital to invest in getting connectivity to IoT assets.

Scientel Cloud is a key player for these networks today. Backed by Nokia Nuage, the Scientel Cloud provides SD-WAN support, allowing the customer to evolve and grow the network over time, including cyber security with built-in DDoS mitigation. Compared to other SD-WAN providers that want to charge for every instance of service they offer, Scientel Cloud provides a highly competitive solution without the need to purchase additional licenses. 

Scientel is at the forefront of providing evolving technologies that assist IT professionals in pivoting their businesses and supporting municipality infrastructure needs worldwide. As The Universal Integrator™, Scientel Solutions provides the experience and evolving technology partnerships to answer any network design consideration and deployment.

Contact us to learn more about how SD-WAN can help your business transition seamlessly to a Cloud-connected, distributed workforce.

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