Coauthored by Bilal Raja and Grimt Habtemariam
Many organizations have already developed cloud migration targets and are looking at how they can accelerate cloud adoption. As organizations increasingly embrace IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS consumption models many have selected AWS as their primary cloud provider.
While pre-application migration planning and application readiness is a key area of focus, many organizations have also realized that network readiness is also critical in accelerating and ensuring a successful cloud adoption journey. Legacy network architectures lack the simplicity, adaptability, automation and most of all application-awareness needed to deliver the best user experience. A Cloud Ready Network needs to enable a secure and optimized connectivity to cloud services from the branch/remote-offices.
Cisco next-gen SDWAN is one of the pillars of the Cloud Ready Network that can accelerate organizations adoption of cloud.
Cloud Ready WAN
To guarantee optimal end users experience an organization requires seamless connectivity between branch office locations, applications, and workloads hosted in the cloud. Many WAN solutions are ill-equipped for this task because they are generally rigid, complex to configure, and expensive to maintain. IoT adoption, a dramatic increase of the number of network devices, and the sophistication of security threats further compounds this challenge.
Cisco SDWAN on Amazon Web Services (AWS) is an overlay WAN architecture that is designed to address heterogeneous WAN connectivity and distributed users by building a scalable WAN infrastructure that reduces data transport costs and operational expenses. Cisco SDWAN for AWS helps with the following two major use cases:
Cloud Onramp for SaaS – Improving SaaS performance with SDWAN on AWS
Enterprises with the legacy WAN architecture, find it challenging to ensure a quality end user experience with their SaaS adoption. Often times a suboptimal path with increased latency is chosen to connect a user to the SaaS application in the cloud resulting in a degraded end user experience. A cloud ready network via SDWAN solves the problem by creating multiple Internet exit points and dynamically steering around bandwidth and latency issues in real-time, resulting is an optimal SaaS user experience at branches.
To achieve this the SDWAN fabric continuously measures the performance of designated SaaS applications through all permissible paths from a branch including direct internet access. For each path, the fabric computes a quality-of-experience (vQoE) score that gives network administrators visibility into application performance. The fabric also makes real-time decisions to choose the best-performing path per application per VPN between the end users at a remote branch and the cloud SaaS application and automatically fails over in case of performance degradation.
Cloud Onramp for IaaS – Faster and secure connectivity from branches to the AWS cloud
Traditional hub-and-spoke network architectures were designed to support consolidated applications and services hosted at centralized “demilitarized zones” (DMZs) and data centers. This layout forces the backhaul of internet traffic through the DMZ, creating inefficient traffic routes that increase the distance between end user and application. As an alternative, many organizations have opted to implement private circuits or MPLS to create mesh connectivity and satisfy any-to any traffic requirements. This approach can work but is costly and adds operational complexity. There is also a need to handle dynamic traffic patterns driven by seasonality, bursting, or external events.
Cisco SDWAN Cloud onramp for IaaS extends the visibility, reliability, and management of the SDWAN network from branches, remote sites, and campus to AWS. It allows for a transport independent any-to-any connectivity and end-to-end VPN segmentation. Tight integration with Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) enables organizations to automate network configurations with a consistent policy across branch, DC, and AWS, so that they can deploy and scale workloads on AWS faster. Cisco vEdge routers are deployed in a gateway VPC to connect branches and application VPCs. This enables the administrators to easily scale up the VPC environment by reducing the number of point to point tunnels between organization’s branches to host VPCs resulting in a simplified WAN management, lower transport costs, and faster time to deploy. The gateway VPC also supports workload segmentation especially when an organization deploys application VPCs across multiple AWS regions. The vManage component of the Cisco SDWAN solution, orchestrates the WAN sites and Amazon VPCs to automate connectivity and provides full lifecycle management and network visibility into the entire SDWAN environment.
A Cloud Ready Network delivers on the promise of cloud and maintains availability, scalability, and flexibility while eliminating operational complexities. The result is an optimal end user experience, improved connectivity to mission critical applications, and accelerated migration to the AWS cloud. Is your network Cloud ready?
To learn more about Cisco SDWAN visit: www.cisco.com/go/sdwan.