Hybrid cloud ideally combines the best of public and private cloud. In that sense, it’s like the third bowl of porridge tasted in “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” – i.e., something that’s “just right,” without extreme flaws in either direction. In the case of hybrid cloud, and SD-WAN, this balance usually entails a higher degree of control and security than a fully public cloud environment, alongside greater flexibility and scalability than a strictly private one.
SD-WAN: The Engine Behind a Successful Hybrid Cloud
However, these benefits are purely theoretical without an equally flexible and scalable software-defined wide area network to actually produce them. It’s no coincidence that both hybrid cloud solutions and SD-WAN architectures have been rapidly expanding this decade:
- Hybrid cloud is the most popular form of cloud, accounting for two-thirds of deployments surveyed by the “RightScale 2017 State of the Cloud Report.” Similarly, more than eight in 10 enterprises had a multi-cloud strategy in place.
- SD-WAN providers broke through in 2017, achieving what Gartner labelled “mainstream” success. Andrew Lerner even predicted that by the end of 2018, 80 percent of Tier 1 carriers would offer virtualized customer premises equipment, up from only 5 percent in mid-2017
- Between them, hybrid cloud and SD-WAN provide a blueprint for digital transformation, with hybrid cloud as the “why” and SD-WAN as the “how”; hybrid cloud can extend and enhance existing IT investments, while an SD-WAN supplies the network intelligence, adaptability and millisecond measurement to help it reach its potential.
Migration to hybrid cloud can still be challenging, though, due to various complications such as unexpectedly high costs for additional licenses (e.g., so that on-prem applications can be accessed by cloud services) and the complexity of data fragmentation across disparate environments.
Legacy WAN vs SD-WAN in Hybrid Cloud Environments
For starters, hair-pinning all traffic through a corporate data centre via MPLS is highly inefficient. It increases latency and degrades application performance. Plus, simply adding more MPLS bandwidth to the network – in addition to being expensive – usually won’t solve the problem, no more than adding more cars to a train will decongest an overtaxed subway system.
The only way forward is to support a distributed network architecture, backed by an SD-WAN. Today’s progressive SD-WAN’s offer platforms that constantly measure different paths for jitter, latency and packet loss, sending traffic down the best one available. For hybrid cloud architectures, in particular, SD-WAN solutions ensure secure, aggregated cloud access via the most practical alternatives to pricey MPLS links, namely commodity Internet and direct-to-cloud connections such as AWS Direct Connect.
An SD-WAN from Talari Networks ultimately facilitates scalable performance over any type of transport, whether MPLS, broadband, cellular or satellite, making it ideal for the varied characteristics of hybrid cloud environments. To learn more about Talari’s benefits for hybrid cloud connectivity, click here.