Cloud-First SD-WAN – The Future of Enterprise Networking

Cloud-first SD-WAN Defined

SD-WAN has become a confusing term. Just like “Cloud”, it can mean a few things. Here at Bigleaf we’ve put a stake in the ground — we are Cloud-first, providing the best possible experience for Cloud and other Internet based applications.

When I say “Cloud” in this post, I’m talking about public cloud, SaaS, hosted services like VoIP and virtual desktop, and other Internet-accessible resources. So when I say we’re “Cloud-first”, that means we built our platform from the start to optimize the experience for those applications rather than other networking needs.

The alternative, which other SD-WAN vendors have built for, is MPLS replacement. These “private networking first” products provide VPNs to connect offices together, to datacenters, or to private cloud environments. While we acknowledge there’s a need for private connectivity, and we have a strategy for it, it isn’t our primary focus.

These distinctions of SD-WAN/Cloud designs and use cases are crucial to understanding the value that SD-WAN brings for a business.

The Evolution of Enterprise Networking

Analysts and other industry experts agree that Cloud is taking over and private networking will become less and less important over time. But how long is that going to take? It certainly varies based on company culture, size, and geography. Based on conversations we’ve been in with IT executives, other vendors, and analysts, we believe the shift for the majority of businesses will happen over the next 2-5 years.

Here’s a great example from Cisco’s Global Cloud Index:

Public cloud services are growing far more aggressively (44% CAGR) than private (16% CAGR).

So if you agree with the industry experts that in 2-5 years Cloud connectivity will be more crucial than private connectivity, how should that educate your networking decisions?

Investing in the Future

We decided to build Bigleaf specifically for Cloud and other Internet based applications. We built our SD-WAN platform with a dedicated back-end core network. We co-locate our own equipment in datacenters, connecting over our own network, peering directly with every major Cloud provider, ensuring peak performance for Cloud applications. We deliver this as a fully managed, SLA-backed service, so customers can rely on us 24×7.

We also knew that customers would need time to migrate to the Cloud, so we built Same-IP failover and a dedicated outside-the-firewall deployment model. This provides the easiest possible deployments and migrations, plus a comforting security story, since customers don’t need to bypass or replace their firewall.

We believe Cloud and Internet optimization is the best and highest use of SD-WAN technology. If you want more from your network than just a cheaper alternative to MPLS, then we should talk. Bigleaf Cloud-first SD-WAN is the future of enterprise networking.

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