Integrated, secure SD-WAN can boost performance without increasing network complexity.

Jon Bove, VP, Americas Channels

September 18, 2020

5 Min Read
Cloud Network
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New, long-term remote work requirements have customers increasingly turning to multicloud cloud solutions to support their business needs.

This new strategy offers several benefits. Unfortunately, many customers can become quickly overwhelmed by the tools and resources required to secure these expanded networks. This is especially so when business needs span multiple cloud environments. For partners, this presents an ideal opportunity to support cloud-to-cloud network deployments for their customers using a secure software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN).

A secure SD-WAN solution enables partners to help their customers reduce complexity, increase cost efficiency, improve application performance and implement a single, integrated security strategy that can span their multicloud-cloud and hybrid cloud environments. This enables customer IT teams to build seamless networks that support their remote work initiatives. At the same time they’ll maintain security across even the most complex multicloud-cloud environments.

Challenges Customers Face with Cloud Networking

While a multicloud cloud networking strategy has undoubted benefits, such as efficiencies for building, accessing and managing applications, it can also present several management challenges for organizations. As a partner, it’s essential that you understand these challenges. Then, up can design and propose security solutions that meet the unique, individual needs of your customers.

Below are some of the main obstacles that organizations often face when adopting a multicloud-cloud strategy:           

Increased network complexity. Implementing multicloud-cloud capabilities can be difficult. That’s because it requires customers to not only deploy a variety of technologies across their networks, but many of these solutions function differently depending on the cloud platform on which they’re installed. If organizations don’t have a DevOps team with security experience handling the deployment, they can expose themselves to security risks. In fact, Gartner claims that as much as 95% of all cloud security issues are the result of misconfigurations. The current skills gap compounds this challenge. Many organizations are unable to hire and retain qualified security specialists, especially those with cloud expertise. Without a consistent security infrastructure that spans multiple cloud environments, that can be centrally managed, and ensures consistent policy orchestration and enforcement, organizations lack the end-to-end visibility needed to secure their increasingly complex cloud networks.           

Additional Challenges

High cost and inconsistent performance. Moving to the cloud requires dynamic IPs with dedicated backhaul connections to route network traffic between on-premise and cloud environments. Routing traffic in this way can be expensive, and is often a barrier to entry for smaller customers. On top of that, if you don’t integrate these connections with a customer’s existing network infrastructure, it can lead to bottlenecks and limited application performance.

Compliance risk. Meeting existing and emerging compliance requirements is already challenging. And, for a number of reasons it’s even more so in a multicloud-cloud environment. To start, it can be difficult to understand the shared responsibility model. Many customers assume that once their data is in the cloud, it’s the cloud providers’ responsibility to maintain …

… compliance with key regulations. That is not true. Some providers may offer compliance features, but compliance is still the organization’s responsibility.

Another challenge comes with tracking data across multiple clouds. When customers use multiple clouds in their day to day operations, it becomes increasingly difficult to determine where data is being accessed from and stored. Highly mobile data, especially across dynamically scalable environments, can make the security and preservation of things like customer PII data extremely challenging.

How Partners Can Reduce Cloud Complexity with Secure SD-WAN 

Using secure SD-WAN, partners can effectively address these and similar challenges their customers face when moving to the cloud. With secure SD-WAN solutions on their network, business traffic can be routed from the data center to the cloud, and even between multicloud-cloud environments, using optimized and encrypted connections. This helps reduce costs as organizations no longer need to rely on a static network topology to route their traffic. In addition, SD-WAN improves application performance across cloud environments by eliminating or compensating for networking bottlenecks.

Because SD-WAN is integrated with existing networks, it also helps to centralize operations, thereby decreasing network complexity and improving security. The increased visibility that comes as a result of a consistent secure SD-WAN deployment across a complex, multicloud-cloud infrastructure helps security teams coordinate their threat management processes. This reduces the impact that attacks have on their network. Enhanced visibility also supports compliance efforts as it enables organizations to easily monitor data usage across multiple clouds. And for organizations experiencing rapid growth, SD-WAN can be dynamically scaled to support their evolving traffic requirements. This becomes increasingly critical as more and more organizations begin to implement large-scale remote work programs.

SD-WAN Solves Multicloud Cloud Challenges 

Without the proper resources in place, cloud connectivity can be an overwhelming challenge for many organizations. As more businesses turn to the cloud to stay competitive, it’s up to partners to make sure that customer cloud deployments meet the needs of their business while remaining in compliance. By leveraging SD-WAN, partners can best support their customers by providing an SD-WAN network solution that enhances application performance without increasing network complexity. With an integrated SD-WAN solution in place that can span even the most complex and distributed network environments, organizations can deploy and support multiple cloud environments while ensuring that their critical data and workloads are both consistently available and secure.

Jon Bove is the vice president of channel sales at Fortinet. He and his team are responsible for strategizing, promoting and driving the channel sales strategy for partners in the U.S.  A 17-year veteran of the technology industry, Bove has held progressively responsible sales, sales leadership and channel leadership positions. Follow @Fortinet on Twitter or Bove on LinkedIn.

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About the Author(s)

Jon Bove

VP, Americas Channels, Fortinet

Jon Bove is the vice president of channel sales at Fortinet. He and his team are responsible for strategizing, promoting and driving the channel sales strategy for partners in the U.S. A 17-year veteran of the technology industry, Bove has held progressively responsible sales, sales leadership and channel leadership positions. Follow @Fortinet on Twitter or Bove on LinkedIn.

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