June 03, 2021

Improve your business with a new generation of networks

By Mohammed Mulla, Senior Product Manager at SEACOM.

A forward-think enterprise that aims to succeed in the modern competitive environment needs a network solution to match. Since networks can be incredibly technical, the importance of new technologies can be overlooked. However, the problem-solving potential of modern networks should not be ignored if a company wants to grow.

Making use of a high-speed and modernised business network will bring about greater security and more dynamic capabilities. Recently, remote working has become the norm and companies have had to migrate to the cloud, so traditional network structures have not been able to keep up with the rapid innovation and increased network demands.

Problems related to old network models

Large companies with multiple branches need a range of internet services that necessitates multiple partnerships with internet service providers (ISPs) at once. This can be complicated and unmanageable in real terms, so traditional network solutions such as virtual private networks (VPNs) or multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) are not at all ideal.

Businesses have started to use more applications and services that are cloud-based or hosted in remote data centres, rather than on-site. If an enterprise cannot manage its network traffic to meet each application’s bandwidth requirements, then vital services will not be possible and customers can be left with poor service delivery.

Similarly, network security is a massive concern for companies that are digitising core operations. Advanced security threats means that the latest software and hardware-based security applications need to be implemented, but these can be costly. A more modern approach is needed that seamlessly integrates security into the network infrastructure.

The ideal solution lies in software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), which offers solutions to all of these problems. SD-WAN creates a centralised overlay of a network, no matter who the service provider is or what connections they use. It allows companies to optimise bandwidth usage, reduce usage costs, improve cloud efficiency, bolster network security and optimise a number of other network functions.

Dynamic routing is a necessity

SD-WAN delivers more network flexibility, visibility, control and reliability for businesses that use the technology. Importantly, this model enables dynamic routing. If a branch office with a single link suffers a connection error, then it may not be able to function. If that branch has SD-WAN, then multiple links will run to and from the office. This means that a connection outage will not impact business functions as traffic is dynamically routed and prioritised over the remaining links.

SD-WAN enables proactive identification and problem-solving of network errors. This keeps traffic flowing across the network and prevents any loss of productivity or revenue. The technology supports multiple connection types from various providers, which promotes flexibility. SD-WAN allows companies to set rules for traffic routing via more reliable or cheaper connections.

Increased cloud performance

Traditional network models are not designed for the cloud; data traffic is usually backhauled to a data centre for security filtering before being rerouted to the cloud, which slows the entire process down. However, SD-WAN supports cloud migration and is designed for applications that are hosted on the cloud, in data centres or on software as a service (SaaS) platforms.

SD-WAN can identify each application and dynamically route it towards its intended destination via the optimal route. All of this is automatic and can be pre-configured to a range of network scenarios, such as a network overload, server crash or general downtime. This improves performance and reduces the workload for a company’s IT department.

Boosting network security

Modern companies can no longer rely on hardware-based security solutions, such as firewalls, alone. SD-WAN boosts network security through virtualisation and various software-based security applications. These services are automatically updated to the latest versions and are stored directly on the network, which helps to reduce costs for the company.

Most SD-WAN solutions have security measures built-in, such as virtual firewalls and data encryption. Sensitive data can be given priority across the network, rather than funneling everything through expensive security services. This modern network structure delivers the latest security technology to large enterprises through leading cyber security providers.

Future-proofing the company network

Network speed alone cannot be the priority for enterprises. Control, visibility, flexibility and security have an equal and direct impact on business operations and productivity. These factors need to be considered in order to truly future-proof a business network. Companies that want to get the most out of their networking options need dynamic solutions that improve functionality.

Modern enterprises need to work with a reliable partner with extensive knowledge and experience in contemporary network solutions. SEACOM Business can provide SD-WAN solutions to companies throughout South Africa. For more information or to get a quote for our network services, email us at marketing@seacom.com or leave us a message.

SEACOM owns Africa’s most extensive network of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, including subsea cables and secure internet connections. We offer a diverse range of flexible, scalable and high-quality solutions for businesses that meet world-class standards for connectivity.

SEACOM is privately owned and operated, making it agile and adaptable to the needs of the customer. This makes us the preferred ICT and internet connectivity partner for African businesses and peripheral service providers. We can guarantee high-speed, low-latency and secure internet connections to corporates and small enterprises.

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