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Virtual1 Network Design – where the destination is more in important than the journey

Excellent end user experience of an organisation’s business critical applications is vitally important to the effectiveness of the organisation and touches all areas from their customer or client experience through an order lifecycle, to the productivity and engagement of their staff.

The move of many of these applications from inside an organisation’s own servers out to the cloud has complicated the delivery of these applications from a purely private network perspective. Software Defined -Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology allows organisations to build public and private elements into their WAN and gives them the ability to intelligently steer application traffic over the best performing network path. Such steering is self-learning and automatic meaning performance is kept at peak without human intervention.

Private (MPLS) and Public (internet) network paths have inherent advantages over each other based on where the application is hosted. SD-WAN enabled appliances do not care what the transport methodology is, they concentrate on the application performance over the various transport mechanisms presented to it, against the SLAs it has been configured with. Therefore SD-WAN is not a wholesale replacement for private networking but allows the most to be made of either public or private links with the sole aim of improving end user experience.  

The move to SD-WAN and its agnostic approach to transport media has the result of greatly complicating security considerations due to the potential attack surface increasing from one or two points in a more traditional Private network, to as many sites as are provided with their own internet facing connections.

From a configuration standpoint, SD-WAN also concentrates an organisation’s transport network and security requirements onto the same stack of components, rather than these being separated onto routers and firewalls as per MPLS networks. Adding in the complexity of application steering and the importance of bespoke application paths means in looking at a provider for your SD-WAN network, it is important that you should consider a provider that own’s its own public and private transport network as well has having the people and processes to securely configure the site to site and security components themselves.

Any organisation’s firewall performance will be critical to that organisation, any Virtual Private Network (VPN) and Multi Factor Authentication configurations critical to their remote users and supply chain, any rules and web-filtering critical to safeguarding the organisation and their employees.

We understand that any security appliance is only as secure as its most recent update and only as functional as processes used to manage it. Virtual1 Security Managed Services allow our Partners to take robust Security offerings to market comprising scheduled recurring engineering tasks such as firmware updates undertaken by Virtual1 staff.  These services will keep an end customer’s security posture and configuration up to the minute.

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