Right now, according to RightScale, 79 percent of workloads are running in the cloud.1 Your people left their desks long ago. And, no matter where they happen to be working, they seem to expect everything to operate as smoothly as the cloud applications they’ve come to know as consumers. They don’t want to have to jump through hoops to get their jobs done—they want to open a browser and get to it.
As you look at the challenge of providing a great user experience to people who are in branches and on the road using any number of devices, you will quickly conclude that the network architecture that got you to today won’t get you much further. It’s no longer serving the needs of the business.
The hub-and-spoke architecture you have spent much of your career building is becoming increasingly irrelevant. It simply doesn’t work in the cloud, and your users don’t appreciate being brought back onto the corporate network just to go to an internet app.
Backhauling over MPLS to the data center made good sense when all your applications lived in the data center. But forcing branch traffic back through legacy architectures to access apps living in the cloud makes no sense: it’s costly, limits your visibility, increases complexity, and frustrates users. Simply put, users want fast access to the applications they use every day and backhauling defeats that goal.
It’s time to think about architecture differently. Cloud applications demand direct-to-internet connections, which means you have to be ready to change your branch office architecture. Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) makes direct-to-internet connections from a branch office easier, but that branch traffic still needs to be secured.
To secure SD-WAN in branch offices, you’ve had two choices: deploy security appliances at every branch or move security to the cloud. If you want to provide consistent security using traditional appliances, you’d need a stack of security appliances at each branch that matches the stack at HQ. An expensive option that’s hard to manage and doesn’t even provide great security.
If you instead opt to move security to the cloud, be aware that cloud security solutions are not created equal. You can’t simply take legacy appliances and repurpose them for the cloud—it cannot scale. Even if an MSP handles all the heavy lifting, you are still paying for the provider’s time and the considerable cost of running this inefficient system.
True cloud security requires a fundamentally new approach, designed and built specifically for the cloud.
As you migrate to cloud applications to realize their benefits in productivity, usability, and scalability, don’t fall back on old security technologies designed for a different era. To get the full value of cloud apps, you need local internet breakouts and secure, direct-to-internet connections.
Interested in learning more? Download our Definitive Guide to Branch Transformation to learn about five key requirements to help you architect the ideal solution to securely route your branch traffic directly to the internet.