27 Aug 2019

What is Hybrid Networking?

With more Australian businesses relying on web-based applications for mission critical functions, along with the increased investment in Hybrid Cloud, most organisations’ approach to networking hasn’t kept up with their infrastructure.

Cloud-based applications means bandwidth becomes important, with most businesses relying on Software-Defined Wide-Area Network (SD-WAN) solutions. In fact, 33 per cent of Australian enterprises have already deployed or are in the process of deploying an SD-WAN solution.

One of the main benefits of SD-WAN is that it provides a simplified network management solution which is much easier to manage than legacy wide-area networks (WAN). However, simple doesn’t always mean better and many businesses are still experiencing challenges even after deploying SD-WAN, which suggests that it isn’t the all-in-one reliable and secure connection promised.

Why SD-WAN is not a stand-alone networking solution

SD-WAN technology on its own exposes distributed enterprises to significant risk. SD-WAN expands a network’s attack surface, making it more vulnerable to cyber threats.

A recent Fortinet Threat Landscape Report identified that typical organisations experienced 20 cyber-attack related intrusions, with four of those resulting in breaches that caused damage such as data loss, downtime, or compliance issues.

The protection of stateful firewalls is insufficient for cyber-attack-related intrusions. To minimise the growing risk of cyber-attacks, SD-WAN technology must incorporate advanced network security such as next-generation firewalls.

What is Hybrid Networking?

A Hybrid Network in created when you combine SD-WAN, internet connections, and traditional MPLS networking technology.

SD-WAN is an overlay technology that uses software to create layers of network abstraction which can be used to run several independent, virtualised network layers over the physical layer. Whereas MPLS is an underlay technology that sits beneath the network infrastructure and provides connectivity.

A Hybrid Networking model layers SD-WAN over the top of underlying MPLS and integrated low-cost broadband connections, this allows businesses to carve out their own bespoke networking solution that can be suited to their unique requirements.

A Hybrid Networking strategy creates predictable, low-packet loss, private, and reliable backbone provided by MPLS, whilst simultaneously benefiting from the advantages of aggregate bandwidth, improved security and control, as well as reduced operational costs by using SD-WAN.

For example, say you have SaaS applications running in both the cloud and on premises – deploying SD-WAN in the cloud as well as over a traditional MPLS network allows businesses to leverage their application bandwidths intelligently. And because SD-WAN routes data packets at the edge, mission-critical applications can then be prioritised over less-important applications without having to be back-hauled to a centralised data centre – saving both time and resources.

SD-WAN’s edge capabilities also ensure businesses are secured at every point across the business through unified visibility and monitoring of traffic, creating a unified security of devices.

Reaping the benefits of Hybrid Networking

According to EMA, 43% of enterprises prefer a Hybrid Network with aggregated MPLS and internet.

With a Hybrid Network, your organisation can achieve a balanced combination of security, control, performance and value for money. Advantages include better cost management, enhanced reliability and redundancy, and improved security and efficiencies.

 

Brennan IT is one of the most experienced and respected providers of network solutions in Australia, with expert engineer’s ready to help design, implement and manage the right SD-WAN and wider Hybrid Networking solution for your organisation.

 

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