Following a cloud-first strategy is great for IT budgets and business agility but places new demands on the network. Cloud first can significantly impact network operations, as an increasing percentage of traffic flows directly to, from, and between clouds.
Unfortunately, the traditional MPLS architecture simply cannot support the economics or agility required for a cloud-first strategy. MPLS can be costly and time-consuming to configure and requires that Internet-bound traffic be backhauled to a centralized data center for inspection. Backhauling slows performance significantly for branch offices and remote users, who require direct Internet access for their cloud services. Providing direct-to-net access means re-architecting the network with security in mind.
In support of cloud first strategies, many organizations are turning to software-defined WAN (SD-WAN). SD-WAN provides secure local or regional breakouts to the cloud, enabling traffic to flow directly to the Internet from the closest available link. If additional levels of security are needed, SD-WAN technologies can segment and route sensitive data to cloud security providers for further inspection.