Cloud Networking and SD-WAN

For cloud-delivered SaaS application providers, SD-WAN adoption has been a bit slower as their cloud challenges require different networking approaches.

With the rise of hybrid cloud environments (mixing cloud and on-prem resources), networking has replaced the data center as the central component of enterprise infrastructure. As hybrid cloud has become more common, so too has the demand for software-defined networking and the evolution from static VPNs to more dynamic software-defined WAN (SD-WANs).

According to the recent 2021 State of SD-WAN Study, the adoption of SD-WAN will have a rapid growth in the next few years, and most companies will implement some form of SD-WAN by 2026.

Enterprises commonly view SD-WAN as the best way to establish connectivity between clouds, branch offices, and data centers, hence making it a popular choice. While still requiring teams of certified network engineers (or managed service providers) to build and maintain these tailored networks, they provide a number of security and routing improvements that make them attractive to VPN users. 

However, not all hybrid clouds involve a single organization connecting internal IT resources.

Sometimes application providers must connect to their customer’s on-premise environments. These hybrid clouds demand distinct handling.

For cloud-delivered SaaS application providers, SD-WAN adoption has been a bit slower as their hybrid clouds require different networking approaches.

Application providers connecting to their customer’s data center must consider the ways that networking two distinct organizations will impact deployment, support, and even the security of that network connection. The ability to scale without incurring a linear increase in management costs, time, or effort will be the key factor in evaluating the effectiveness of networking for a cloud-delivered application.

Said another way, the typical enterprise SD-WAN implementation does not work for application providers. Connecting to customer data centers from the cloud means the network not only has to operate in the fragmented, virtual, and microservice oriented cloud environments, but it must then extend that connectivity to data centers controlled by different stakeholders and governed by different operational policies. 

At the root of all of this is the fact that SaaS providers don’t need a different flavor of point-to-point VPN. They need an entirely new networking approach that operates LIKE the cloud application it is serving.

SaaS providers need to offer customers a full, cloud-native experience from the cloud to the end user. Requiring customers to bolt on VPN, MPLS, or additional firewalls in order to adopt a new application vendor presents an externality that can erode customer satisfaction, add significant costs, and may even prevent some customers from adopting the solution at all. 

Cloud Networking security should be in the solution, not a requirement.

Trustgrid fills this gap in the SaaS ecosystem with application-centric connectivity that provides zero-trust networking between a cloud application and an unlimited number of unique customer environments.

The Trustgrid platform allows SaaS developers to add multi-tenanted networking functionality directly integrated with their application, rather than having to build a homegrown solution, rely on an in-house networking team, or ask their customers to come to the table with their own networking expertise.

Rather than bolting on a networking solution, Trustgrid’s unique approach to SD-WAN provides networking software designed for the challenges of operating cloud-delivered software.

When other SD-WANs struggle to manage 100s or 1,000s of customer environment subnets, Trustgrid easily manages them by creating multi-tenanted virtual networks that untangle network address translation without having to be a networking expert.

Trustgrid deployments don’t require teams of networking engineers building custom configurations for each unique customer environment. Instead they are handled with pre-configured, plug-and-play devices which allow anyone to drop into any environment and securely provide access to an application provider’s deployment team. 

Trustgrid vs. Typical SD-WAN: Connecting Applications to Customers in the Hybrid Cloud Era

Network patches, updates, and support are all handled just like any other cloud service and pushed to customer connections seamlessly without the need for on-site expertise.

Additionally, when application components would be more effective to run at the edge of the network instead of in the cloud, Trustgrid can extend the application into a customer’s environment by running Docker containers directly on the network appliance. This allows application providers to not only connect to the edge, but actually run at the edge. 

As hybrid becomes the new normal, it’s important to understand how this affects your network. Trustgrid designs its network with the specific goal of connecting applications to customers, whereas typical SD-WAN solutions are for establishing connectivity for enterprise branches or clouds. Comparing the Trustgrid platform to a typical SD-WAN is like comparing a 4×4 pick up truck to a sports car. While both Trustgrid and typical SD-WAN solutions serve the purpose of connecting networks, they are targeting different users and excel in different areas. Picking the wrong one could result in frustration, countless hours of lost time or worse.

For more information on the Trustgrid platform visit this page.