COVID-19 dominates our working life today. Organisations around the world are taking all possible measures to keep their businesses running during these uncertain times. We are, in fact, living in highly unfavourable circumstances amidst a global threat due to the pandemic. It becomes very difficult for enterprises to manage their businesses along with ensuring the safety of their customers and their workforce. That is why organisations are adopting new ways and working models to keep their activities on the ground.
Many of the countries facing the next wave of the pandemic are forced once again to strictly abide with the lockdown restrictions . The majority of their workforce once more locked down in their homes. That is why this is the need of the hour for enterprises to take effective measures to enable their workforce to deliver their duties remotely from their homes. In more simple terms, it is a step ahead to turn your employee’s home into a branch site of your business. Nevertheless, working from home rarely offers the high-quality Internet connections that employees enjoy at their corporate offices. The same problem is observed with freelancers. Thus, individuals and organisations are desperately looking for new technologies that enable them to productively continue to work from home.. SD–WAN is helping locked down enterprises to adopt new working models that are efficient and effective.
Home as a branch site with SD–WAN
SD–WAN proves to be the best solution for setting up the home as a branch site for businesses of all sizes, no matter whether they are a small office or a big organisation. VPNs are not up to these challenges in the same way as SD–WAN is. SD–WAN solutions also cut out routing expenses and cut down overall hardware costs. Because of its increased performance and cost reducing capabilities, SD–WAN has turned out to be the ideal setup for enterprises to enable working from home for employees and setting up their branch sites at homes with minimal complexity, enhanced security and reduced cost. Furthermore, SD–WAN ensures the quality of services with improved performance and secure access to multi-cloud services. It has enabled remote access to corporate communications, applications and data, which effectively manages and controls the branch sites established at homes.
SD–WAN provides seamless access to authorised applications with the same access rights in the office and home, regardless of the user’s location. Secure Internet access ensures the same policy for both working from home and offices along with the right level of protection. SD–WAN has equipped enterprises with a ‘home as a branch site’ solution. The first step of the home as a branch site solution is to give secure remote access to home-based users connected originally with an SD–WAN solution. It enables seamless, secure access of cloud-based applications and private cloud data centres to home-based users. The home as a branch site solution of SD–WAN provides the same level of security and access at home that employees enjoy at offices. It creates a secure tunnel from the home-based user machine to a secure cloud and further creates a micro-tunnel over the Internet to give access to authorised applications to users. It ensures that corporate applications are used securely and protected by user authentication to secure the Internet cloud.
Branch edge SD–WAN devices located at branch offices ensure this security layer while working from the office. Access to all the cloud apps is controlled through the application policy and that of WAN segmentation. Working from home is enabled with wireless access point (WAP). It creates an Internet protocol secure (IPsec) tunnel from home to headquarters, which gives access to cloud apps and corporate applications. It provides similar SSID and the same Wi-Fi experience that users enjoy in offices. The Wi-Fi solution of the corporate office’s local area network (LAN) controls and manages the WAP.
These are some key highlights that SD–WAN’s home as a branch site solution is providing:
- Highly secure remote access to cloud based applications.
- Next generation protection for accessing corporate applications.
- Enforcement of compliance to home-based users.
- Native application segmentation.
- Working with the corporate enterprise solution of SD–WAN.
Introducing more WAN transports like DLS, LTE or broadband Internet into the SD-WAN solution can deliver more benefits in terms of an enhanced user experience and overall productivity. Diversification of ISPs increases network reliability significantly. Both physical and virtual SD-WAN devices are capable of being directly placed in the existing network. These are some key benefits that SD–WAN is ensuring while adopting it for the working from home solution:
- Corporate applications can easily be accessed with high scale protection via a secure tunnel established between the home-based user’s machine and the secure cloud.
- A seamless user policy is ensured by SD–WAN.
- It provides full scale visibility for applications and user traffic on the network.
- SD–WAN provides an office-like experience on typical home-based broadbands with an enhanced Wi-Fi experience and similar SSID.
- It also provides highly secure local Internet access to non-corporate applications.
According to AT&T business statistics, on a single link connection, voice quality performance of SD-WAN work-from-home devices has been computed to be 35% better than that of non-SD-WAN configurations. Performance statistics for video quality are even more satisfying than that of audio quality. Work-from-home SD-WAN configured video quality is computed to be 531% better than that of a non-configured SD–WAN setup. These are excellent numbers for those looking to invest in SD–WAN’s home as a branch site solution set-up.
SD–WAN has enabled us to manage and control our organisations during these uncertain times by providing multiple measures to keep businesses running. It has been very easy to set up branch sites at homes amidst the global threat due to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the safety of employees and customers along with the protection of corporate data and cloud-based applications. SD–WAN has made us capable enough to work from home in the same way as we work from our offices with the same level of security, performance, quality of services and minimised complexity. It has introduced a new working model in a true sense by turning homes into branch offices of companies.
If you would like to learn more on how to setup home-based branch offices using SD-WAN technology have a look at our “Anywhere Office” Solutions.