COVID-19 dominates working life today. Office staff throughout the world have settled into their work-from-home set-ups. Nevertheless, a significant portion of the global population do not have access to broadband internet at home; even more have weak internet connections. Working from home rarely offers the high-quality connections employees enjoy at the office. Freelancers also suffer a similar problem. Individuals and organisations are therefore looking for technologies that will enable productivity as working from home continues.
According to AT&T Business reports, over half of all employees work from home and outside of their corporate offices for 2.5 days a week. Their employers i.e., corporations and businesses, also believe that working from home is beneficial to their organisations, due to factors such as risk management, portfolio consolidation, and cost reductions.
Over half of all employees work from home and outside of their corporate offices for 2.5 days a week.
The Challenges of Working from Home
But those that choose to work from home can face many technical problems. Some of these problems are explored below.
Inadequate and shared home broadband connection do not provide a reliable level of service. These integrated networks are based on complex connections. Consequently, they offer a poor network performance. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are also unable to provide reliable control over the quality of services due to bandwidth contention issues.
At the same time, working-from-home challenges vary largely from industry to industry. In some scenarios, a compromise on quality over a specific service could be of secondary importance. But the same might not be the case in another situation, where a specific service may be of primary importance or even mission-driven.
Finally, it is also challenging to secure remote access to corporate data, applications, and communication.
SD-WAN as an effective solution
Due to all these difficulties, working from home can prove problematic. While VPNs do not appear to be up to these challenges, Software-Defined Wide-Area Networking (SD-WAN) could well be the best solution, whether you’re a small office or a big organisation. Because of its cost reduction capabilities and increased network performance, SD-WAN is the ideal set-up for working from home. SD-WAN solutions cut out expensive routing and cut down hardware costs, while providing access to multi-cloud services. SD-WAN also enables remote access to corporate communications, applications, and data to remote users who work from home, outside the corporate offices. SD-WAN is an innovative technology that is providing great value to organisations of all sizes managing their workforce from home.
SD-WAN allows organisations and remote workers to connect easily and quickly. It offers more functionality than VPNs, while also being relatively easy to set up and maintain. SD-WAN plays an intermediary role between broadband router and working devices, resulting in Quality of Services and network security up to the business standards. A work-from-home user simply needs to plug in an SD-WAN device to the broadband router or Wi-Fi hotspot, with the other end connected to a laptop device. This creates a secure connection which is efficient enough to withstand the demands of a corporate network. After this simple installation, a company’s central IT department can setup, manage and monitor the provisions of commands through managing software. As a result, this whole setup becomes efficient and secure on QoS standards. Each user working from home is centrally controlled, as though each one were physically working from the office.
Quality of Service/Improved Performance:
When multiple applications are running through the same connection tunnel, SD-WAN recognises applications and can adapt bandwidth and other services accordingly. It balances the load between the multiple parallel connections, as well as providing reliable and assured performance for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). SD-WAN has significantly enhanced the performance of voice and video streams. IT teams can help reduce latency issues, traffic shaping, and packet loss by enabling critical applications through reliable, high-performance connections.
Using multi-path dynamic optimisation, SD-WAN provides reliable and efficient performance for applications like VoIP, UCaaS, VDI, and SaaS. This high-quality performance and reliable connectivity are assured through multi-path optimistion and prioritisation of applications based on their demand. For latency-sensitive voice and video applications, such remedies have proven to be very effective.
According to AT&T Business statistics, on a single link connection, Voice Quality Performance of SD-WAN work-from-home devices have computed to be 35% better than those 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 those of non-configured SD-WAN setup. These are excellent numbers for those looking to invest in SD-WAN home set-ups.
Public internet connections and highly intensified network webs are not secure for many applications. SD-WAN provides the safe and organised link between office/organisational branch and data centre through service provider’s internal backbone. SD-WAN provides built-in security, including access to intelligent services that automatically identify and mitigate security threats. It reduces the amount of traffic that needs to go through security parameters to make vulnerable home connections secure enough for users working remotely from home.
Today, enterprises have almost completely embraced multi-cloud due to its huge flexibility. Many organisations prefer to work with multiple cloud providers for the host of benefits, global coverage and capability of leveraging best of breed solutions. Effective SD-WAN simplifies multi-cloud challenges. It removes inconsistences through a uniform policy-defined infrastructure while simplifying management and optimising infrastructure cost. SD-WAN eliminates backhauling traffic by providing direct access to the remote branch. Users, working from home at any remote location, can access the cloud application without affecting the core network due to removal of additional backhauling traffic by SD-WAN.
Secure SD-WAN for multi-cloud is the new approach to maintaining secure and high quality connections between laaS workloads running on multiple clouds. It automates the network across different cloud networks, reducing complexity and increasing agility to save time. While optimising the application user experience, the SD-WAN solution provides connectivity and security across diverse cloud infrastructures. Now, campus-to-cloud, data centre-to-cloud, and cloud-to-cloud cost-effective solutions are securely delivered by SD-WAN for users working at home.
SD-WAN is an acknowledged cost-effective system which provides economical solutions for business organisations. SD-WAN’s dual circuits and intelligent path control handle traffic and minimise network issues. In this way, SD-WAN keeps the business running smoothly. Because of its automated management control, it reduces human errors, resulting in savings of 3.75% of total WAN costs. On the other hand, its software-defined nature limits the need for hardware apparatus, resulting in further cost reduction. Its multiple features, such as optimal path selection through Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS), are controlled through software-defined SD-WAN applications in an economical way, instead of pre-mature additional hardware circuitry in traditional WAN networks.
SD-WAN puts us in a position to work from home with enhanced security, improved performance with quality of services, and minimal complexity. It does so at a cost affordable for small corporations as well as individual users. SD-WAN, paired with data clouds, is truly revolutionising how we work for the better.
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