This blog is reprinted from the VMware SD-WAN blog page at https://blogs.vmware.com/velocloud/2021/01/07/vmware-sd-wan-and-microsoft-azure-consistent-reliable-user-experience/
In an economy where customer experience is top of mind, businesses need to be more flexible, agile, and innovative if they want to compete successfully. So it’s not surprising that they’re looking to cloud services and applications as a smart path forward. But traditional networking approaches are inefficient and costly in a cloud-based landscape. How can you take advantage of all the benefits that cloud provides, without leaving security, performance, and visibility behind?
A traditional architecture has branch offices in different locations, often connecting via different types of connections. Each branch location has a WAN edge, and management is generally CLI-based. Engineers love CLI, but they also know that it doesn’t scale, is often error-prone, and takes a lot of time to provision a new branch location. Construction sites and other popup locations are difficult to add to the existing network architecture, while maintaining full visibility, security, and policy, because they are isolated from the network.
Traditional architectures are also stuck with the backhauling dilemma. Although applications are steadily moving to the cloud, traffic must still be sent to the data center, backhauled across expensive MPLS links to access the Internet or applications.
A better way to ascend to the cloud
VMware SD-WAN™ can help you solve many of these issues. It delivers zero-touch provisioning, so you can bring up a site in minutes. It connects to a central orchestrator and downloads the entire configuration, including the correct data center, policies, and everything else it needs, with just one click. It also downloads all the traffic profiles, so it knows which applications need to go over MPLS or an Internet link to connect to the data center.
For SaaS applications and cloud services, SD-WAN lets you connect directly to the Internet, sidestepping backhaul processes and reducing latencies that could deliver a performance hit. If you need to bring up a popup site, simply ship a box out to the location, connect to a broadband or 4G service, and it instantly connects to the SD-WAN fabric, providing all the same policy and management advantages.
Connecting to Azure
One of the strongest examples of how SD-WAN really shines in supporting the cloud is with Microsoft Azure implementations. Offering a variety of massively popular services, Azure is available with several native connectivity options.
- You can choose ExpressRoute, a private line solution that connects your data center all the way to Microsoft Azure. This type of connection is generally offered by service providers.
- Azure Virtual WAN is a networking solution from Microsoft that combines different solutions and networking security functionalities together, utilizing a hub and spoke model. You can deploy a hub to each of your major regions and connect branch offices to that specific hub. Connectivity is automated, so it’s great for large-scale branch deployments.
- A standard IPsec connection to the virtual network gateway (VNG) is another option. With this basic solution, you deploy a VNG and have the VMware SD-WAN Edge device build an IPsec tunnel into a VNet. You can have different VNet peerings to access the network.
- Virtual Routers are a new option announced at Microsoft Ignite. This approach eliminates the complexity of routing like UDR in different VNets and calling APIs to change the UDR. Virtual Routers peers with other network appliances and eliminates the complexity of changing the UDR routes.
No matter which connection option you choose, VMware SD-WAN makes it easy to connect your environment to Microsoft Azure, and take advantage of reliable last-mile Internet connectivity with automation.
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