SD-WAN: The Cornerstone to a Successful Hybrid Cloud Strategy

By: Ravindra Kelkar, Senior Director, Enterprise & Public Sector, Citrix India

The paradigm shift led by digitization over the past decade is no hidden fact. Today we enjoy an unprecedented digital advantage that extends to almost every facet of our lives. Devices and software tools available to enhance, automate, assist us are nothing short of remarkable, and have played a big role in how we work and conduct business.

Workspaces have evolved, connectivity has improved, and storage has become smarter – allowing us to work from remote locations and stay seamlessly connected while doing so.  Cloud computing solutions have largely contributed to this dynamic shift in operations. Organizations around the world have been reaping the benefits of storing their applications and data on cloud to accelerate business growth. Businesses collect and store petabytes of data and use tools like data analytics and AI to cull out actionable business insights. Further, in today’s application-led landscape, cloud computing has also secured its place in most organizations’ IT tool box for SaaS application delivery. In fact, a recent Gartner report suggests that SaaS is still the largest segment of the cloud computing market with an expected revenue growth of 22.2 percent in 2018.

Over the past few years, the number of businesses making a shift to hybrid cloud solutions has seen a considerable growth. In fact, findings by research firm Gartner suggest that the overall cloud solution adoption in India will continue being led by hybrid cloud. On the contrary, many organizations have been hesitant to make this shift owing to concerns related to application delivery framework or network efficiency. Given that a hybrid cloud setup requires one part of the service to be hosted on premise and  the other by the cloud provider, a strong and secure network infrastructure is essential. Rightly referred to as the backbone of a hybrid cloud world, SD-WAN lays the foundation in any modern networking infrastructure. While forming a secure perimeter for employees to manage the workloads on cloud, SD-WAN also intelligently prioritizes applications based on a defined business intent and outcome. Let’s explore some of the benefits of this network solution for businesses embarking on a hybrid cloud journey.


Due to the increasing number of traditional WAN users from multiple points and devices, security becomes a challenge. SD-WAN’s inbuilt security features makes it a crucial component of any IT set up. It covers a multitude of threat defense mechanisms like built-in encryption and firewalls, secure integration with security systems of cloud provider, common-sense protections and intelligent real-time defense.

Agility and Intelligence

“Appification” is on the rise and organizations across the world are now relying on applications to process data and manage their work more efficiently, thus adding to IT complexity. Due to SD-WAN’s use of hybrid networks, these applications can be delivered seamlessly across geographies. Further, its built-in app awareness is designed to recognize and assess your business needs to bring you the most important or priority applications first. It is also well equipped to handle the heavy application traffic produced by the modern-day enterprise of today.

Simplification and Reliability

SD-WAN is rightly referred to as an always available network owing to its capability to keep a business’ network intact at all times. One of SD-WAN’s main features is easy management and simplicity. It offers dependable network connectivity that can be deployed within a few minutes even at remote locations.

Cost Efficiency

Organizations with traditional WAN networks are compelled to resort to installing expensive hardware which was considered as an indispensable business expense. SD-WAN however, has turned the tables with its cloud-enabled connectivity. Further, the cost of spending on additional security is also saved owing to its in-built security features. Therefore, businesses now have the comfort of choosing the right network for their business that combines several benefits in one package.

As enterprises continue to make the complete transition of moving their applications and work processes to cloud, they will need to ensure that their employees have consistent access to these applications at all times. This calls for an approach that makes the most of all the opportunities that hybrid cloud has to offer. To unlock this potential, SD-WAN is the perfect constituent to complete the integrated solutions package for any enterprise.

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