Top 5 Business Drivers To Implement SDA
What are the most important business drivers to implement SDA
Many of our customers are often asking for the main reasons to implement SDA as opposed to SD-Ready traditional network. We have already explained many benefits of Software Defined Access as well as typical SD-Access Migration approach in the previous blogs. This time we will briefly look at the top 5 business drivers to implement SDA:
- Cost Reduction – simplification, automation and reduced OPEX
- Operational Flexibility – accommodating a large variety of users, endpoints and applications including IoT
- Security & Compliance – single security policy independent of location, device type or access method
- High Availability – prioritizing business critical applications
- Cloud – seamless cloud integration for rapid application deployment and hosting
The following short paragraphs will explain each of those justifications for SDA network in more details.
The cost and complexity of the network are often main concerns for many network managers. The increased complexity is caused by the large number of devices, users and applications. This is why the simplification of network operations and the deployment of new network services have become major requirements for any organization. At the same time, automation is a primary requirement to limit or reduce the network OPEX. Legacy network designs have multiple touch points and no single controller which not only increases operational expenses but also makes it harder and time consuming to operate.
The number and types of endpoints that require access to the enterprise network are going to grow. The network have to provide services to every user or endpoint regardless of how they wish to connect. The same services must be available to wired, wireless, mobile, VPN and IoT devices. Much greater flexibility is also required to support a variety of business applications that are consumed by the users. Those applications are increasingly dynamic in nature and no longer tied to a geographic location. As a result, the network must provide services to users, endpoints and applications that can be connected anytime, anywhere. Although any network can deliver basic connectivity, only SDA fabric can provide the same user experience regardless of the location or access method.
Security and compliance
The digitization of business operations triggers critical requirements for not only security but also regulatory compliance. Security must keep pace with the dynamic application and endpoint environment. The ability to segment users and endpoints from each other is a challenge for any enterprise network operator. The network should offer a single segmentation strategy that can be applied to different groups of users, endpoints or applications. The security shouldn’t depend on either location or network access method. This requirement is impossible to achieve on the traditional network but at the same time it is part of SDA solution.
Traditional network can provide component based fail-over at the network layer. Those legacy solutions aren’t intelligent enough to ensure that application traffic is failed over based on business priority. SDA provides application awareness and mechanisms to ensure business critical applications are given required treatment on the network.
The enterprise network must have the option to be fully integrated with the cloud and support rapid application development and hosting. Most network operators no longer want to differentiate between applications hosted in the cloud or their own DC. Cisco SDA solution provides full integration with the cloud including private, public, virtual or hybrid clouds. Seamless cloud integration with the enterprise network allows much quicker application deployment while making sure that all security and policy requirements are met.