Telstra Adapt S1 and VMware SD-WAN Gateways: Enhancing App Experiences and Increasing Business Resiliency

To remain productive, distributed employees – who now work from their homes, coffee shops, or anywhere – require secure and reliable connectivity to apps that equals the experience they’d receive in an on-premises enterprise environment. To achieve this, organizations are turning to Secure Access Services Edge (SASE).

Telstra has transformed their network environments and static MPLS designs — that have served enterprises brilliantly over the last 15 years — into Telstra Adapt S1, which enables customers to integrate their existing MPLS technology into an authenticated, adaptive and assured SASE stack.

The first CSP in Australia to provide this capability, Telstra engineered Adapt S1 with an easily deployable SD-WAN construct that eliminates complex decision-making for non-technical customers while addressing all their cloud networking and security needs.

What’s under the hood? Adapt S1 combines cutting-edge security services with the network performance advantages of VMware SD-WAN (part of VMware SASE) to create a cloud-based SASE solution that provides enterprise-grade performance, visibility, and control over MPLS and Internet broadband links. This supports the nearly 40% of businesses that are leveraging hybrid models, where MPLS is used in conjunction with SD-WAN broadband connections.

And by harnessing the power of VMware SD-WAN Gateways, Adapt S1 helps enterprises build platforms that deliver secure and ultra-dependable connectivity between branch and remote users and with apps deployed across private and public clouds, SaaS, and at the enterprise edge.

Combining SASE and the Telstra Fixed and Mobile Network, Adapt S1 is incorporated into Telstra’s core network and positions VMware SD-WAN Gateways across Australia, which deliver improved performance and a seamless migration path from existing networking solutions to Telstra’s cutting-edge Adaptive Network. The service is quick to activate from order due to extensive digitization with the option of being taken up as a partner-delivered fully managed service — empowering enterprises to focus on growing their business.

Inside SD-WAN Gateways: Uniquely architected, implemented, and deployed

Integrated within points of presence (PoPs) across Telstra’s core network, VMware SD-WAN Gateways support a unique, simplified, resilient, flexible, and hybrid architecture that combines MPLS — featuring Telstra’s Next IP — with Internet broadband, into a single interconnected solution, harnessing the best of both worlds.

As these two networking technology domains seamlessly pass traffic between each other, they also provide scalable, on-demand, and integrated access to Telstra’s vast Value-Added Service (VAS) suite that includes cloud security platforms, hyperscaler cloud platforms Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud), voice services (such as TIPT and TCO365) and IPVPN services. Users can also plug into a fully programmable software-defined Layer 2 network to connect with private data centers outside Telstra’s ecosystem.

Interestingly, during Adapt S1 development, Telstra’s team leveraged Gateways to facilitate integrated connectivity into their VAS portfolio. This enabled them to rapidly relaunch it by removing the need to change its underlying architecture or integration points. As a result, the team eliminated months of testing and backwards integration to ensure the system performed optimally.

After launching their global private gateway structure domestically, Telstra has subsequently spread it globally — delivering a unique capability no other Australian competitor can offer.

SD-WAN Gateways: Leveraging redundancy to deliver powerful end-user experiences

What happens if Gateways ever experience anomalies? No worries, Gateways provide enterprises with multiple entry points into the network to ensure redundancy and completely seamless failover. For example, in the unlikely event that a Gateway malfunctions within a PoP, traffic will automatically redirect to the next closest PoP.

Drilling a layer deeper, what happens if conditions on the networks vary? This could negatively impact end-user experience, network reliability, and business resiliency.

Serving as an overlay network, SD-WAN provides real-time visibility and performance optimization across the networks. Spotting issues such as latency and jitter within just 300-500 milliseconds, SD-WAN performs immediate remedial action, autonomously prioritizing and rerouting traffic to whichever network displays the optimum quality and capacity — ensuring end-users receive high-quality app experiences.

SD-WAN Gateways: Powering a smooth migration to Adapt S1

How have Gateways been a game-changer for IT teams, in terms of delivering positive business outcomes? It helps them migrate to Adapt S1’s architecture seamlessly, without disrupting their existing network design or worrying about how they’ll integrate the two networks.

Migration isn’t really about speed. Most enterprises can’t devote the skills, resources, and program management needed for an accelerated rollout. It’s all about taking a measured approach so IT teams can drive the transformation in consumable chunks and at their own pace. As they adopt the solution, they can transition piece by piece and perhaps kick things off with a pilot test. Once they feel comfortable with the process, it’s simply a case of rinse and repeat. This way, their network’s performance improves, but its structural integrity never changes.

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