By Swapnil Hendre, Director of Solutions Engineering and Design, Nick Ford, Sr. Solutions Engineer, Shamika Mukane, Lead Solutions Engineer, all VMware
The explosion of work from home (WFH) for colleagues (our term for employees) has accelerated the need for an enterprise grade network connectivity solution. Unfortunately, the inherent limitations in connecting to cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications—combined with ever-increasing internet congestion—presented a variety of challenges that could no longer be ignored.
Ensuring the application experience is the primary concern. Access to business apps is degraded with WAN connections that are using an increasingly overloaded internet. Those apps include mission-critical tools such as email, voice, video, and the entire virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). On the last-mile, home connections continue to suffer from network performance issues such as latency, packet loss and jitter—and that can vary further depending on the device being used and/or the time of day.
Another significant barrier is that VMware IT has no control over the internet service providers (ISPs) used by our colleagues. And the differences between public and private cloud access exacerbate network complexity, and ultimately affect performance.
There is another way
Taking all these challenges into account, our IT team sought a different approach. We deployed VMware SD-WAN™ to mitigate WAN drawbacks when ISP environments are congested. This easy-to-install system sits in-between colleague devices and their ISP modems/routers, and is able to provide benefits such as Quality of Service (QoS), link remediation, and blackout protection.
QoS allows us to automatically prioritize business-critical traffic like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and VMware Horizon®. Link remediation minimizes degradation through forward error correction, activating jitter buffering and synthetic packet production. Blackout protection provides ability for our colleagues to perform sub-second, on-demand per-packet link steering between multiple ISPs based on the measured performance metric, intelligent application learning, business priority of the application, and link cost.
In addition to colleagues’ home ISPs, LTE is leveraged by providing an ongoing backup solution or enhancing business critical applications as needed.
Remote possibilities become reality
VMware SD-WAN has redefined the enterprise ecosystem as well as proved its mettle to IT teams behind the scenes. To date, we have observed 88 percent of brownout mitigation during our initial deployment—with less than six hours of brownout mitigation per colleague, per month. In addition, blackouts were eliminated for colleagues using multiple ISPs.
Overall, the solution has helped us break down the significant barriers for colleagues who work remotely. The result is greater control, reliability, and overall productivity for all stakeholders, IT and colleagues alike, thanks to experience enterprise-grade application performance, quality and security.
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