December 27, 2016
A network has two facets, the local area network (LAN) and the wide area network (WAN), and both play an integral role in the success of the business. The WAN is asked to deliver and receive packets of data from the far reaching corners of the internet, and that is no short order. Businesses today send and store data in the cloud, access entire applications through the WAN, and build colocated data centers to protect their environment. Without a WAN powerful enough to handle these responsibilities, the business is certain to suffer.
Cisco has an intriguing solution. Instead of simply creating a more powerful WAN with a higher bandwidth, Cisco instead offers a smarter solution. Cisco Intelligent WAN (IWAN) can reroute data traffic, utilize the cloud, and improve the performance of your applications by taking a different approach to the network.
Here, we’re going to take a closer look at IWAN in action with two use cases.
A Couple Use Cases for Cisco IWAN
Use Case #1: The Brownout
A business lives and dies by its ability to communicate with clients and its employee’s ability to communicate with each other. Today, we have an array of sophisticated collaboration tools like Cisco Spark and WebEx that allow us to host video meetings across the globe with ease. These tools are less than useless if they cannot maintain a solid connection.
In the event of a brownout, a WebEx video meeting may drop data packets, stall, or ultimately lose connection. This could bring an important meeting to an abrupt and lagging halt, but Cisco IWAN can address this problem in real time. IWAN will detect the brownout and reroute your data traffic to the best alternative. The meeting attendees will only see a small hiccup, and IT will be alerted to the problem. They can then take action.
Use Case #2: SaaS Applications
SaaS applications are becoming more and more essential to modern business. Whether Hubspot, Salesforce, or even a SaaS contact/call center platform like PureCloud, the WAN is tasked with supporting many more business-critical applications than it once was. Yet, these applications all must go through the data center for security to verify their validity. This creates congestion and ultimately degrades the performance of these apps.
IWAN allows you to use Cisco Cloud Web Security to inspect these applications in the cloud. Of course, the security policy is established centrally and locally, but IWAN leverages the cloud to alleviate the congestion and improve application performance.
The WAN Today
Our second use case today says it all. The WAN is asked to do more today than ever before, and as cloud continues to rise in prominence, the WAN is going to become more critical as well. Consider hybrid cloud deployments. With a significant portion of your data residing in the cloud, there can be no patience for a WAN that cannot keep up. We suspect that Cisco IWAN and similar enhanced WAN solutions will become commonplace if not essential in the years to come.
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