Cloud technology is gaining popularity for a reason: it’s making our lives easier by streamlining daily access to data and applications. Cloud technology is more than useful; it’s essential for doing business in the future.
There will come a time when every application will be built in the cloud. It makes sense. It’s easier to maintain security when you’re not relying on individual users to update their machines. Businesses can charge a monthly fee for access, which increases their revenue potential and users don’t have to rely on cumbersome downloads every few weeks to stay up-to-date with new releases.
Aside from the obvious benefits to the end-user, there are several ways the cloud can save you time and money as a business, and the biggest benefit occurs with your network.
1. SD-WAN can be extended into the cloud and replace MPLS
Everyone in the tech world, and most of the world’s population, knows cloud services are useful for accessing applications from any machine. What’s not so obvious is the way the cloud is being used to streamline (and transform) the way WANs are used by enterprises.
A WAN, or Wide Area Network, is a private network that connects multiple local area networks (LANs) together. A WAN is often used by larger enterprises to connect their headquarters with branch offices or other locations. The WAN allows each location to share resources and applications, eliminating the need to duplicate them for each location.
A WAN has been traditionally connected through MPLS – dedicated infrastructure that creates a predictable, reliable connection boasting 99.99% uptime and .1% packet loss. However, MPLS isn’t cheap. As a result, your capacity to utilize it is limited by your budget. Additionally, MPLS deployments are a slow process that can take several months to finish.
There is an easier way to manage and optimize a WAN. It’s called a ‘software-defined wide area network” or SD-WAN, and it was created to overcome the high costs and rigidity of MPLS services.
What’s the catch?
SD-WANs aren’t perfect. SD-WAN routers rely on MPLS and do not address some of the newer internet security threats. As a result, network administrators need to install edge firewalls and more cloud security services, adding to the cost and complexity to deploy their networks.
SD-WAN routers in the cloud were an afterthought requiring complex configurations that aren’t optimized for mobile users. All of these gaps are addressed by Cato’s cloud services as an affordable alternative to MPLS.
Cato Networks is one provider offering SD-WAN with built-in network security delivered as a cloud service. Cato explains how their SD-WAN cloud service avoids the high cost of MPLS and streamlines security: “Cato’s secure and global SD-WAN enables customers to eliminate multiple point products and the cost, complexity and risk associated with maintaining them. With Cato, WAN transformation will not merely end in MPLS cost avoidance, but present a full roadmap for streamlining the networking and security infrastructure of the organization.”
The ability for your organization to extend security into the cloud means you don’t need to spend extra money piecing together your security through various products. The result is both time and money saved.
2. Global collaboration among your staff
The cloud makes it possible for your entire team to take their office anywhere and access, update, and work on the same files from anywhere in the world. As a business owner using cloud services, you’ll automatically save money on equipment you’d otherwise need to buy for your whole team.
Expensive phone systems and other communication hardware are unnecessary thanks to the cloud. International phone calls are free when you use video or voice messaging services like Facebook, Skype, Slack, and others.
It’s safe to say cloud technology is the reason many businesses have been able to expand globally in the last decade. It’s also given rise to remote teams which has improved the lives of freelancers and 9-5 employees everywhere.
Cloud technology benefits everyone
When you’re looking for ways to save time and money, whether you’re running a large network or you just need better collaboration tools, make the cloud the first place you look.