Effective Connections for Hybrid and Multicloud Environments
When government agencies started moving workloads to the cloud, largely over the past decade, in most cases they didn’t put much thought into how they were connecting to their cloud resources, Neema says. But as government IT leaders became more strategic in their approach to cloud, they made smarter decisions about connectivity.
“We are moving toward a cloud-smart strategy, where we are thinking more about how we can increase agility and decrease the cost for the cloud,” he says. “We also want to figure out how we can extract the full value of the cloud.”
Government IT teams have numerous options as they aim to connect cloud workloads, including connecting via VPN, AWS Direct Connect, cloud exchange and colocation. However, the use of SD-WAN and SSE has become more prevalent.
SD-WAN uses software overlays to manage a network more effectively, giving administrators greater control over bandwidth and traffic flows. This technology allows an organization’s IT team to automate key processes, enabling greater speed and flexibility while enhancing performance. It also provides a clear look into traffic flows and data interactions.
“Connecting a cloud with SD-WAN helps an organization adapt quickly to changes in its hybrid cloud infrastructure,” says Pete Schepers, a principal solution architect with CDW. “As workloads move, you can quickly gain insight into what's going on in your environment, understand what’s moving and adapt your policy.”
SD-WAN also lets state and local IT teams see traffic at a granular level, providing data on latency and details about specific transports, helping team members adjust workflows. It also enhances security by automating the implementation of measures, such as end-to-end segmentation and end-to-end encryption.
SSE uses tools such as access control, cloud secure web gateways, cloud access security brokers and Firewall as a Service to enable secure access to in-house and cloud-based applications. This approach enforces an agency’s security policies wherever applications and workloads originate.
“Regardless of where your apps live, we want to be able to implement and enforce our security policy,” Schepers says. “We should have the same policy across the entire organization and all of our workloads.”