The Corona Outbreak Encourages the Use of Remote Work Systems; SD-WAN in Increasing Demand

Tue 07 April 2020, telkomtelstra
telkomtelstra software defined wide area network

Fear over the coronavirus outbreak has spread worldwide. To date, there have been hundreds of thousands of positive cases and tens of thousands of deaths as a result of the massive spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) globally.

The Indonesian Government has highlighted a number of measures, in particular restrictions on the movement of society at large, in order to deal with the massive spread of the coronavirus in Indonesia. Appeals to carry out activities from home continue to be reiterated throughout the country in a bid to break the chain of the spread of COVID-19.

Responding to these circumstances, almost all business activity in the major cities across Indonesia have begun to apply the ‘work from home’ policy during the ‘physical distancing’ period imposed by the government. Accordingly, there is certainly a greater need for products and services that support remote work.

By optimising a system that supports employees to work from home, organisations and corporations will certainly want to maintain business productivity. In order to achieve this goal, organisations and corporations are looking for software and hardware that suits the needs of these remote systems.

Under these circumstances, one technology solution that is in great demand is software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN), considering that systems and business applications for remote work systems require good network resilience support, especially during peak conditions (peak capacity).

Unlike VPNs (virtual private networks) that are not designed for ‘peak capacity’ when there is a surge in network traffic, SD-WAN can present solutions with scalability, especially during periods of high surges in network traffic, in which most employees work remotely from home. Evidently, if a company only relies on local VPN servers, these tend to become overloaded with the number of connections and the amount of traffic needed to support a very large increase in workload. Of course, this will cause the network to become slow and be less than optimal which then affects employee performance and business productivity, and even more so in video conferencing and cloud-based video collaboration platforms that require large networks and capacities to reach dozens of people in real time.

A drastic shift in business dynamics due to the COVID-19 pandemic has brought organisations and corporations into a new era that demands flexibility and scalability in their technological solutions. The trend of remote work systems has become the new norm that must be adopted so that businesses can continue to operate and survive. Therefore, networks and infrastructure to support remote work systems are vital. Companies will need fast options to adapt to actual needs.

Dominant Role of SD-WAN

Nevertheless, there are still many organisations and corporations that remain confused about SD-WAN. What exactly is SD-WAN? How does it work and what are the benefits for the company?

SD-WAN is virtual WAN architecture that allows companies to utilise every combination of services — including MPLS, LTE, and broadband internet services — to securely connect users to applications. SD-WAN uses a centralised control function to direct traffic safely and intelligently on a wide network. The goal is to improve application performance, produce a better user experience, increase business productivity, and achieve better cost management for Information Technology solutions.

Furthermore, traditional WANs based on conventional infrastructure are not cloud friendly. This is certainly different to SD-WAN which is designed to fully support hosted applications — both in public and private clouds — such as various SaaS solutions (for example, Office 365, and Dropbox) that support employees to work from home with high performance.

Recognising the great need for network solutions that support businesses in being able to work remotely and from home, Telkomtelstra, a joint venture between Telkom Indonesia and Telstra Australia, presents industry-leading SD-WAN solutions. Telkomtelstra has currently implemented SD-WAN solutions at more than tens of thousands of branches for its customers throughout Indonesia. Telkomtelstra supports companies in Indonesia to optimise workload performance in the cloud network, allowing better bandwidth allocation and faster applications to support remote work activities, such as online meetings, video conferences and workplace messaging between teams or divisions.(*)