Date: 09 April 2020

Author: Nicole Brinson

The Impact of Cloud Networking on SMEs

One of the biggest impediments to a remote work model is the existing infrastructure most small and medium-sized enterprises currently run. Existing networks are notoriously difficult to stand up for new locations, let alone access via VPN at scale by thousands of employees suddenly working from home WiFi networks.

SME cloud networking

Cloud networking addresses this by shifting away from traditional physical infrastructure, allowing the standup of dozens of APs in minutes, not weeks. From an operations perspective, this means seamless integration with third-party platforms, greater visibility and the ability to offer support remotely, and decreased business impacts and downtime. In short, it makes your employees more productive while working remotely, a situation they may find themselves in for weeks or months in the event of an unexpected crisis. 

Let’s take a closer look at how cloud networking can impact your organization in both the short and long term and what steps you should consider if it’s time to make the upgrade. 

 

Scaling to Massive Demand on Your Network

No individual traditional network is be up to the task of scaling to meet mass remote work requirements. Cloud networking is effective because it allows businesses to seamlessly extend their WAN to public clouds like Azure, AWS, and GCP, leading to increased cloud application and workload optimization. 

A Cloud Network solution provides the business with reliable awareness of existing and new security vulnerabilities, is scalable for security upgrades and patching, and many such systems can instantly comply with industry-specific requirements. The Cisco / Meraki cloud networking solution, for example, is immediately HIPAA compliant, supporting rapid virtualization in healthcare and related fields. The plug and play deployability of a cloud network makes it easier to keep workers home and safe, leverages existing cloud architecture to maximize productivity and minimizes the risk of downtime or delays in deployment. 

What else can Meraki do that your current network likely cannot? Consider the following:

  1. Easy-to-Replicate Configuration - Configuration is saved to the cloud and can be quickly copied to any location remotely, making it that much faster to stand up a new location wherever it might be. 
  2. Firmware Management - Firmware upgrades can be automated by setting a specific maintenance window that impacts the entire network. 
  3. Site-to-Site VPN - Particularly important to our current remote work lifestyle, you can easily configure specific sites and the connectivity you prefer between each of them. AutoVPN takes care of the rest. 
  4. Virtual Stacking - Manage all of your switch ports as if they were on the same switch - creating a virtual stack to reduce configuration time. 
  5. Layer 7 Traffic Visibility - Create rules and block access to specific domains or resources automatically at the application level for greater visibility into traffic in the organization. 
  6. Mobile and Desktop Device Management - With a centralized systems manager, you can more easily manage the applications that are installed on company devices, and push device updates all at once. 
  7. Automatic Network Topology Map - From the dashboard, you can build dynamic topology map of your networks without third party tools or outdated resources. 

Want to learn if cloud networking is the right fit for your company? Schedule a free advisory session with our Principal Cloud Architect at Bedroc to learn more. 

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