It is widely known that enterprises are rapidly migrating many of their back-office business applications and end-user collaboration tools from server-based, private data center hosted services to cloud-hosted services. Commercial software-as-a-service (SaaS) application suites like Office 365, are already some of the most widely deployed SaaS applications, and adoption by enterprises of all sizes continues to grow around the world.
In a cloud-first enterprise, end users frequently need to access cloud-hosted applications like Office 365 from any location. Regardless of when and where users access cloud applications, they expect a consistent, high quality of experience.
With increased use of cloud-based applications, overall demands for more bandwidth and the requirement for branch WAN simplification, many organizations are now deploying SD-WAN technology – and replacing traditional router-centric WAN architectures – to more intelligently prioritize and manage application traffic while tapping into the benefits of fast and inexpensive broadband internet connectivity.
So how can SD-WAN help deliver a high quality Office 365 user experience?
Microsoft recently announced new Office 365 Connectivity Principles which in turn help deliver reliable and high performance Office 365 connectivity, creating an optimal overall user experience. The Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect™ SD-WAN edge platform is a part of the Microsoft Office 365 Networking Partner Program and is one of the first platforms to have been tested and certified to support the Microsoft Office 365 Connectivity Principles. By integrating the Office 365 REST API, the EdgeConnect platform enables customers to securely connect users directly from their branch office locations to the nearest Office 365 service entry point. This approach lowers round trip time and latency and assures the highest quality of experience to branch users.
Using the EdgeConnect First-packet iQ™ application classification, a key innovation differentiator which identifies applications on the first packet, Office 365 traffic is automatically steered to the closest Office 365 entry point. By using application-driven business and security policies enterprises can choose the most optimal path and eliminate the potential for wasted bandwidth and performance bottlenecks. This new integration with Microsoft provides Silver Peak customers the ability to locally breakout all of their Office 365 traffic directly from each branch location, minimizing latency and delivering the highest quality of experience possible.
The EdgeConnect platform offers a fully automated solution, making Office 365 networking optimization extremely easy to deploy through simplified configuration, automatic creation of all the necessary low-level DNS and data traffic-steering policies, including NAT and firewall rules. The integration correlates EdgeConnect appliance locations with the closest Office 365 entry points, thus avoiding any burden on IT resources. We know that today CIO’s have a mandate to shift their focus on IT as an enabler of digital transformation and to make their enterprises more agile and improve the end users experience with these business applications, rather than exclusively focusing on managing and deploying data center-hosted applications. The EdgeConnect platform can increase user productivity for SaaS applications like Office 365 through secure optimized connectivity, increased application performance and higher network reliability. To learn more, please read the Silver Peak Microsoft Office 365 Solution Brief about how Silver Peak optimizes Office 365 user experience.