Like many people, I started working from home about 6 weeks ago. I quickly realized that “business as usual” and working remotely was not going to be as easy as expected. With people now teleworking and attending classes online (in addition to increasing their streaming and other entertainment‑driven bandwidth usage) the demand on typical broadband connections has grown. For some, like me, this is their first experience doing daily work exclusively through remote network connectivity.
This new surge of activity brings network strain, resulting in severely degraded video quality for virtual team meetings—or worse—calls that fail to connect. People are experiencing application slowness, video and voice connection failures in the middle of crucial business meetings, and students learning from home must have the ability to join their new virtual classrooms without hiccups. This emulates the remote business site that depends on network connections for business productivity applications, voice-over-IP, employee communication and training applications and more.
So, the question is: What is the best way to strengthen underperforming connections?
Hughes, through its Managed SD-WAN technology, offers a solution. For me, this meant implementing a VeloCloud SD-WAN appliance in my home and having it connected to the Hughes Managed SD-WAN service. The setup was quick, and the configuration was automatic. Since adding this to the broadband connection at home, my work experience, the online education experience for my family and our streaming entertainment experiences have all improved. After this experience, I reflected on how this SD-WAN solution and similar solutions used at distributed retail locations improve application performance and network reliability.
How Managed SD-WAN Can Help Remote Business Locations
The same SD-WAN technology that enterprises rely on to improve the network and application performance at their corporate locations can also address the needs of users at remote locations (e.g. stores and branches). However, trying to maintain and deliver this service to remote locations is resource intensive. This is where a managed service provider, taking on this effort and offering ongoing support, can become an essential partner.
With a Hughes Managed SD-WAN, a business can take control and quickly find a solution to remote network connectivity problems. Hughes Managed SD-WAN prioritizes applications and optimizes the routing of traffic across the Internet, taking advantage of high‑capacity connections or even multiple Internet connections, helping everyone on a network stay connected.
One feature that enables SD-WAN to resolve video and voice disruptions is through the use of Forward Error Correction (FEC). By compensating for intermittent or even continuous packet loss, SD-WAN solutions with FEC make a noticeable difference in the remote connectivity dilemma. Additional data is automatically inserted into the data stream when packet loss is detected, ensuring that the application can recover lost data at the other end of the connection. This alone greatly improves the quality of voice and video connections, offering real-time recovery to replace any data lost during transfer.
A second feature that SD-WAN uses for an improved Internet experience is combining two different connections that are both active at all times. This is most commonly accomplished by adding an LTE connection. LTE is used because it requires the least effort to implement, data plans can be pooled across all sites, and because the second circuit is usually used less frequently (meaning it can be a smaller and less expensive connection type). By configuring the SD-WAN to use both circuits at the same time in an active-active configuration, it chooses the circuit that has the best performance in that moment. In essence, SD-WAN actively scans and monitors both circuits to choose the path of least resistance.
Some SD-WAN solutions can even direct traffic on a packet‑by‑packet basis. The graphic below depicts how both circuits alone were experiencing performance issues but achieved an excellent quality score when combined. This is the power of SD-WAN with dual circuits.
Supporting a remote location requiring intense and continuous access to the Internet is a big task but, as demonstrated above, not impossible. As both a managed service provider and managed security service provider, Hughes delivers a fully managed network as well as industry-leading security services so that those working at remote locations can focus on their work and other essential online tasks.
Using a managed service provider, like Hughes, offers a number of benefits on top of providing a Managed SD-WAN solution. Hughes has the experience to seamlessly deliver service anywhere across North America, the security needed to protect critical enterprise and customer information, and the expertise to deliver it all efficiently and effectively. Hughes is offering a range of Managed SD-WAN services, give us a call at 1-888-716-6856 or contact us and we can discuss the tailored SD-WAN service that meets your business needs.