Published by Sohrab Falahatkar
Director, Service Operation
By now your IT team has likely started supporting most, if not all, of your employees in some ad-hoc work-from-home setup. I think it is a testament to the resourcefulness of many IT/Ops teams out there, that within the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, most have been able to mount systems and processes together that allow employees to work from home. In some ways, these teams are the next set of heroes after our frontline workers, preventing our economy from crashing completely.
That being said, there’s only so much your IT/Ops team can do in these conditions, as they are limited by several factors beyond their control.
First and foremost: workload. You normally do not structure an IT/Ops team to provide remote network support to each and every employee in the company. These folks have likely been working countless hours on configuration, deployment and ongoing support to get everyone up and running. Then there’s all the effort required to keep them running.
Another key factor is the quality of the individual WFH setup. There are many variables that can come into play here: The throughput of the Internet line in any given household, jitter preventing smooth VoIP/video calls, upstream failures from your ISP, or even a hanging tree branch that suddenly decides to take out your Internet line.
A reliable WFH setup is more than just plugging in a laptop on your kitchen counter and connecting to a VPN. To keep employees working productively from home, your WFH setup needs to be fast, reliable, always on – and quickly remediated when problems arise. So how do you do this without significantly increasing your IT/Ops resources?
This is where Datavalet’s SD-WAN as a service can really come in to play by eliminating most of the problems associated with the typical home setup. It also allows your IT/Ops team to benefit from the managed service component, freeing them to focus on your core business.
Key benefits of managed SD-Wan
From a technology standpoint, Datavalet’s SD-WAN remote worker solution will improve the WFH experience for employees (and by extension, for your IT/Ops team) in a number of ways.
Redundancy: You can enable true per-packet steering, which means you won’t have to worry about a jittery connection, or brownouts during a crucial video call. Traffic will automatically get rerouted to your secondary LTE connection with barely a packet dropped. Additionally, an alarm will fire within Datavalet’s Managed Service department, which will initiate remediation processes and oversee the incident to resolution. All the while, your IT/Ops team can continue working uninterrupted on their own projects, moving your business forward.
Bandwidth Allocation/QoS (quality of service): Priority can be given to specific ports, applications or destinations to ensure that time-sensitive information such as VoIP and real-time video is prioritized over other packets like web traffic or email. This is particularly valuable for employees with more limited throughput at home.
Throughput: Speaking of throughput, if you have some employees who live in areas where Internet throughput is low, you can also aggregate several lines together through the SD-WAN appliance and provide them significantly more throughput than a single line would offer. This type of setup also has the added benefit of built-in redundancy. If any line goes down, the employee would notice only a reduction in throughput, rather than go completely offline. Once again, with the managed service, that line-down incident would be detected, and remediation processes would be engaged without any load on your internal teams.
Remote configuration management: Many policy/configuration changes must be done during off-hours to avoid negatively impacting employee productivity. These changes would simply be performed as part of Datavalet’s managed SD-WAN service. This lets your internal teams get the off-hours rest they deserve, allowing them to wake up fresh and ready to focus on your core business needs.
Having a Work-From-Home SD-WAN solution that is managed on your behalf can provide value to your employees, the IT/Ops teams supporting those employees, and the overall ability of your business to perform its primary functions.
See how our managed SD-WAN can help with your WFH reality. Talk to our team.