Cloud UC (Unified Communications) represents a technology that adopts the Internet for storage and transmission of voice, data, and video. Cloud UC has over the years become a topic of conversations for a reason that traditional means of UC system are comparatively bounded and require a high cost of investment. Organizations are turning towards cloud Unified Communication (UC) is because of lack of return on investment, the long time-duration required for hardware, and software implementation. Unified Communication (UC) became an ineffective process because the hardware implementation required a longer duration of time in the office that meant the ongoing work got affected. Organizations across the globe became less dependent on hardware-based single location, needing communication across different functionalities and remote access to the data.

Cloud Unified communications are completely managed, stored and accessed through points via the Internet. Creating an infrastructure that can be scalable, reliable and cost-efficient. The biggest concern for many organizations is the need for remote access that is addressed by facilitating the UC and BYOD for all the user devices using access system. This has given the users a seamless access to the data in real time. UC also empowers the user to comment and collaborate without using the traditional method of communication like email, FTP or even chat.

Cloud UC has allowed rapid progress to employ single interface or tools to help the users accelerate the decision making and performance. Three options are available for the key type of re-architecting the WAN under the cloud and performance have driven decision making Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN), WAN-cloud exchange (WANCX), and direct cloud connect. SD-WAN pool in the branch connectivity and intelligent way to manage traffic, increasing resilience and improve performance. Direct cloud is much more designed for security protection bypassing the internet for communication by linking enterprise WAN edge to cloud provider’s edge.  WAN-CX uses an exchange approach for direct connection; an enterprise connects to an exchange and then set up a virtual through that connection to any cloud service provider.

Nearly 40 percent of the organizations are using or planning to use Unified Communication as a service to shift their telephony, messaging and conferencing data and applications to the cloud.

Why Old WAN Won’t Suit New Cloud?

Last decade the WAN has been mostly based on three-tier WAN architecture for connecting remote locations with applications in corporate data centers. The architecture is ill-suited for the cloud. Over the past few years’ traffic stayed on an enterprise network, but today with the rapid development of cloud-based applications the traffic flows between end users and applications.

Direct Internet Access, SD-WAN and Direct Cloud connect are three different types of network approached as a WAN alternative.

Direct Internet Access

Direct Internet-connected offices are an alternative to the MPLS as it increases the network speed with increasing the bandwidth. Internet-connected branches can improve the performance by avoiding the overhaul of traffic with backhauling the internet bound traffic across the WAN. It can further reduce the cost by eliminating the local loop or PSTN network. Offloading some type of the network to lower cost branch can help in achieving the required performance for the direct internet access network.

Internet-enabled is divided into two type’s branches with direct Internet access supplementing dedicated WAN links and branches with internet only. Internet only has replaced the bandwidths for MLPS for all branches communication they are replaced by better connectivity channel- VPN-only, split pipe and internet only.

  1. In VPN-only connections use the whole internet link as an encrypted pipe connecting to the company data center.
  2. Internet only connections access the company data center as any other data center on the internet. Outside users can also visit the given network through public-interface or via a device-specific VPN rather than full site VPN.
  3. Split wise divides the bandwidth to a site-to-site VPN and other to direct internet access.

The internet-connected network offers the potential to reduce costs and align network design with data traffic flow. Direct Internet Access network offers little opportunity for the network designers to optimize the connection for specific applications.  For more information on different types of a cloud network, you can download our White Paper on Cloud.

Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN)

In SD-WAN all the connections are virtually combined together into location appear as a single pool.  Overlaying different logical WANs in the pool of connectivity defined by their behavior and topology to suit the specific types of network based on service, location or user. Policy-driven behaviors are being used in overlay WAN and implement across the entire infrastructure without the need of the device-to-device configuration. One of the biggest advantages of SD-WAN is traffic management for performance and security, it can re-route the traffic based on the performance of the links.

SD-WAN is one of the foremost tech used by cloud users nearly 27 percent of the companies have deployed it by the end of 2016. The early adopters of the tech reported a 95 percent a reduction in troubleshooting time and reduction in the outage.

Two types of SD-WAN

  1. Overlay SD-WAN: Appliances are deployed on an existing network, either behind the router or replacing the branch connection.
  1. In-net SD-WAN: In-net SD-WAN ties the functionality of SD-WAN to connectivity services. The connectivity can be provided in the service provider’s edge and core infrastructure with the branch using a traditional router to connect to providers nearest point of presence.

Direct Cloud Connect (DCC)

The organizations are planning to shift their communications such as Telecalls, messages, and conference applications to the cloud. IT leaders are stepping on an aspect of where the cloud can support the rapidly changing business conditions. The variability of performance of an internet only link can lead to an overhaul of traffic leading to unacceptable performance variation of the service. Unified communications providers such as Amazon and Microsoft have introduced the ability to connect directly to network edges, with different services such as Amazon Direct Connect and Microsoft’s Express Route. Enterprises extend the link from edge router in its infrastructure to an edge router in the providers. Organizations can achieve that via cable pull in cases where business has the infrastructure in the same data center as a cloud provider.

Unified Communications (UC) as a Service is a shift from traditional CRM and APIs to support them. Cloud can be used to store different communications and contact agents can access the data from any remote location giving the user a personalized feel. The increase in data security has made the cloud technology desirable for the IT leaders who need reliability, high output and application intelligent network.

For more information about cloud unified communication, you can download our white paper on Cloud Unified Communication (UC).