The rise of remote work, connected devices, and non-traditional workspaces contribute to more complex network infrastructure, larger volumes of data, and more areas of vulnerability for businesses. As work habits and workspaces evolve, businesses must revisit how they approach connectivity. Historically, companies have relied on remote-access VPNs to connect employees and protect the corporate network. However, in today’s remote-first and hybrid work environment, where security is increasingly important, this approach is no longer sufficient and can even introduce unnecessary complexity for IT leaders.
Intrado recently announced SD-WAN Thin Edge to support greater connectivity. SD-WAN Thin Edge connects remote workers, fixed and mobile sites, and IoT devices over LTE cellular networks. Before we dive into SD-WAN Thin Edge in more detail, let’s review SD-WAN’s capabilities and benefits.
SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) enables businesses to route and prioritize network connectivity across several locations via the cloud. The technology simplifies the management of network deployment while reducing the expense of hardware that comes with legacy solutions. SD-WAN is especially useful to help businesses connect their geographically dispersed or multi-branch offices.
SD-WAN gives businesses a flexible, cost-effective network architecture that helps them become more agile. Organizations can use SD-WAN to improve how they manage network traffic and scale services and capacity, granting employees quick and easy access to the information they need. With faster access to data and information, users can remain productive and connected through virtual platforms and services.
Intrado supports SD-WAN and is always looking to improve offerings as markets change. With the modern workforce becoming increasingly mobile, companies need a "lite" solution for their remote workforce that is simple to deploy, scalable, and easily managed. This is the role of SD-WAN Thin Edge.
What Is SD-WAN Thin Edge?
SD-WAN Thin Edge is a flat, lightweight device that powers a company’s network. Thin Edge leverages edge computing, which allows the data from remote workers, kiosks, and intelligent devices to be stored, processed, and analyzed near the place where Thin Edge collected the data. In addition, Thin Edge utilizes a converged architecture to connect branch and remote workers and can also support IoT devices.
By using edge computing, massive amounts of data do not need to go back to the cloud for processing. For example, the solution can help eliminate latency during a video chat where attendees join from different locations.
Thin Edge follows a new architecture that moves networking functions to the cloud and takes computing functions to the edge. The technology brings together years of Intrado's network expertise with global service and support to ensure scalability and resiliency for customers.
In summary, Thin Edge is a lighter version of SD-WAN with equally robust security, making it a good choice for SMB and companies with a remote, decentralized workforce.
How SD-WAN Thin Edge Optimizes Connectivity
Thin Edge is a cloud-delivered overlay WAN architecture that helps ensure a predictable user experience for applications (also known as application assurance). The solution brings together a single policy for connectivity and network architecture reliability through zero-trust security and edge computing.
Through Thin Edge, Intrado offers a communications solution that organizations of all sizes can deploy to remote workers in a cost-effective manner that maintains the highest degree of security. As a result, organizations save valuable time, bandwidth, and budget when users analyze data on their devices at the network’s edge. Below are key ways Thin Edge supports connectivity and network reliability.
Expanded UCaaS Options
Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) has become an essential option to support the needs of today’s globally dispersed, remote, and hybrid workforce. With Thin Edge, businesses can access a combination of UCaaS features, including multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) and broadband circuits, multiple broadband circuits, and wireless 4G and 5G connections. Embracing Thin Edge helps businesses capitalize on the benefits of UCaaS. For example, businesses can access a strong network, dynamic routing, and improved security.
With access to robust UCaaS solutions, hybrid teams can strengthen communication, collaboration, and productivity. More specifically, hybrid teams can use Thin Edge to gain a single pane of glass for cloud management.
Zero-Touch Provisioning (ZTP)
Thin Edge uses zero-touch provisioning, which means a remote employee can get the device up and running without an IT team stepping in. Employees can provision and manage all services, network configurations, and updated policies via a centralized dashboard. In addition, they can deploy 100+ devices with a simple one-click workflow. This capability means that team members can hold secure meetings and safely manage their services whether they’re in the office or working remotely.
Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA)
As previously mentioned, Thin Edge leverages zero-trust security. For background, “zero trust” is a security framework that requires authentication, authorization, and continuous validation of all users. Zero trust authenticates users in this way before granting access to applications and data. Zero-trust security assumes that networks can be local, in the cloud, or a hybrid of resources and workers in any location.
Thin Edge can streamline connectivity costs by cutting down SD-WAN provisioning time and is a cost-effective option for small businesses. For example, organizations with a significant number of locations or hybrid workers may want to sidestep the high cost of deploying MPLS connectivity to support unified communications wherever employees are working. In this scenario, the business can potentially cut SD-WAN costs in half by using Thin Edge with broadband circuits.
How Intrado Enables Successful Virtual Connection
Intrado provides customers with flexible and secure options that support their business needs. Our SD-WAN solutions bring voice and data networks together from multiple locations to connect employees, customers, and partners. With the modern workforce becoming increasingly mobile, companies need a solution that is easy to deploy, scale, and manage to support their remote workforces. Thin Edge enhances our network offerings—all of which are reinforced by Intrado’s support, deployment, and adoption services—so enterprises can elevate their IT strategies.
Learn more about how Thin Edge can support your company’s specific needs on our website.