How will you connect AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud to your SD-WAN?

I’ve been spending a lot of time the past few weeks reviewing SD-WAN vendor cloud offerings. Maybe it’s because of some the announcements in the area. It triggered a bunch of questions from my customers. Maybe it’s because a lot of folks seem to be waking up to the importance of connecting their SD-WAN into the cloud.

Regardless, what’s become increasingly apparent to me are the vast differences between vendor implementations. At first glance, the cloud would seem to be just like any other site. Add an SD-WAN node as you would with any other location, let it connect into the SD-WAN, and voila! Job done. Oh, how I wish it was that simple.

SD-WAN cloud configurations are like that sweet, devilish 5-year old who can terrorize your home while looking delightfully cherubic. Different tools are needed to manage cloud implementations than the cloud. Routing into the IaaS cloud is rarely simple. Properly configuring the cloud—setting up the VPCs, installing the SD-WAN nodes, provisioning the IPsec connectivity—all take time. It’s why SD-WAN vendors have made a point of introducing cloud-specific implementations.

SD-WAN vendor cloud approaches

From what I’m seeing, SD-WAN players with support for IaaS all target AWS with a few delivering solutions for Azure and Google Cloud. There are two basic approaches taken to extending the SD-WAN fabrice to IaaS, which has a lot to do with whether or not the vendor offers an SD-WAN appliance or an SD-WAN service. Appliance vendors will place a dedicated SD-WAN node in the IaaS service; service providers will place a shared node near the IaaS service. Let me explain.

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