Why SD-WAN is Good for Government Agencies, But Not Good Enough



By: Chris Swan

It’s clear that SD-WAN has been a positive disruption in the enterprise connectivity world, providing high availability, quality of service and better economics than costly and complex alternatives like MPLS VPN.

SD-WAN is being adopted by government agencies for the same reasons. However, for mission critical and sensitive communications, basic SD-WAN services leave much to be desired, especially on the all-important security front.

According to one study, the 2018 State of Digital in Government Report, 73% of government IT decision makers polled said they were being asked to accomplish more with less budget. One of the huge advantages of SD-WAN in the budgeting process is that it can be acquired as a service, as a predictable and sometimes scalable OPEX line item, with little or no upfront CAPEX required.

Because SD-WAN is “software-defined,” it takes advantage of newly virtualized networks, including those of Tier One providers, which makes the transformation easier and faster.

So why are some agencies hesitating? Based on our engagements, concerns about security are slowing down decision making, despite the obvious benefits. Saving taxpayers money is great, but no one wants to risk a network failure due to an adversarial attack or allow their data to be compromised.

The bigger point is that SD-WAN is still in its infancy and has layers of issues that can only be solved through better, more advanced technology, which is precisely what Dispersive brings to the table. Our clients in the private sector and government understand “beyond SD-WAN” – and the critical importance of the ability to support the most sensitive applications, whether real time communications (voice, messaging, video, collaboration), the mobile workforce, and the Internet of Things, or a blend of these (for example allowing humans to communicate securely in real time with drones, sensors and an analytics engine in the cloud).

They have been willing to wait for a better solution that provides the features and benefits of SD-WAN but with more security, performance with an extensible framework. Here’s a chart that explains the advantages more precisely:

Dispersive’s secure virtual networking makes the deployment of networks and the ongoing management more accessible, secure and efficient than ever. IT professionals responsible for managing ultra-secure and performant networks (or their managed network service providers) now have the ultimate “command stations” on their desktops, with end-to-end security and control built in. They can add or disable locations, add or delete applications and services, register any endpoint (smartphone, server, sensor, etc.), initiate changes, update configurations, and even change their carriers with portability we’ve never seen until now.

Access and reporting are available remotely (and protected by Privileged Access Management features so only those who should have access to specific services, networks and devices gain access).

Dispersive’s DVN is cloud-friendly, multi-cloud designed and so flexible that integrations are possible, whether through APIs or other connectors. 

While SD-WAN is bringing greater capabilities to Smart Government and Smart City initiatives, leveraging the most resilient public network in the world (the Internet), Dispersive has created, working with government agencies for years, software-defined networking technology and services a generation ahead of traditional SD-WAN approaches.

With Dispersive’s Virtual Network technology, data gets from Point A to B Faster (generally 2-10 times faster than traditional SD-WAN and VPN solutions).

All traffic is divided into separate, independent packet streams that are each sent simultaneously across different micro-segmented, individually encrypted paths across the internet from authenticated sources to destinations. If congestion or an attack anomaly occurs, the encrypted data packet rolls to a new unimpeded path to optimize connectivity and avoid the attack or impairment.  The benefits of Dispersive technology extend to the device level, so smart city sensors, cameras, employees and citizens can all be protected.

Dispersive also makes it possible to replace costly MPLS networking with Internet (public or DIA) and broadband connections that extend to any IP connected device and distributes traffic across dynamically changing pathways to save significant operational expense and avoid DoS, DDoS, and Man-in-the-middle attacks. Dispersive works with Managed Service Providers and other authorized resellers to bring more benefits to government agencies, making smart and secure government, cities and communities possible.

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