Azure Virtual WAN

If like many customer you have branch offices throughout the UK or indeed world you’ll know the cost and effort involved in getting theses small but just as important offices connected to your cloud environment. A common model is the hub and spoke, connecting your smaller branch offices over VPN connections back to your head office and then onto Azure through your Site-to-Site VPN or ExpressRoute or maintained many VPN Site-to-Site connections directly into Azure.

Well Microsoft have announced ‘Azure Virtual WAN’ – a SDWAN (Software Defined Wide Area Network). Azure’s virtual WAN will allow for Internet bound traffic to quickly reach Microsoft’s backbone network using intelligent routing to connect to the closest Azure edge site (there are over 130 so you’ll never be far away). Connectivity works by connecting your CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) – your VPN device through to the Azure Virtual WAN service using automation connectivity and configuration management. 

As the service is still in public preview you will need to ask Microsoft to register your subscription into the preview. You can do that here.

As part of the preview Microsoft are working with all the big names in connectivity and WAN/VPN technology – Citrix and Riverbed with more coming from CheckPoint, Barracuda & Paloalto etc. coming soon.

During the preview you’ll get access to:

  • Virtual WAN and virtual hubs: Create a virtual WAN and deploy virtual hubs in any Azure public region. A hub is where network traffic initially terminates before heading to another branch office or an Azure Virtual Network (VNet).
  • Connectivity automation: Remove the overhead of managing large numbers of VPN Site-to-Site connections  by allowing your preferred CPE to automate the branch provisioning, configuration management and connectivity setup.
  • Automated VNet configuration: VNet configuration allows you to easily connect your VNet to your hub so users in a branch office can access their Azure resources.
  • Troubleshooting and monitoring: The platform monitors your on-premises connections providing a unified experience to manage your Virtual WAN along with your Azure resources.

Well worth checking out if you have branch offices!

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