Every major enterprise uses the Internet at its core; from Amazon and Google, to Apple and Microsoft. High-quality network performance can make or break a business in the modern world, impacting on the effectiveness of any given service. In fact, a recent SanDisk study found the average company employee wastes approximately a week’s worth of time each year due to slow computer networks.

It’s no wonder, then, that accelerated cloud access and intelligent routing are being adopted at a rapid rate across the board. BGP's inherent routing and network limitations can be overcome by constantly monitoring all available destinations across the public Internet. Networking corporations have started to offer these services for business customers; we can check for congestion, poor quality, broken links, and anything else not working as expected.

Network cables
– Thinkstock / pixelnest

How does it work?

The Internet - which is normally a best-effort, no-guarantee platform in terms of availability - can be optimized with routing intelligence, improving overall performance and cost management across a wide range of industries.

Your standard Internet connectivity hub operates through a router, a few internet transits and connectivity to internet exchange points. The border gateway protocol (BGP) automatically selects a geographically short route for traffic without taking any other metrics into account. However, intelligent routing engines take a somewhat different approach - additional software-defined intelligence can alter choices made by the BGP.

Using a network of cloud acceleration hubs, which actively probe all public Internet IP prefixes, it is possible to simulate user traffic and create a dynamic topology of the internet. These hubs calculate the best possible path for transferring data and information.

To make an analogy between basic Internet and intelligent routing decisions, it's a bit like a static map versus GPS in your car. GPS supplies detailed traffic information to work around any roadblock en-route, sometimes shaving hours off your journey.

Who benefits?

There are three main problems that smart routing works to solve: availability, performance and cost management. The end result is enhanced connectivity between remote offices and data centers, or private clouds. In the retail industry, for example, intelligent routing might speed up customer browsing and e-commerce portals.

Just look at a recent network management overhaul at Coreix. Previously, while their BGP architecture ensured optimum hops on all routes, it was unable to automatically route around latency and packet loss. By introducing cloud acceleration and intelligent routing, Coreix could automatically perform more than 2.2 million optimizations – and avoid more than 160 BGP blind failures across the company network – simply by making smarter decisions.

It’s also important to note that, while intelligent routing can be implemented across many different types of network, its added value is most prominent when software defined networking (SDN) is applied to the wide area network (WAN), to provide SD-WAN .

Many companies are making the switch from MPLS, (multi-protocol labeling system) to SD-WAN, taking advantage of cost savings and network design flexibility. SD-WAN is a way to build multiple paths into a remote office through multiple Internet access points. However, with so many paths available in an SD-WAN network, packet loss and delays must be avoided by selecting the best route at the best time with minimum competitive traffic.

Intelligent routing can actually choose the best path for an SD-WAN underlay. When customers move from an MPLS network, intelligent routing can ensure that they maintain guaranteed SLS and service quality.

The bottom line

Companies will typically see a surge in user productivity after implementing cloud acceleration and intelligent routing technology, best illustrated by a rapid reduction in the number of tickets directed to technical support. That’s because intelligent routing ensures the best possible connectivity to applications, data centers or between offices 24/7.

The bottom line is that faster downloading and uploading of files, as well as uninterrupted access to cloud applications, can vastly improve employee efficiency and enhance your customers’ online experience. The human workforce no longer needs to be held back by technical hiccups or subpar Internet speeds.