2020 turned out to be the biggest year for Microsoft Teams adoption worldwide, as the chat-based collaboration suite clocked over 115 million daily active users. Its popularity can be gauged from the fact that 91 of the Fortune 100 companies select MS Teams as their preferred tool of choice. Needless to say, Teams has always delivered when it comes to providing a coherent and standardized collaboration and communication to organizations of all sizes, across any industry.

But what makes MS Teams the go-to choice for global enterprises? Beyond a super intuitive user-interface, Teams’ essence lies within its integration capabilities with O365, putting productivity apps such as Word, Excel, and SharePoint at its users’ fingertips. The powerful plugins enable them to edit and share files, organize group meetings, set reminders, make calls, and access other cloud-based apps such as OneNote and OneDrive — all from a single window.

A feature-rich collaboration platform making sure employees spend less time staying lost in emails and spend more time collaborating over work of any kind, whenever and wherever they are.

Traditional connectivity options to Microsoft Teams

Legacy Networks Killing the User Experience

Like any other cloud-hosted application, the network remains the most crucial and often the most downplayed element to application performance and inadvertently the end-user experience for MS Teams. Most enterprises today rely either on the public internet or MPLS to plug into their cloud-resources. So, what’s the problem with this approach?

MS Teams places unique demands on the network. It needs good bandwidth for synchronization with OneNote, software updates, file downloads, and a whole lot more. With so much traffic constantly going back and forth, standard firewalls may become a chokepoint and therefore slow down the traffic even more. It’s a vicious cycle that undermines productivity. But it’s not the design of the tool that is to be blamed. It’s the nature and modus operandi of the legacy networks and the public internet.

While the flexibility and lack of relative complexity make the internet a lucrative choice, the amount of consumer and enterprise traffic over it has quadrupled over the last few years and continues to grow. The end result? The middle-mile of the internet has become a hotbed for congestion and packet loss, which leads to sub-par performance of SaaS/UCaaS applications such as Teams.

Microsoft Teams connectivity with Aryaka virtual router

On the other hand, MPLS is not particularly a cloud-first technology. Businesses today need to stay agile in order to remain competitive. MPLS comes with lengthy deployment schedules (from three to six months, depending on your branch office locations), leaving you helpless while your employees grapple with severe application performance issues. Moreover, MPLS may also come with severe cost in geographies like China and the Middle East.

Lastly, the traditional backhauling methodology does little to improve the application performance. Instead, it adds to the delay and latency. To combat this, you must invest in CapEx-intensive WAN optimization appliances on all sites and hire IT staff to monitor network performance.

Simplify Connectivity and Improve Performance for MS Teams

Aryaka, the Cloud-First WAN was built from the ground up on cloud-first principles. It lets users connect to their MS Teams instances in 30 milliseconds or less, securely, from anywhere in the world.

Users can choose any of the three methods to optimize their MS Teams application performance:

The VO Model

A VO is an Aryaka virtual router with a public IP address and Layer 4 stateful firewall capabilities that provides an optimization container and multi-segment TCP architecture to reduce RTT. Instead of a real physical one, it creates a virtual site to hand off the traffic from the Aryaka PoP to the nearest SaaS/UCaaS entry point.

The traffic from the source rides over the private, optimized middle-mile and lands on the closest PoP to the Teams instance. The VO mechanism then replicates a virtually hosted public site on the PoP itself and performs SNAT (Source Network Address Translation), allowing the private network to go over the internet for the traffic going out to the Teams server.

This entire process mitigates the middle-mile limitations and optimizes the traffic that traverses the Aryaka core network, boosting SaaS application performance up to 20x with as low as 0% packet loss and performance degradation.

Connectivity with IPSec and Azure Express Route

Over IPSec

Aryaka’s Cloud-First WAN bypasses the public internet middle-mile and leverages a private, software-defined Layer 2 network. Through the strategic distribution of PoPs, our private network is within 1-8 milliseconds from MS Teams instances worldwide.

Our proprietary and patented optimization stack is baked into a fully-meshed private global network, freeing businesses from the hassles of maintaining and managing appliances, while providing optimized performance to cloud-hosted instances. As a result, the users get up to 40x faster Office 365/Teams performance.

Azure ExpressRoute

Aryaka is a Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute partner, so customers can select either a private connection or an IPsec VPN into their Office 365 cloud from the closest Aryaka PoP. In either case, enterprises get all the benefits of application performance from Aryaka’s global private network.

Microsoft Teams performance benefits

Azure ExpressRoute Table

About Aryaka Networks

Aryaka is the leader and first to deliver Unified SASE as a Service, the only SASE solution designed and built to deliver performance, agility, simplicity and security without tradeoffs. Aryaka meets customers where they are on their unique SASE journeys, enabling them to seamlessly modernize, optimize and transform their networking and security environments. Aryaka’s flexible delivery options empower enterprises to choose their preferred approach for implementation and management. Hundreds of global enterprises, including several in the Fortune 100, depend on Aryaka for cloud-based software-defined networking and security services. For more on Aryaka, please visit www.aryaka.com