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The many benefits of SD-WAN for today's networks

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What vertical industries can benefit from SD-WAN deployments?

SD-WAN deployments can benefit a number of industries, providing improved performance and lower costs. Expert Lee Doyle looks at three of the top SD-WAN verticals.

A wide variety of vertical industries can benefit from software-defined WAN technologies. In general, the more...

dependent a given organization is on IT applications that require communications with the company's distributed locations, individuals and devices, the greater the potential benefits it can realize from an SD-WAN deployment.

SD-WAN uses software and cloud-based technologies to simplify the delivery of WAN services to the branch office. Software-based virtualization enables network abstraction that results in the simplification of network operations. SD-WAN deployment enables IT and business managers to easily and quickly deploy internet-based connectivity -- and the benefits of ubiquity, high bandwidth and low cost -- along with reliable, secure and high-quality results.

Examples of vertical markets for SD-WAN deployment

The following are some leading examples of SD-WAN deployment in specific verticals:

Retail. Retail organizations with brick-and-mortar operations rely heavily on point of sale. Providing in-store Wi-Fi for customers is a general requirement, as is strong security for credit card operations. Retail organizations run on thin margins and can potentially lower WAN costs by leveraging SD-WAN capabilities to run on internet connections that can reduce or eliminate MPLS costs.           

Banking and financial services. Financial services organizations like banks continue to rely on local branch operations to serve their customers. These branches require reliable, secure communications with central data centers. Financial services firms are using SD-WAN to deliver hybrid WAN -- typically, a mixture of MPLS and internet -- to improve security, reliability and performance.

Manufacturing. Manufacturing organizations rely on distributed plant networks tied to centralized data centers to control their IT operations. Their key requirements for SD-WAN deployment include network segmentation to isolate specific product lines, division or contract manufacturing, the ability to connect devices or things on the plant floor, and the ability to support a range of WAN links like 4G LTE to connect in remote areas.

Next Steps

SD-WAN and NFV help the data center

SD-WAN takes on WAN optimization

Build an SD-WAN business case

This was last published in January 2017

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