For many years, businesses have relied on traditional Wide Area Networks (WANs) to connect their remote branches. However, these legacy WANs can be expensive, difficult to manage, and lack the agility and flexibility that businesses need in today’s fast-paced digital landscape. This has led to many organizations seeking a new approach to networking that can provide improved performance, security, and scalability, while reducing costs and complexity.
This is where Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) comes in. SD-WAN is a solution that allows businesses to use software to manage their WANs, instead of relying on hardware-based appliances. SD-WAN uses virtualization and software-defined networking (SDN) principles to abstract the network from the underlying hardware and provide centralized management and policy control.
There are several SD-WAN case studies that show case the benefits for businesses. Some examples are improved application performance, cost savings, enhanced security, simplified network management, and scalability. These benefits are achieved through features such as Quality of Service (QoS) to prioritize critical applications, the ability to use multiple types of connections (such as broadband and MPLS) to reduce costs, advanced security features such as end-to-end encryption and micro-segmentation, a centralized management console for simplified management, and the ability to quickly scale the network to accommodate growth.
We can talk about each feature in more technical detail, however, this won’t give you a clear picture of how it can help your business. This is why we have listed below a few SD-WAN case studies which shows how different industries can leverage SD-WAN to better their processes and security.
Manufacturing: Improved application performance
Some manufacturing companies rely on cloud-based inventory management systems to track supplies and shipments across multiple locations. With SD-WAN, businesses in manufacturing can use Quality of Service (QoS) to prioritize this application’s traffic, ensuring that it always has sufficient bandwidth and low latency. This can improve the system’s performance, reduce errors, and enhance overall efficiency. The company may also be able to use SD-WAN to automatically reroute traffic to different connections if one is experiencing congestion or other issues.
Banking and Financial Services: Cost savings
Businesses in the financial industry like banks usually have a large branch network that requires them all to have connectivity. This can become costly as time goes by and requirements and more locations increase. However, if you set up a hybrid WAN using SD-WAN, businesses can drastically reduce costs of the connectivity when compared to using only expensive MPLS connections. By using broadband connections for non-critical traffic and reserving MPLS connections for mission-critical traffic, the businesses in the financial industry can save money while still maintaining the required level of performance and security. SD-WAN can also provide real-time visibility into network usage and costs, allowing the company to optimize its network usage and reduce expenses further.
Healthcare: Enhanced security
Healthcare organizations like hospitals, must deal with strict regulatory requirements with regards to data privacy and security. This is in line with confidentiality that patients are provided with regards to how their sensitive information is handled. SD-WAN can provide several advanced security features to protect sensitive patient data. For example, end-to-end encryption can ensure that data is secure in transit, while micro-segmentation can help prevent lateral movement of threats within the network. SD-WAN can also provide real-time threat detection and mitigation, allowing the organization to respond quickly to potential security incidents.
Retail: Simplified network management
Retail chains can have hundreds of stores across multiple regions, each with its own network infrastructure. SD-WAN can provide a centralized management console that allows the company to monitor and manage all of its network infrastructure from a single location. This can include visibility into network performance, security, and usage, as well as the ability to configure and manage network devices remotely. With SD-WAN, the company can reduce complexity, improve efficiency, and ensure consistent network policies across all its locations.
Businesses in the technology industry have been experiencing rapid growth and may need to quickly add new offices and employees. SD-WAN can help the company easily scale its network to accommodate rapid growth. This can include adding new offices and employees, as well as supporting new applications and services. With SD-WAN, the company can quickly provision new connections and devices, configure network policies, and monitor network performance. This can help the company remain agile and competitive in a rapidly evolving market.