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Have you heard of SD-WAN?

News > Have you heard of SD-WAN?

Have you heard of SD-WAN?

 

Late last year, clothing retailer The Gap began converting to a new method of connecting its 3,700 stores in a corporate network. At the time, the Wall Street Journal reported that The Gap "is able to connect 25 or more of its stores per night, a pace that previously would have been unimaginable. Each store also has connections with about 10 to 15 times the bandwidth it had previously. Network upgrades or changes can all be done remotely which makes administration much easier. The routers let Gap segment its network, a security technique."

The new network is also about 50 percent less expensive than the previous wide-area network (WAN), as these multi-site systems are called. The technology behind Gap's new approach is known as SD-WAN, or software-defined WAN. Software monitors all network traffic, determines the most effective way to route it and makes changes on the fly, even between carriers. The shifts are so fast and seamlessly that users are unlikely ever to notice.

SD-WAN also allows centralized network control. This greatly reduces the need for manual configuration of devices at far-flung locations. But the real savings stem from the software's customization and its lightning-fast adjustments of traffic flow, maximizing the potential of your connections. Administrators can choose to send low-priority data over cheaper public Internet connections, and reserve private links for critical traffic like VoIP. This allows businesses that rely on expensive T1 and fiber connections to switch to cheaper coaxial and DSL lines and see dramatic increases in upload and download speeds.

One client we're working with was able to reduce monthly connection fees by $3,500 per month, a savings of almost 50 percent. That doesn't even include the potential savings from the centralized control over devices at all of the company's branches.

SD-WAN is an emerging technology. "By year-end 2017, at least five global carriers will have incorporated SD-WAN as a key component of their managed network service designs, up from zero today," according to TechTarget.

At Concord Technology Group, we are positioning ourselves as an early adopter of this great technology. To learn how you can benefit from SD-WAN, contact Scott Minor.