Cisco assesses the top enterprise SD-WAN technology drivers

Cisco SD-WAN customer National Instruments touts benefits of the technology: Speed, efficiency, security, cost savings

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Cisco this week celebrated the second anniversary of its purchase of SD-WAN vendor Viptela and reiterated its expectation that 2019 will see the technology change enterprise networks in major ways.

In a blog outlining trends in the SD-WAN world, Anand Oswal, Cisco senior vice president, engineering, in the company’s Enterprise Networking Business described how SD-WAN technology has changed the network for one of its customers,  test and measurement systems vendor National Instruments. 

“The existing WAN greatly constrained video conferencing, slowed large software transfers, and couldn’t provide acceptable application performance,” Oswal wrote.  Implementing SD-WAN turned those issues around by:

  • Reducing MPLS spending by 25% while increasing bandwidth by 3,075%
  • Categorizing traffic by function and type, sending backup traffic over the Internet under an SLA, eliminating bandwidth bottleneck on MPLS circuits
  • Reducing the time for software updates to replicate across the network from 8 hours to 10 minutes
  • Adding new internet-based services used to take months, but with the agility of SD-WAN, new services can be deployed in the cloud immediately
  • Eliminating the need for call -dmission controls and limiting video quality for conferencing

National Instruments' bandwidth requirements were growing10 to 25 percent per year, overwhelming the budget, Luis Castillo, global network team manager told Cisco in a case study of the SD-WAN project. “Part of the problem was that these sites can have very different requirements. R&D shops need lots of bandwidth. One site may have a special customer that requires unique segmentation and security. Our contact centers need to support mission-critical voice services. All of that is dependent on the WAN, which means escalating complexity and constantly growing costs.”

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