Let Your Software Define Your Branch Operations

February 04, 2019

By Bill Yates, Communications Correspondent

The expansion of SD-WAN programming to branch locations is the next big thing in networking, according to a panel discussion at SD-WAN Expo in Fort Lauderdale.

At the SD-WAN track of the conference yesterday, a group of experience communications experts participated in a panel discussion on the adoption of SD-WAN software for managing branch locations.

Participating in the discussion were Paul Congdon (News - Alert), chief technology officer at Tallac Networks, and Mark Palmer, vice president of relationship development at Granite Telecommunications.

Also included were Mike Thompson, consulting systems engineer for Aruba and Alfredo Avilez, international product marketing manager at Claro (News - Alert) Enterprise Solutions.

SD-WAN software allows you to simplify management, control and visibility across campuses and branches. With SD-Wan branch software, you can manage your platforms and technologies together in one package.

Thompson says the trend is away from the centralization of IT resources and toward dispersion. “SD-WAN is a tool that allows you to prioritize applications across your environment,” he says. The software also is useful for establish centrally-controlled firewalls within your branches.

According to Congdon, employing SD-WAN technology allows you to:

  • Break down barriers to IT success;
  • Develop new products more quickly;
  • Incorporate vendors into your development;
  • Produce open, flexible systems that are cost effective.

Extending those SD-WAN operations to your branches lets you project technical expertise where none previously existed. “It’s important to be able to take complete control of the branch when you need to,” Congdon says.

Avilez says its about improving the quality of service afforded to your branches. In order to properly deploy SD-WAN technology at the branch level, he says you should:

  • Map your application architecture;
  • Determine your management priorities;
  • Match your customer profile to your applications;
  • Continuously analyze your communications algorithm.

“Do the right projects, and do the projects right,” he says.

Palmer says “SD branch is going to be the next thing people are talking about.” The ability to extend your operational control to the branch level is there, and people are ready to take advantage of it. The only question is which form will it take in your organization.

Congdon says that software-defined networks are becoming increasingly open sourced. “Everyone would like to have a little more flexibility” that you gain using open-sourced software, Congdon says.

Problems that can be solved by installing branch-wide SD-WAN software include network congestion, packet delay variation and packet loss. With the use of SD-WAN software now becoming accepted procedure, the next step is to expand the technology throughout your company branches.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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