How SD-WAN is Used by Brooks Brothers, Riedel Networks, Lush, Thailand Government Savings Bank and Plusnet: Case Studies
Many business leaders rely on a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) to provide their employees with the essential network connectivity and stability they need to get their jobs done.
An SD-WAN allows customers to use various connectivity solutions to help users access applications and services within an online infrastructure. SD-WAN also has centralized control functionality to direct network traffic, ensuring consistently high performance and availability.
Below are five case studies of how SD-WAN technologies have helped organizations in different industries:
1. Riedel Networks
People are increasingly looking for ways to use cars differently. What if a person could remotely pilot a delivery vehicle or a taxi? If they did it from a centralized control center, this capability could solve the driver shortages that are causing problems for the transportation industry.
Michael Resl is the director of competition and technology at ITR, which promotes the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) grand touring car series. Resl had a pioneering vision to prove what is possible for the future of remote control vehicles. He wanted to launch an event where a person would maneuver in an electric racing car while being more than 80 km from the moving vehicle.
Riedel Networks was the chosen service provider to turn this idea into reality. Julia Kirk, the company’s Special Projects and Offerings Manager, explains how reducing latency was a critical goal.
“Obviously, latency is everything,” says Kirk. “Our driver in Graz would need a low latency connection to the vehicle on the track. At 150 km/h, 20 milliseconds latency in the connection translates into one meter traveled. We cannot lose this connection for a moment.
The company chose Cisco’s SD-WAN and Catalyst 8300 Edge platform to build the infrastructure to control the car and manage data transmission. Cisco’s Catalyst Cellular Gateways provided the redundant backup connection, while the primary SD-WAN provided 5G connectivity with multi-gigabit connectivity up to 3.3 Gbps.
These technical solutions offered the remote driver uninterrupted connectivity with the car, including all of its audio and video streams and performance statistics. The round trip time on the vehicle network was 2 ms. Also, getting the car into the pit lane without a driver shows the potential for the future.
Industry: Network Services
SD-WAN Products: Cisco Catalyst 8300 Series Edge Platform, Cisco Catalyst Cellular Gateways
- Reduced need for on-site technical support
- Reliable connectivity allowed for high-speed car
2. Brooks Brothers
Brooks Brothers is a well-established apparel leader. The company’s leaders wanted to modernize its Internet infrastructure in order to maintain its competitiveness in a difficult market. With a small IT team, decision makers wanted a simple but effective solution.
After doing some research, they decided to migrate to an SD-WAN solution and chose VMware to implement it. The executives launched a trial in a retail store and, following its success, they decided to expand the implementation.
“Our migration to SD-WAN has made life much easier for IT staff, allowing us to implement best practices across all retail locations and reducing network errors,” said Manny Stergakis, Technical Architect at Brooks Brothers.
Prior to making these upgrades, Brooks Brothers stores experienced periodic outages that prevented transactions from completing and lost point-of-sale sales. Thanks to the installed technology, the company can detect outages and redirect traffic in less than a second.
The retailer can also segment its online traffic by intent to different places, whether it’s a customer browsing the Brooks Brothers website or the company’s internal traffic that needs to go to its data centers. . Using SD-WAN allowed the company to move to VoIP phones. This reduced their hardware footprint by getting rid of traditional telephone switches.
“Brooks Brothers prides itself on being more than just a store for our customers, in keeping with its long and storied history and heritage,” Stergakis says. “With SD-WAN, we are able to take our inherited traditions and values and prepare them for the future by delivering a superior experience.”
SD-WAN Products: VMware SD-WAN, VMware SD-WAN Orchestrator, VMware SD-WAN Cloud Gateways, VMware SD-WAN Edges
- Increased efficiency for retail transactions and new store integration
- Support for in-store online browsing with high-speed availability
- Improved network performance and visibility
3. Thai Government Savings Bank
Today, consumers are increasingly connected. Consider that from October 2019 to May 2021, there was a 38% increase the number of appliances per household. Executives at Thailand’s Government Savings Bank (GSB) have felt pressure from their customers for digital services and convenience.
Leaders pursued SD-WAN during their goal of becoming an all-digital social bank. The organization’s legacy infrastructure was limiting data transfer to the cloud and interfering with its digital transformation.
The executives chose an SD-WAN solution from Huawei that would help them meet today’s needs while planning for the future. Huawei’s comprehensive service offerings have helped the company be ready to work with emerging technologies, such as 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The solution also allows for zero-touch configuration, which means it’s easy to install and maintain the system with limited supervision from on-site crews.
“GSB has 1,060 branches nationwide,” said Boonson Jenchaimahakoon, GSB Senior Executive Vice President.
“The amount of data we must pass on to our branches are increasing every day. To eliminate distance as a barrier, we need interconnect technology that allows all branch staff to work as if they were sitting at the head office. The Huawei SD-WAN solution enables GSB to connect branches by seamlessly and quickly transmitting data between bank branches nationwide. No matter where the branch is located, everything is connected by a comprehensive communication network.
Industry: Financial services
SD-WAN product: Huawei SD-WAN
- Transparent data transmission between all bank branches
- Accelerated service deployments
- Reduced operating and maintenance costs
4. Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
Technical failures can make it difficult for followers of Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics to pay for its products. This problem happened all too often when each store had a single Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) circuit that connected to mission-critical applications in the data center.
Brad Candy, director of technical operations for the brand, recalls the time before Lush moved to SD-WAN, saying, “The best we could do was fall back on manual trading. This bachelor the point of failure has become detrimental to the company.
However, the company’s selected SD-WAN solution offered automated circuit failover in less than a second, preventing any long-term outages.
The technology rollout began with 21 LUSH stores in the UK and Germany, and was completed in less than five weeks. The gains were substantial. Candy mentions a particular incident in a store in Manchester, England, after the SD-WAN was installed.
“Generally, we find that card payments are faster and availability has been a big improvement,” says Candy. “Recently, our store in Manchester lost its MPLS connection, but the store did not notice there was a problem on the network. The store continued to operate as usual during the six weeks of outages.
“SD-WAN allows us to assure the entire retail industry that this technology makes their lives easier.”
Candy also claims that the increased visibility offered by the SD-WAN management console has been a game-changer for faster fault detection. This benefit allows in-store staff to focus on serving customers, while IT specialists work behind the scenes to pinpoint and resolve the issue.
SD-WAN Products: Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform, Aruba Unity-Orchestrator centralized management console
- Network optimized for inventory management and payment systems
- Eliminate store downtime due to brownouts or outages on single WAN network circuits
- Using network segmentation allows stores to maintain payment card compliance
Maintaining a competitive edge often means expanding service offerings to meet emerging customer needs. Plusnet executives determined it was time to provide an SD-WAN solution for a customer segment that needed it.
Company executives chose the Juniper Networks Session Smart Router to achieve this goal. They realized that this solution created a flexible, application-aware network fabric that would result in a secure, high-performing, and readily available infrastructure.
“With our SD-WAN service, we can offer something to customer they could not have before: transparency on the performance of their applications”, explains Sascha Bülow, technical architect, Plusnet.
One of Plusnet’s first SD-WAN customers needed to connect 1,600 clients. However, the company was able to meet this requirement and provide scalability for the future. It also provides the reliability and connectivity choices needed for users in remote locations.
“Plusnet’s SD-WAN service improves the performance of customers’ applications and gives them maximum agility. Juniper Session Smart Router, the foundation of our SD-WAN service, is a game-changer for us,” says Bülow.
SD-WAN product: Juniper Networks Session Smart Router
- Extended connectivity offerings for customers
- Excellent scalability for current and future needs