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Virtual WAN Summit: SD-WAN ‘helping enterprises provide remote working’ in coronavirus crisis

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Companies that have already moved to SD-WAN are finding it easier to implement remote working in the face of the coronavirus epidemic, Capacity’s remote WAN Summit heard this week.

Michael Wynston, director of global network architecture at Fiserve, said: “Some users have more capacity at home than in their office, and with SD-WAN it’s cheaper than MPLS. And with the SD-WAN platform we’re getting better quality even for those users who are still on site.”

Capacity and TeleGeography have postponed this week’s WAN Summit New York until later in the year, but organised a remote summit to allow the discussion to continue ahead of the reorganised event.

Panel moderator Ciaran Roche, co-founder and CTO at Coevolve, an SD-WAN and cloud specialist, told the virtual panel (available here from the start until 30 minutes in) that the coronavirus epidemic “is causing a lot of IT departments to think on their feet”, especially for companies where some people are working remotely and some internally.

Some companies are “stuck between adopting an entire remote-working scenario”, said Leonard Bernstein, senior director at C&S Wholesale Grocers, a large US-based food supply company. “Some are struggling with upgrades that are required. We need to allow remote working to ensure folks can be productive.”

Many organisations have instituted a global travel ban, noted Michael Martin, a senior enterprise architect at McKinsey and Company, which has instituted a “very proactive and aggressive communications policy” in order to cope with the effects of its own ban.

“But we already have a very extensive remote access platform.” However that needs to cater for increased usage of interactive services, streaming media, video and other services. “We might need to upscale simultaneous video from 4,000-5,000 users to 10,000-50,000 users,” noted Martin.

Fiserv’s Wynston said: “Over the past 18 months as we’ve been moving to SD-WAN we’ve been able to push more bandwidth at less cost, because people have been using the internet, not MPLS.”

Listen to the whole Virtual WAN Summit here.  

There are three reports on the virtual WAN Summit:

‘No growth' in MPLS as enterprises move to DIA and broadband

SD-WAN ‘helping enterprises provide remote working' in corona virus crisis 

‘No alternative’ to MPLS in some places 

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