Henkel and Singtel share their SD-WAN ‘the success story’

27 June 2018 | Natalie Bannerman


Thomas Lentz, solution manager of innovative services at Singtel and Markus Feldbruegge, network consultant at Henkel, share their case study of a successful SD-WAN deployment to a existing hybrid network.

The inaugural WAN Frankfurt conference kicked off today with opening remarks from Greg Bryan of Telegeography who spoke of costs concerns, challenges and opportunities in the WAN space.

Starting off the event, Thomas Lentz, solution manager of innovative services at Singtel and Markus Feldbruegge, network consultant at Henkel, the German beauty, laundry and homecare company, shared with us ‘the success story’ that is their SD-WAN deployment.

Henkel started with 450 locations in across 70 countries, 53,000 employees from 120 nations globally. The company’s goal was to attain the agility to be fast on the market, digitalisation, short lead times and to bring everything to the business as quickly as possible.

The network, before Henkel and Singtel began implementing SD-WAN, had in most locations a hybrid network of MPLS and the Internet. As a starting point Henkel already had cloud enablement, internet offloading for all cloud-based traffic, high internet and MPLS bandwidth, the challenge was how to position SD-WAN in such a network?

Because Henkel’s existing hybrid network addressed so many of the reasons for deploying SD-WAN in the first place, the two identified a few key challenges that SD-WAN could solve these are: Application-based routeing and fully meshed networking, security, visibility and lead time.

The way in which Singtel addressed these challenges was to create an overlay network on top of the existing infrastructure independent of any providers, with a single point of visibility over the whole network.

Because of the complexities of changing existing networks to either just MPLS or just internet, Singtel was sure to keep Henkel’s existing underlying network as the key component and used the overlying network to give the increased control and above all security the enterprise greatly needed. Through the Singtel solution, they gave Henkel a security domain, full encryption independent of technology.

The next feature was centralised management to help Henkel manage all of its external warehouses, using SD-WAN they were able to take all the various connectivity types from the different sites and link them back into the network. They were also able to use to the platform to simplify the delivery and configuration. There are a few templates which can be used to speed up the process enabling deliver in a matter of minutes that can be offered through Singtel as either a managed service or as a self-service option.

The next is performance aware routing which Lentz said is one of the ‘key elements’ when we talk about SD-WAN in general and an added value to Henkel’s deployment. He went on to discuss service chaining and cloud integration. Using a SD-WAN box, which he said can be integrated into the cloud, the cloud becomes one of your sites within your network.

Feldbruegge, added that Henkel chose Singtel as its carrier of choice because of its innovation in technology around the platform it uses, cost reduction, because it is a global player and its operational experience.

Neither Feldbruegge nor Lentz see SD-WAN going anywhere in the next 3-5 years and while we are still on the journey, he sees that the majority of networks will move to SD-WAN in the future.