Many businesses make their money through their branches, retail outlets or customer facing units. Your head office can have the best connection and security in the world but getting something similar to your branches can be a challenge but is vital for the success of the your business.

How does your business deal with one of your branches being offline?

With today’s demanding always-on consumers, how would one of your business centres deal with having no internet, what impact would this have on customer service and the reputation of your brand? In today’s cashless society it’s difficult to succeed for without the ability to take card payments? There are a number of solutions that could ensure you never lose your connectivity again and are always able to take card payments. In this article we discuss how SD-WAN could keep your branches running.

Most organisations look to Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) connections to provide them with a connection with a guaranteed SLA around connectivity. This is an expensive solution that is still not 100% reliable. The alternative is to harness multiple connections using SD-WAN

To achieve this  you need:

  • Have more than one internet connection into your branch. This can be as a simple as broadband or 4G sim cards. The greater range of supporting internet connections the more reliability you have and you won’t have to spend money on expensive MPLS lines.
  • Install an SD-WAN device in each branch.

Citrix SD-WAN

SD-WAN (previously called NetScaler SD-WAN) is a solution from Citrix that can be installed in your branch to provide you with a host of capability. It routes all of your internet traffic down any available connections. Many branches have a backup connection in place but they currently work in an active and passive mode lacking the ability to use both simultaneously. SD-WAN automatically decides which connection to use depending on the availability and if one route becomes unavailable it instantly swaps to the next available connection.

When a connection is lost and you are using traditional methods. You complete an IT diagnostic to identify the source of the problem, and then once identified look to manually move everything to the back up connection or when one isnt available look to get one set up as quickly as posisble, even done quickly this could be 24 hours + of connectivity lose, with SD-WAN it all happens at once. It means your down time is reduced considerably with minimum disruption, keeping your core systems running.

The benefits of using SD-WAN:

  • Reduce your internet costs as using multiple broadband or DNS connections could be a better option rather than a dedicated MPLS. See Citrix case study.
  • Improved reliability – get close to 100% reliability by harnessing SD-WAN and multiple connections
  • Better insights, you will be able to see exactly what network traffic and performance you are getting rather than the usual internet provider answer that they are meeting their SLA.
  • The ability to prioritise traffic, decide what solutions are the most important and make sure they never drop.
  • Improved customer service, never lose a sale in your branches because of a lost connection.

Poor quality connections cost your business money, lower productivity and damage customer service. To secure your branches and make sure your business stays connected, SD-WAN represents a cost effective and simple solution to a potentially expensive problem.