4. Adhering to compliance mandates
Highly regulated verticals such as healthcare, retail and financial services need to comply with some stiff rules such as PCI data security or Sarbanes-Oxley. An SD-WAN should be ideal for these verticals as the technology enables the business to create virtual overlays to segment different types of applications traffic. For example, a hospital could create a separate virtual network specifically for patient information making it much easier to comply with regulatory requirements across a distributed environment.
5. Implement secure segmentation
The concept of segmenting a network into several secure zones has always had high appeal. Segmentation enables applications traffic to be isolated for security purposes or to address unique performance requirements. However, with legacy networks, the only way to accomplish this was with VLANs and ACLs that can be difficult and time-consuming to set up and even harder to maintain as the environment changes.
An SD-WAN integrates this capability as a software feature, making it much easier to create both coarse and fine grained segments that can be defined and enforced through business intent policies. Also, because the policies aren't tied to the underlying hardware, the policies become agile and can follow a device.
For example, a hospital may have a clinician segment and as an individual goes from location to location, they will be placed in the correct zone. Segmentation can be managed centrally to ensure consistency of configurations and best practices, making it a powerful tool and SD-WANs can scale in line with changing requirements. This ability helps organisations to comply with a raft of regulatory requirements.
* Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research.
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