It’s no secret that retail companies have been the hot button for the adoption of SD-WAN. SD-WAN was designed to fix the problems of the dispersed networks, to give stable performance, and to solve the inflexibility being locked into a carrier network – some of the most prevalent needs of a retail organizations today. SD-WAN opened the door to get better performance with lower connectivity requirements and essentially lowering overall network costs for a business.
We’ve moved into the network part 2. That network is very different and more advanced, focusing on the intelligent edge for retail locations. It’s restructuring the entire network ecosystem to be more flexible, virtual, and extremely fast. IoT is becoming increasingly important to businesses, especially those in the retail world. In every store, there’s a standard number of connection points from the WiFi to the POS system. But today, there are even more connections that are creating these “smart” stores such as beacons, mobile checkouts, RFID tracking, and more.
It’s a unique problem that’s popping up across not just the retail industry, but anywhere that edge locations are generating high volumes of data points. One of the problems that has arisen is that as big data becomes a more prevalent business practice, the network has to continue to keep up. A highly underestimated cost of the move to IoT and big data in the cloud has been the cost of increased bandwidth. Companies were not able to accurately allocate bandwidth speeds and capacity and are paying the price in bottlenecked connections and slower speeds. When IoT promises real-time results but is dependent on the cloud and the network, it fails to perform as intended.
Today’s network is moving toward SD-WAN 2.0. this means compute is moving away from the data center and back down to the edge, where it can be processed and consumed within milliseconds of its creation. Companies can scale their IoT presence without having to scale their bandwidth budget.
Ways to Get Intelligent with Your Edge Network
Virtualize Network Functions are the next simple step for companies to begin to bring compute back to their edge. VNFs include common network components like firewalls, SD-WANs, switches, etc. Hosting VNFs on a platform like white boxes or uCPE devices allows for those virtual devices to live at the edge and be managed remotely.
Moving compute to the edge
The best way to solve for poor and bottlenecked bandwidth is to move your compute to the edge. QOS has created a platform that does just that. We integrate with cloud platforms like AWS or Azure and, with our uCPE platform, bring that compute right down to the edge location. This means your compute sits right where it’s needed, just across the room, making your IoT platforms run like a cheetah.
The next few years will be dominated by new ways to make IoT and compute faster. Those ready to get started today have few options, but the ones out there, including QOS, are ready to take you into the new standard of edge intelligence.