TCF Company, a fast-growing regional retail chain, is facing a network dilemma.
Most of its data and voice traffic comes through its suburban headquarters location, which also houses its data and call centers. Lower volume — but still critical — traffic traverses to and from its two distribution centers, while the 15 primary retail stores and 10 mall kiosks need to handle bandwidth spikes during peak shopping times.
Just a decade ago, our fictional retailer would have had limited choices about how to solve its complex and diverse requirements. Most likely, a single network design — driven by cost and geographic availability — would have served the company’s entire ecosystem.
Today, more choices are available, enabling IT leaders to design flexible networks that strike the right balance of cost and performance for each location. Importantly, many are taking advantage of newer topologies to form the foundation for Software- Defined Networking (SDN), which will further optimize the management of increasingly high-bandwidth applications.
But the questions remain for IT leaders everywhere: Which network is right for me today? And, will it prepare me for the future?
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