What is SD-WAN?
One of the growing trends in corporate cyber security has been the adoption SD-WAN, or Software Driven – Wide Area Network, particularly gaining popularity amongst enterprises using more and more Internet devices and applications. Considered the latest and greatest network solution, SD-WAN provides advanced networking capabilities with top-notch firewall protection, essentially giving your network a brain that extends the intent based (software driven) networking to a traditional WAN. These new and improved networks have provided superior capabilities for a number of business needs.
Who is implementing it?
Innovation in computing using the internet has forced a paradigm shift in the way corporations do business on a day to day basis. These new innovations include tools like Cloud storage for mass file storage, Skype for global collaboration, VPNs for privacy, and applications like Slack for communications. The increase in web-based tools and increase in diversity of these technological upgrades has made using, monitoring, and securing all the moving parts of a single network more complicated than ever before.
Why not a traditional WAN?
Unfortunately, the traditional WAN, or Wide Area Network, is not adequate for many of new technologies. They can be difficult to manage and offer very little visibility, especially when dealing with various locations. Until recently, a WAN connection would use technology that required proprietary hardware. A core difference of an SD-WAN is the utilization of the internet via private network, using software to manage and monitor functions and traffic that hardware originally handled.
How does it work?
SD-WAN technology effectively routes network traffic any corporate branch to the cloud, headquarters, or other branches. SD-WAN benefits include more bandwidth for less cost, centralized visibility and management tools for multi-branch networks, and presents more options for connection type and vendor selection when building out a network – including WiFi, fiber optics, or cable.
Where can I find examples?
A great of example of SD-WAN implementation comes from a case study done by our partner, Fortinet:
“Located in central Ontario, the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) was selected as a pilot board in the province’s initiative to elevate its networking capabilities. With 65 elementary schools, 11 high schools, and covering 1,600 square miles, UGDSB’s 3,000 dedicated teaching and support staff serve approximately 34,000 students.”
The School Board decided to reform the infrastructure, a primarily MPLS architecture, to an
SD-WAN using Fortinet’s FortiGate technology. Check out the full case study here.
When can I upgrade?
If you’re business is seeking improved user networking experience that’s budget friendly, consider that an investment in Fortinet SD-WAN delivers much more than a short-term fix. With it, you can confidently support more remote sites, more bandwidth-sensitive business-critical applications, more cloud services, and whatever else your network requires to drive your company’s digital transformation.
As the only SD-WAN vendor with an NSS Labs NGFW “Recommended” designation, Fortinet’s security-first SD-WAN solution delivers the most robust threat protection in the industry, including Layer 3 through Layer 7 security controls not commonly found in other SD-WAN-plus firewall solutions.
To learn more on how the FortiOS 6.0 can provide SD-WAN for greater application visibility and application performance, visit our website or contact us today for a free network consultation.