Are you a mid-market organization with multiple locations, multiple cloud services, and a complex network?
If so, you would benefit from learning more about SD-WAN.
In simple terms, what is SD-WAN?
Software Defined Wide Area Network is a significant advancement in the technology of WANs.
The key to SD-WAN is the centralized control using a software application (Software-Defined). Virtual networks are created on top of the hardware network.
The main benefits our client seek are prioritizing their business application and better utilization of their internet connections.
What Drives SD-WAN Adoption?
Preparing for the Future
Traditional WANs were great at connecting environments of the past that rarely changed. Traditional WANs were not built for today’s cloud environment.
For more advanced networks, expensive dedicated bandwidths, such as MPLS, were often required along with expensive on-premise hardware.
Benefits of SD-WAN
Single management platform
Better cloud access
Businesses are no longer “traditional”. We have more locations, more devices, more remote workers, and a lot of electronic data and applications on-premise and in the cloud. We also have better internet speeds and more options at lower costs.
Companies with complex networks are looking for efficiency and simplicity. Technology has improved tremendously and the availability and use of more secure “Next-Generation” technology and expanding cloud options push companies to look for improvements in automation and flexibility.
Your business and cloud applications can be prioritized with SD-WAN, giving you control and making sure your vital business applications get top priority.
Efficient Use of Internet Connections
Instead of having 1 main connection and a backup failover connection, you can aggregate your multiple internet connections and prioritize traffic to improve bandwidth, availability and resilience.
Cost is a major driver in the migration to SD-WAN. Typical savings range from 20-40% over traditional WAN technology. With improvements in bandwidth, the savings will grow. You also have softer cost savings in terms of engineering resources and reduced downtime with multi-link balancing and failover.
SD-WAN can reduce the often-growing cost of MPLS. SD-WAN can automate application traffic routing based on real-time monitoring. It can route traffic over multiple data services (MPLS, Cable, 4G/LTE, etc) and boost capacity of less expensive data services.
Calculate your potential savings using this Secure SD-WAN ROI Calculator from Fortinet
SD-WAN solutions have become increasingly popular as organizations request fast, scalable, and flexible connectivity among different network environments. Businesses seek to lower the overall total cost of ownership (TCO) while preserving user experience. But the wrong SD-WAN solution can significantly inhibit an organization’s ability to quickly adapt to changing business demands, not least because it creates new security headaches.
Better analytics and reporting
Here are five requirements for a Secure SD-WAN solution that’s flexible, scalable, and fit for the needs of today’s distributed enterprises. (fortinet.com)
It goes beyond the branch.
SD-WAN is perhaps best understood for supporting complex branch deployments and helping organizations reduce their reliance on branch routers and other legacy technologies. Effective SD-WAN solutions go well beyond branch office needs, however. Their functionality can extend to the home office and teleworker use—especially appliances with built-in LTE for consistent connectivity—and among distributed clouds. SD-WAN solutions also need to come in virtual versions that are available in multi-cloud environments and have deeper integration to enable cloud on-ramp, enabling efficient SaaS adoption.
It offers intuitive orchestration and zero-touch deployments.
Both of these features enable faster configuration rollouts at scale, often within minutes, to enable the best possible performance of collaboration applications such as VoIP, videoconferencing, and various SaaS applications, even for remote users based far away from the corporate data center. Orchestration enables overlay (VPN) automation for the most complex network with intuitive workflows.
It prioritizes critical applications and enables self-healing WAN.
Connectivity alone isn’t enough, especially in a remote work-heavy environment. A solution needs to identify a broad set of applications to meet all use cases, while advanced self-healing WAN automation will provide consistent user experience on any transport for any user. Many SD-WAN solutions only support limited use cases, limited numbers of users, and/or specific environments. Caveat emptor.
It includes integrated security.
The difference between SD-WAN and Secure SD-WAN is that the latter is a solution, while the former is a connectivity offering providing another conduit for the bad guys to attack your network. An overlay security solution can’t adapt to dynamic connectivity environments; security needs to be embedded into each SD-WAN device, enabling home users, branch office users, and the data center to use a common set of security policies and enforcement criteria. In true Secure SD-WAN, networking, connectivity, and security functions are so tightly integrated they’re the one solution meeting three needs, instead of three discrete solutions.
It offers comprehensive analytics and reporting.
A Secure SD-WAN solution needs to help organizations gain visibility into network and application performance (both real-time and historical statistics). That includes enhanced analytics as well as enhanced compliance. A single console and rich SD-WAN analytics can help customers fine-tune their business and security policies to improve the quality of experience for all users.
Not all SD-WANs are the same.
Fortinet is recognized as a challenger with the highest ability to execute in the 2019 Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure.
Fortinet Secure SD-WAN enables organizations to solve the secure communications problem for distributed locations quickly and easily. It is easy to manage, agile, reliable, flexible, and ultimately secure. Fortinet is the only vendor with a custom-designed ASIC to provide the fastest application identification and steering in the industry while providing connectivity and advanced security capabilities 10 times faster than the competition. Fortinet is the market-share leader in providing security solutions to the distributed organization.
The SD-WAN market has become overcrowded, and there is a lot of noise that confuses customers.
Fortinet Secure SD-WAN delivers the lowest TCO at $5 per 749 Mbps—eight times better than the average TCO from all other vendors. *2
Unlike most SD-WAN vendors, Fortinet provides fully integrated security.
Fortinet received a second consecutive SD-WAN “Recommended” rating in the NSS Labs SD-WAN Group Test Report. *3
|Business Challenges||Fortinet Solutions|
|Complex operations||Fortinet Secure SD-WAN simplifies operations by consolidating point products in a single solution that boasts a zero-touch installation with automated provisioning. This reduces risk, improves operations, and tightens security. Fortinet SD-Branch also decreases the total cost of ownership (TCO) with one console instead of many, eliminates silos, and simplifies management for wired LAN/ WLAN, SD-WAN, and security via a single pane of glass.|
|Poor application experience||Fortinet provides an optimal user experience. Application-aware Secure SD-WAN can route applications across the most efficient WAN connection at any given moment. This is an especially important feature for business-critical applications.|
|Network/security conflicts||With Fortinet, network and security capabilities are managed together via a single pane of glass that provides visibility and control over all branch offices and remote locations. Simplified protection and monitoring extend all the way to the network edge.|
|Budgetary constraints||Fortinet reduces the cost of moving from MPLS to direct internet connectivity. Fewer products to manage, less product expertise required, and lower overall maintenance requirements further reduce overall TCO.|
*2 “Fortinet Receives Second Consecutive NSS Labs Recommended Rating in SD-WAN Group Test Report,” Fortinet, June 19, 2019.
Fortinet Case Study – https://www.fortinet.com/content/dam/fortinet/assets/case-studies/cs-batteries-plus.pdf