Business & Technology

Fortinet Beats the Competition with its Robust Secure SD-WAN Solution

By Nirav Shah | February 14, 2019

According to IDC, organizations are increasingly relying on SD-WAN to “intelligently automate how application traffic is delivered to branch sites, moving away from traditional hub-and-spoke WAN architectures and the backhauling of Internet- and cloud-bound traffic to on-premises datacenters,”* and instead, they look to use broadband Internet breakout and mobile transport solutions such as 4G/LTE and 5G  to more efficiently and cost-effectively deliver applications, including rich media and latency-sensitive applications such as voice and video.

The advantages of an SD-WAN solution are increasingly being recognized by organizations, and as a result, adoption continues to outpace industry estimates. Revised forecasts now predict that SD-WAN will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 40%, with IDC predicting the SD-WAN market to hit $4.5 Billion in just the next three years.*

Increasingly, organizations also realize that to meet compliance and business requirements, their SD-WAN solutions also need to provide consistent security and management. Fortinet is one of the only be fully integrated with advanced security to ensure the integrity of connected resources without compromising on functionality.

This becomes even more critical as organizations move towards merging their branch WAN and LAN services together. To achieve this, the software-defined branch needs to combine elements of SDN and network virtualization into a software-based service that runs on a single platform that includes routing, critical network functions and applications (such as voice, video, Wi-Fi, and Internet), and comprehensive network security. Those functions also need to be seamlessly integrated into today’s complex distributed networks, including multi-cloud.

Fortinet's Secure SD-WAN solution is the first to combine world-class, fully integrated security into an SD-WAN solution to meet the growing demands and requirements of today's connected businesses. It is the only solution from the more than 60 SD-WAN vendors that provides a fully integrated SD-Branch solution where WAN, LAN, and security functionalities can all be managed using single management controller.

Here are three recent Fortinet success stories of Secure SD-WAN and SD-Branch deployments that help emphasize the value that Fortinet brings to the SD-WAN marketplace:

Global Energy Company

One of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, with over $200B in revenue, was looking for a cost-effective way to provide direct connectivity between their over 18,000 fuel stations located around the world. Their goal was to reduce MPLS overhead while extending a “cloud first” strategy across their infrastructure.

Some of the challenges with their existing solution included an aging hub-and-spoke network that had issues supporting newer applications, a lack of integration between their WAN edge and LAN devices, and their concerns about the lightweight security running on their remote routers.

The solution they were looking for needed to provide SD-WAN functionality, seamless LAN connectivity, and enterprise-class security. After an extensive bake-off between leading SD-WAN solutions, Fortinet was awarded the project to provide SD-WAN connections to their global family of fueling stations.

Features that won this deal included link fail-over support for Office365 and custom applications, advanced security for direct connectivity. Fortinet was also able to extend this functionality to the SD-Branch using Fortinet Access Points (APs) and Switches. And finally, Fortinet was the only vendor able to provide a single, integrated management solution for the entire deployment.

Major Retailer

One of Europe’s largest footwear retail chains, with nearly $6B in annual revenue, was looking to refresh their LAN and WAN infrastructure to ensure better visibility, security, and management across their entire network of locations. Their goal was to leverage the functionality of SD-WAN for application steering, but they needed a solution that combined integrated security with SSL Inspection.

They also needed a Data-Center VPN Concentrator that could support 40,000 VPN tunnels with 20GB VPN performance, deep integration with APs and Switches, and due to a lack of IT staff at their stores, zero-touch deployment of all the devices at their more than 4,000 retail locations.

In their broad bake-off between vendors, including many that claimed to provide security along with SD-WAN functionality, only the Fortinet SD-WAN solution was able to meet their security requirements. Their final refreshed WAN Edge and LAN solution included a UTM appliance with all security features, including sandboxing for each shop along with 3-5 APs, edge switches, and powerful Data-Center VPN concentrator.

Large Supermarket Chain

One of the Netherlands largest supermarket chains, with over $8B in revenue and over 900 stores, was looking to reduce their MPLS WAN OpEx spending as well as implement consistent security across their WAN and LAN solutions deployed at every store. On the WAN side, their goal was to replace their current MPLS solution with SD-WAN, and for their LAN they wanted to upgrade the weak security they had in place for their Point of Sale (POS) systems as well as support and secure the increasing number of third-party IoT devices in their stores.

FortiGate beat out the competition due to our ability to combine Secure SD-WAN and advanced network security into a single solution. We were able to provide Secure SD-WAN as a WAN Edge solution, extend the SD-Branch through our APs and Switches, and because of the deep technical integration between FortiGate and FortiSwitch, we could enforce security on every port in the store without having to install endpoint security on PoS and IoT devices. This was especially valuable because many of their IoT devices, such as coolers and freezers, were owned by third-parties, so installing security on them wasn’t an option. And we were able to support all of this through a single management solution for all of their stores.


While SD-WAN continues to grow, organizations are also quickly realizing that not all SD-WAN solutions are alike. Implementing a flexible and adaptable solution requires deep integration with WAN and LAN functionality, support for high-performance VPN connectivity, and deep, integrated security that can be tied back into local and WAN-based security solutions to support an increasingly complex mix of network, Internet, and IoT solutions. When it comes to providing a complete, fully-integrated, highly secure, and easy to deploy and manage solution, no other vendors come close to Fortinet's Secure SD-WAN solution.

*Source: IDC, Worldwide SD-WAN Infrastructure Forecast, 2018–2022, doc #US44182618, August 2018

Learn more about Fortinet's secure SD-WAN solutions. 

See how Upper Grand District secured their network by transitioning to an SD-WAN environment.