Business & Technology

Fortinet Wins Over Customers With Its Distinguished Secure SD-WAN Solution

By Nirav Shah | August 05, 2019

As organizations increase the use of business-critical cloud-based applications and infrastructures, IT teams are also becoming increasingly attuned to the benefits of extending these tools to remote locations through software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) architectures, a network segment now referred to as the WAN Edge. In fact, because the need to provide the services and applications being generated by digital transformation to the WAN Edge is accelerating so rapidly, the global SD-WAN market is projected to reach $4.5 billion and grow at over 40% CAGR by 2022.

SD-WAN offers accelerated connectivity, cost savings, and increased performance for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications. However, organizations are also growing to realize that in order to meet evolving compliance and business requirements, SD-WAN solutions must also provide comprehensive security and management. Until recently, the lack of a comprehensive security package built into SD-WAN solutions has made adopting it a challenge for some organizations. Without an integrated security solution, organizations have been forced to add security as an overlay solution, creating significant overhead for security teams and leaving gaps in protection as security and management systems remain isolated.

Fortinet's Secure SD-WAN is one of the only solutions to be fully integrated with advanced security controls to meet the growing demands of today's connected businesses. It’s the only architecture that provides an integrated SD-Branch solution where a single-pane-of-glass controller allows for the unified management and orchestration of WAN, LAN, and security functionalities.

To highlight the value that Fortinet brings to the SD-WAN market, we have compiled three recent customer success stories of Secure SD-WAN and SD-Branch deployments across various industries:

Expansive Pioneer Bank

One of the major pioneering banks in the Middle East was looking to enable secure direct internet access with end-to-end segmentation. And with 100 branches and over 150 ATMs in place, they were also interested in delivering high-quality application experiences across their many branches and multi-cloud deployments.

After starting their digital transformation journey at the WAN Edge, most of the bank's applications and digital channels were moved to the cloud. In the wake of this cloud adoption effort, however, they began to notice that remote branch locations were suffering from gaps within their security posture. Also, a growing number of point products at the WAN edge made intraday operations complex, making it difficult for security teams to manage those remote sites at scale. The network infrastructure team was also dealing with a lack of visibility and control over applications, along with a lack of application performance over broadband.

To address these challenges, the financial organization underwent multiple proofs-of-concept with various vendors before turning to Fortinet Secure SD-WAN. We were able to showcase simple, single-pane-of-glass management to meet the organization's SD-WAN, NGFW, and segmentation requirements across their numerous branches, ATM locations, datacenters, and multi-cloud environments. Their current deployment with Fortinet now spans two datacenters, one disaster recovery site, 100 branches, and over 100 ATM locations, allowing them to meet their business goals today and into the future.

Major Home Retailer

One of Africa's largest retailers of furniture, household appliances, and home entertainment, with thousands of employees and numerous retail brands, aimed to reduce WAN Edge costs by replacing MPLS links with an SD-WAN solution while hoping to maintain a high-level application experience.

Fortinet was able to demonstrate our Secure SD-WAN’s ability to consolidate WAN solutions with LAN-Wireless and Access Switching solutions to help reduce costs and simplify operations across the company's 1,000+ branch locations. We also helped provide a high-quality experience across business-critical applications with Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN Mutli-Path intelligence capabilities, and helped ensure futureproofing with cloud optimizing capabilities for applications across multi-cloud environments.

The overall deployed solution included nearly 1200 FortiAP, over 700 FortiSwitches, and nearly 1,000 FortiGate solutions, combined with FortiManager for centralized management, FortiAnalyzer for centralized logging and analysis, and FortiCare support services.

Large District School Board

A major Canadian school district was looking to enable secure direct internet access for each of their 80,000 students and guarantee a consistent application experience across data center and public cloud deployments, all at a low cost.

After receiving mandates that required they delegate 1 Mbps of internet access to every student in the district, and due to their desire to extend consistent application experience across cloud environments, the school board sought out a unified solution that could provide security and SD-WAN with SSL inspection. During vendor evaluations, Fortinet prevailed against the competition due to our unique architecture that provides unified SD-WAN and SSL inspection capabilities within one single-pane-of-glass management solution.

Their final deployment included 150+ FortiGates with SD-WAN optimized for remote school bandwidth requirements, FortiManager for centralized management, FortiAnalyzer for integrated logging and analysis, and FortiGuard services with FortiCare support for all remote school locations. Fortinet was not only able to align with the district’s business goals, but was also able to achieve cost savings by consolidating multiple key services into one management platform.

Final Thoughts

As the SD-WAN market continues to grow, it is imperative that organizations remain aware of the importance of security. Fortinet's Secure SD-WAN solution is the first to full fully integrate security and networking – including routing, SD-WAN, a full security suite, WAN optimization, and integrated management – into a single SD-WAN solution designed to meet the actual demands of the growing WAN Edge market. We work to cost-effectively ensure the integrity of connected environments without compromising on functionality. When it comes to offering a fully integrated, simple, and secure solution, no other vendor can compare to Fortinet Secure SD-WAN. 

Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN solution includes best-of-breed next-generation firewall (NGFW) security, SD-WAN, advanced routing, and WAN optimization capabilities, delivering a security-driven networking WAN edge transformation in a unified offering.

For more customer stories, read these case studies to see how Warrior Invictus Holding Co., Inc. and the District School Board of Niagara implemented Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN to alleviate network complexity, increase bandwidth, and reduce security costs.