Business & Technology
Software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is quickly becoming a topic de jour. There are over 60 SD-WAN vendors in the market today, and the number continues to rise. Sorting through the different options can be difficult, an undertaking that I hope to help facilitate in my presentation at the SD-WAN Summit 2018 conference later this month at the Novotel Convention and Spa in the Paris suburbs.
My presentation will examine the four different SD-WAN architectural options, as delineated by Gartner in the Research Note—“Secure SD-WAN: Integrated NGFW Security with WAN Transformation.” Gartner acknowledge that “... the future of SD-WAN lies in…balanced security and advanced WAN capabilities.”
Gartner delineates four architectures for securing SD-WAN:
· SD-WAN With Embedded Firewall
· Firewall With Embedded SD-WAN
· SD-WAN With Cloud-Based Security
· SD-WAN With Third Party Firewall
Fortinet Secure SD-WAN aligns with three of the four architectural options: “Firewall With Embedded SD-WAN”, “SD-WAN with Cloud-Based Security,” and “SD-WAN With Third Party Firewall.” Each architecture solves different business requirements and come with varying characteristics in terms of costs, operational complexity, security properties, and suitability for specific use cases.
Architecture Pluses and Minuses
Here is a quick breakdown of all four of these architectures:
Fortinet SD-WAN Solutions
Selecting an SD-WAN solution needs to be based on the specific circumstances of each deployment. However, considerations need to take both an immediate needs and longer view. You don’t want to select a solution that limits your architectural choices in the future.
Fortinet Secure SD-WAN offers some distinct advances to both end-user customers and service providers in terms of flexibility. For end-user customers, the Firewall With Embedded SD-WAN approach—implemented with FortiOS and FortiGate NGFWs—offers existing end user customers the option of adding SD-WAN services to their existing IT portfolio at no additional cost, while simplifying the deployment and management of both SD-WAN and security services through a single management console.
For security service providers, Fortinet SD-WAN offers the attractive (and economically disruptive) possibility of offering their customers low-cost SD-WAN services as an add-on to their managed security services. This can not only help managed security services providers (MSSPs) positively differentiate themselves from peer competitors, but also help them sharpen their competitive edge against network service providers attempting to move in on their security business.
The lines separating established categories of IT products and services are beginning to blur. Fortinet Secure SD-WAN demonstrates the power of FortiGate NGFWs to deliver software-defined services beyond the market’s current expectations for “security” products.
I welcome this prospect of change for a couple of reasons. First, the history of computing is one of faster-less expensive-more multifunctional products displacing higher priced, more limited functionality alternatives. Second, integrating security with SD-WAN brings us closer to the day when security and IT service delivery will have completely converged. The world will be a much better place when we can be confident that digital transformation of business can occur without disproportionate expansion of the global cybersecurity attack surface.
To learn more, readers should check out our Fortinet Secure SD-WAN solution page. Also, if you happen to be in France at the end of September, I would be delighted to see you at my presentation or to meet up with you at the SD-WAN Summit event.
Visit Fortinet’s FortiGate SD-WAN homepage to learn more about this advanced security solution.