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Small Business Firewall and SD-WAN

Integrated next-generation firewall and SD-WAN ensure businesses achieve optimal network performance and strong security to protect against new and old attacks

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An integrated next-generation firewall (NGFW) and a software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) ensure businesses achieve optimal network performance and strong security to protect against new and old attacks.

An SD-WAN is different than a hardware-centered WAN that is based on traditional routers. An SD-WAN uses software to steer traffic across the WAN. This is done using alternate routing methods instead of relying solely on traditional protocols like Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). As a result, SD-WAN can handle traffic in a far more intelligent manner, which gives your traffic the right kind of priority, quality of service, and security that your small or midsize business (SMB) needs.

SD-WAN is also more convenient to use when it comes to the hardware needed to run it. In many cases, you only need an industry-standard server—either a traditional one or one in the cloud. For SMBs, this means you can combine a firewall and SD-WAN while minimizing the initial investment in hardware.

The enhanced control SMBs experience with SD-WAN comes from the way it is set up. The architecture of SD-WAN logically separates the applications, as well as the control and management functions from the WAN services, such as multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), broadband internet, and Long-Term Evolution (LTE).


 

Integrated Firewall and SD-WAN for Small Businesses

Protect the Network and Provide Optimal User Experiences

As users interact with data in new ways across multiple devices and cloud-based applications, businesses can quickly become exposed to attacks and theft if left unprotected. Ensure users are performing their best while keeping them safe by combining industry-leading NGFW technology with SD-WAN from Fortinet.

[Industry-leading Security to Cost Ratio $2 per Protected Mbps]

For an SMB, this means the SD-WAN solution can do a better job of maximizing throughput according to what certain applications or processes need. When combined with a firewall, an SD-WAN system is simultaneously a robust traffic management system and a flexible, reliable security solution.

 

Small Business SD-WAN Security

Learn how Fortinet protects your network with industry leading next-generation firewalls while enabling expansion safely with integrated SD-WAN.

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The Data and Control Planes are Separated

With a traditional network, the control plane resides inside a switch or router. This makes it difficult for an administrator to control how data flows through the network. SD-WAN takes the control plane outside the hardware box and puts it into a software environment. This allows an administrator to manage the traffic flow across the entire network from one central location.

For smaller businesses, this can be crucial for smooth, uninterrupted operation. In some cases, limited bandwidth or bandwidth-heavy processes can bog down a network or form time-consuming bottlenecks. With SD-WAN, traffic is intelligently routed to where it needs to go and when. In the case of many smaller businesses, this may mean significant savings because there is no need to purchase extra equipment or bandwidth. The SD-WAN keeps your networking expenses under control—an essential facet of an SMB plan.

 

Compatible with Commodity x86 Hardware

Smaller businesses need to control their computing expenses whenever possible, and SD-WAN can make this easier with its compatibility with commodity x86 hardware. With commodity computing, an administrator can take advantage of a number of low-cost computers running in a series within a parallel computing structure. 

The units can be powered by AMD x86 hardware, which is a more cost-effective solution yet more than sufficient. Because SD-WAN is compatible with x86 hardware, a smaller business can enhance their network without significantly increasing their budget.

 

Virtualization

As much as possible, SMBs must enhance control of their networks—even down to a granular level—without hiring large teams of people. This can be a challenge if there are several aspects of the network that must be managed at the same time. To solve this problem, an SD-WAN equipped with a small business firewall uses virtualization to enable a single person to attain maximum control without sacrificing security.

In a typical small business WAN setup, the controls for each piece of hardware running the network have to be accessed by interfacing with each piece of hardware, one at a time. This can be time-consuming, to say the least. The virtualization employed by SD-WAN allows many controls of several components to be managed simultaneously in one central location. 

For a small business, this may eliminate the need to hire an extra person because all the controls an administrator needs are right there on one screen, at their fingertips.

 

Manage Virtual Network Functions (VNFs)

VNFs control specific network functions like firewalls and load balancing. SD-WAN for small business allows you to incorporate VNFs in your setup. You can string them together to create a 100% virtual environment, which can add a helpful layer of control for the administrator.

Learn how Fortinet protects your network and enables expansion with integrated SD-WAN capabilities.

Key Benefits for Your Business

There are several benefits for SMBs that use SD-WAN. Among these are the time an SD-WAN setup can save and the opportunities presented by the technology itself.

 

Save Human Resources and Time

Managing a network can be a labor- and time-intensive process. This is particularly true for a smaller business that is growing or needs to make systematic or infrastructural changes to maintain agility. 

The vendor that provides the SD-WAN service runs it. This lifts a significant burden off the shoulders of a network administrator. Because a seasoned professional is managing network traffic, the internal administrator has one less thing to worry about.

Also, the time saved, thanks to the external management of the SD-WAN, can be reinvested in other important projects. In smaller businesses, the input and expertise of IT professionals can be put to work to develop and implement revenue-generating ideas. An SD-WAN can give the IT team the time it needs to dive into ventures that enhance the business’s bottom line.

 

Integration with a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A VPN is a tool used by many SMBs to enhance ease of use, connectivity, and scalability. A VPN can serve as a hub, connecting multiple locations to the same network. An SD-WAN can underpin an existing VPN. In this way, one SD-WAN can benefit multiple locations at the same time.

For smaller businesses, this can eliminate the expense associated with consolidating multiple locations into one larger central office. With an SD-WAN, you can keep smaller satellite operations small and inexpensive without sacrificing how data traffic is managed. This gives you the freedom to consolidate when—and if—you need to.

 

Diverse, Comprehensive Application Management

In a traditional small business WAN, conventional routers have to backhaul traffic to a central hub or data center so it can undergo security services. The backhauling process may be necessary if an organization is using cloud infrastructure as well. This takes extra time and may result in delays—or less-than-optimal performance—that negatively impact productivity.

An SD-WAN, on the other hand, enables an organization to support applications hosted in various environments, including on-premises data centers and private or public clouds. This opens the way for the seamless, smooth management of a wide variety of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, which include everything from customer relationship management (CRM) systems like Zoho and Zendesk to accounting services like QuickBooks and Xero.

Also, in companies that use online video or music production services, which are notoriously data-demanding, an SD-WAN can be used to optimize traffic in a way that facilitates smoother operation, considerably enhancing employee workflow.

 

Security Consolidated

Combine multiple security solutions and SD-WAN into a single device. The consolidation SD-WAN brings to your network management can be further enhanced by the security of a business firewall. When used in conjunction, you get a convenient, safe system that gives you more throughput for your buck.

 

Management Simplified

Cloud-based management enables configuration, analytics, and visibility across the FortiGate and connected devices.

With an SD-WAN, an SMB gains centralized control over some of the most important aspects of their network’s management and security. Network configuration is handled for you and optimized for top performance. Analytics provide insight into potential threats and whether your network is working to maximize its capabilities. 

This may reveal ways to increase productivity or enhance the user’s experience, allowing a smaller business to get the most out of its workforce.

 

Better Experiences for Less

Integrated SD-WAN offers application steering, cost savings, and performance. With application steering, you can route different applications and their traffic in ways that take into account what the application needs to achieve optimum performance. SD-WAN can therefore reduce or eliminate latency, the effects of packet loss, or other factors that prevent peak performance.

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