Enterprises are currently facing challenges regarding the price, performance, and flexibility of traditional wide area networks (WANs).
Aggressive growth and adoption of cloud services and SaaS applications, along with an increasingly mobile workforce accessing applications in the cloud, are stressing traditional WANs to the breaking point. The enterprise is discovering a more agile, responsive, cost-effective and less complex way
to communicate reliably among locations: software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs).
With this lightweight replacement for traditional WAN
routers and firewalls, expensive static hardware can be replaced with more cost-effective connections such as broadband internet, providing improved provisioning times and enhanced branch uptime. But direct internet access in the face of growing cyber threats means that SD-WAN must incorporate advanced network security such as next-generation firewalls.
Around the world businesses are facing an expanding number of locations that require high-speed reliable bandwidth for voice, video, Internet and data applications. This is especially true for branch office locations where user expectations of always-on connections intensify the IT challenge of managing multiple sites with varying infrastructure. Coupled with an exponential increase in the number of devices, users, and cloud-based applications, their branch network WANs are stretched to the breaking point.
The average enterprise has roughly a third of their applications running in the cloud, and a quarter of their workforce regularly working remotely, while overall business traffic is growing 20% per year. Distributed enterprises want to avoid backhauling traffic from data centers and start using direct Internet access for cloud applications, improving performance and overall productivity.
Cost and Agility Concerns
Traditional WANs were built for a time when requirements remained relatively stable, and the cost and effort required to implement changes could be absorbed. Today, resource and workload allocation shifts constantly, calling for quick and flexible changes that are all-but-impossible with brittle, inflexible traditional WANs.
In addition, traditional approaches such as MPLS are costly to implement; use of lower-priced
broadband access links on an appliance is the preferred approach. When coupled with an on-demand consumption model, the cost-savings can be impressive.
Another related trend is the growing complexity of dealing with legacy MPLS networks. By reducing complexity, through fewer point products, centralized management and zero-touch deployment, SD-WAN can result in tremendous savings in time and resources.
We all know that cyber threats are increasing in volume and sophistication. Cyber criminals are increasingly targeting new distributed networking paradigms.
Without the traditional layer of security provided by backhauling traffic via the data center, SD-WAN customers will need proven security measures to protect direct Internet access at remote sites.
When converting to SD-WAN, it is important to ensure that security capabilities foundin next-generation firewalls – such as intrusion prevention systems (IPS), anti-malware and URL filtering – are in place to protect against the most advanced cyber threats.
As these performance needs increase, traditional WAN infrastructures become dramatically more expensive, complex to deploy, and difficult to manage.
As evidence of this problem, 70% of customers say that their existing WAN is brittle, slow, expensive, and not effective for cloud adoption, Traditional WAN performance comes at a premium because it is almost entirely limited to expensive circuits like multiprotocol label switching (MPLS).
Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN solution offers a single appliance that delivers next-generation security along with advanced WAN capabilities across the entire network.