Top 8 Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) Solutions Tools
Fortinet FortiGateCisco SD-WANVMware SD-WANForcepoint Next Generation FirewallVersa FlexVNFCato NetworksCitrix SD-WANBarracuda CloudGen Firewall
The solution is stable.
Some of the valuable features are the firewall, IPS, web filter, and gateway capabilities. Additionally, it is easy to use and flexible.
The solution is good to use and easy to handle and manage from the centralized location or from the cloud.
If I have to give a neutral view of all the SD-WAN platforms that I have known so far, Cisco is good in routing.
VMware has been chosen by many of our customers who do not want to do a lot of complex routing in their environment and want a very easy-to-use solution. The most valuable features are simple troubleshooting, Dynamic Multipath Optimization (DMPO), and cybersecurity.
I like the IPS. IPS is the master feature. I depend on the firewall and sandbox.
Forcepoint Next Generation Firewall is very simple, easy to use, and flexible.
The division of Control Plane and Data Plane is most valuable. It can be deployed anywhere, and you can control it and configure it from anywhere. This is one of the good features of this solution.
The scalability is quite good.
It's a pretty straightforward solution.
The best feature is the backup capability, where all of the users' computers are tied into a central data repository.
The most valuable feature is its reliability.
Its ability to block incoming attacks is valuable. Its logging, traffic monitoring, and VPN capabilities are also valuable.
Its stability and SD-WAN features are the most valuable.
What does SD-WAN stand for?
SD-WAN stands for Software Defined Wide Area Network. The centralized software model provides an overlay over the WAN network, supporting applications wherever they are hosted. This includes on-premises data centers, SaaS (software as a service), public or private clouds, or hybrid on-premises/cloud environments.
Is SD-WAN a router?
SD-WAN (software defined wide area network), as a virtualized architecture, is software that sits on top of a router, improving the WAN router functionality. An SD-WAN mitigates router risks, like application performance degradation, by optimizing and remediating poor quality routes. You can add an SD-WAN solution to an existing WAN infrastructure or replace it to simplify operations.
What problems does SD-WAN solve?
Until the widespread adoption of the cloud, companies connected the different parts of their enterprise environment through physical routers. WAN routers were used to connect different branch offices with data centers, manufacturing facilities, and retail outlets. This is a reliable option but highly expensive because of infrastructure costs. It often requires dedicated bandwidth and on-premise box routers to ensure the traffic works smoothly.
Since they are not designed for the cloud, WANs may have operational challenges, including:
- Network congestion: WANs typically hold back all traffic (including cloud traffic), directing it to a hub or data center for security inspections before it is released to the network. This can produce delays.
- Packet delay and packet loss: the network congestion can cause errors in the data transmission, which result in information packets relayed with delays or simply lost.
- Latency issues: Most communication applications for streaming, videoconferencing, or virtual desktops require no lags in connection. Delays in transmission impact productivity and disturb the user experience.
- Low bandwidth requirements: Similarly, modern applications using HD video and images require more bandwidth. Increasing WAN bandwidth capability can be expensive and a hassle, as it may involve replacing the routers.
Expanding WAN capabilities usually means replacing expensive MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) with VPNs. Still, many times the VPNs come from different providers, making the network more complex to manage.
SD-WAN addresses these problems by optimizing the functionality of WAN routers through virtualized appliances. Some ways SD-WAN solves network challenges include:
- Providing application-level routing by ensuring each application receives the appropriate quality of service, security, and performance.
- Simplifying the operational environment by abstracting the logical layer from the traffic layer. Therefore, companies can avoid vendor lock-in and use multiple carriers and environments.
- Creating fluid interaction between on-premises applications and the public cloud. Eliminates backhauling traffic by enabling the remote branch to directly access the cloud.
What are the benefits of SD-WAN?
SD-WANs benefit businesses by reducing hardware costs and giving companies the flexibility to access multi-cloud services. Organizations adopt SD-WAN solutions to address networking challenges coming from their digital transformation.
Benefits of SD-WAN include:
- Improving performance: SD-WAN differentiates between types of traffic, prioritizing critical packets and delivering them through the most efficient route. This reduces packet delays and latency issues. Employees get the information they need when they need it, improving productivity and performance.
- Cost savings: Companies deploying SD-WAN can reduce the operating and hardware costs of expanding a WAN network. SD-WANs use low-cost internet access, and by being software-defined, hardware investment is reduced.
- Scalability: As organizations need to connect users and data across locations and deploy an increasing number of cloud-based applications, they need to accommodate fast-changing business needs. SD-WAN products are easy to scale up and grow as the traffic demand grows.
- Enhancement of security: Companies embracing digital transformation may find that while it improves user experience, it also can increase security risks for the network. SD-WAN solutions provide integrated security features in an extra layer that covers the entire network at the application level. IPS (intrusion prevention systems), encryption, and sandboxes help reduce the risk of data breaches, data loss, and downtime.
- Simplification of WAN infrastructure: SD-WAN centralizes network management through the controller, making the IT team’s work easier. These solutions also automate monitoring tasks and prioritize traffic.
- Enabling of cloud adoption: A company moving its network to the cloud can face a complicated process, trying to connect traffic both to the cloud and on-premises. SD-WAN enables workers to access the cloud directly from the branch, without the need of rerouting traffic to the hub. Thus, deploying an SD-WAN makes transitioning and operating in the cloud or hybrid environments easier for organizations.
- Can extend the LAN: Since the SD-WAN is scalable and supports on-premises applications, the functionality can integrate the local LAN (local area network). This protects the traffic between local devices and online resources.