Fortinet ‘Staking Our Name’ Around New Secure SD-WAN for Branch Networks
Fortinet’s enhanced Secure SD-Branch solution is the vendor’s latest attempt to raise the bar on security to the WAN and access edge for the distributed enterprise, the company announced Monday.
The new enhanced Fortinet Secure SD-Branch is a unified WAN edge, secure Wi-Fi, and switching and network access control solution that secures the WAN and access edge in an integrated and automated fashion from a single console. The vendor’s latest offer extends the Fortinet Security Fabric and the benefits of SD-WAN to network access, converging WAN and security into a single platform.
“We don’t know anyone else in the market that can deliver the SD-WAN, the security, the switching, the wireless and the [network access control] (NAC), all in an integrated and easy-to-use fashion,” Peter Newton, Fortinet’s senior director, products and solutions, told Channel Futures. “We’re staking our name around this new SD-Branch solution as the way for companies to secure and manage the branch office.”
The SD-WAN infrastructure market is poised to reach $4.5 billion by 2022, according to IDC. “The emergence of SD-WAN technology has been one of the fastest industry tranformations we have seen in years. Organizations of all sizes are modernizing their wide area networks to provide improved user experience for a range of cloud-enabled applications,” said Rohit Mehra.
According to a recent Juniper survey, 98% of IT decision makers are using or considering an SDN solution, with many seeing SD-WAN as an entry point. Security is top of mind for SDN and SD-WAN.
Here’s what’s included in the Secure SD-Branch solution:
- Network edge protection: FortiGate’s next-generation firewall security is extended through the access layer with FortiSwitch and FortiAP. New Wi-Fi 6 FortiAP Access Points offer greater capacity and throughput to keep up with expanding bandwidth needs. New multi-gigabit FortiSwitch switches offer higher power (PoE) to run even the power-demanding IoT devices.
- Device edge protection: The FortiNAC network access controller provides automatic discovery, classification and security of IoT devices as they enter the network. The new FortiNAC release 8.6 increases anomaly detection via traffic scanning by leveraging FortiGate as a sensor, with no additional hardware required at the branch.
“The exciting thing about this for us is that its via an integration with our firewall so the firewall does the actual traffic sensing, sending the information back to the FortiNAC for analysis,” said Newton. “This creates a branch solution that offers a higher level of security than is currently available but [does] so in a way that’s manageable and simplifies the effort of the strained IT organizations out there dealing with the expanded threat landscape at the branch office.”
As partners are trained on SD-WAN and talk to their customers about it, extending the conversation to SD-Branch allows them to do a couple of things: First, increase the deal size.
“With an SD-WAN, you’re going to sell a certain number of firewalls to the branch locations, and if you extend that out to replacing the LAN infrastructure, partners can triple the size of the overall deal while still bringing greater value and capability to the customer,” said Newton.
Another benefit to partners is that this new offer defines the solution that the customer wants.
“We’ve seen this happen several times in opportunities where the customers put out an SD-WAN bid, the partner shows up, and as they go through the discovery process, they meet with the customer and show them what SD-Branch can do for them. The customer then shifts their deal so that it requires the SD-Branch functionality — and that puts the Fortinet partner as the only one who can deliver this type of solution,” said Newton.