5 Channel Ops: Vonage's New SD-WAN, Fortinet Stacks Up Certs

If you had any doubt that it’s time to retire Flash, behold Adobe’s massive patch dump.

Lorna Garey

December 11, 2015

6 Min Read
5 Channel Ops: Vonage's New SD-WAN, Fortinet Stacks Up Certs

Lorna GareyIf one of your resolutions for 2016 is to communicate more effectively, take a look at Josh Bernoff’s Without Bullshit blog — specifically, the post titled “How to Change a Bullshit Culture Without Losing Your Job.” Bernoff, who spent 20 years analyzing technology with Forrester Research, is passionate about eradicating bad writing. His blog, one of the few I read regularly, also features marketing tips, interviews with interesting people and political insights.  

Speaking of worthwhile reading, tech journalist Ron Miller this week posted on the Intronis blog some interesting insights into how Google is honing its enterprise cloud strategy. I agree with Miller’s analysis that Google is pivoting to take on AWS and Azure more directly. Its moves to push Google Apps for Work through a partner ecosystem (my take on that is here) should help, and Microsoft should be ready to respond.

Vonage Gets Into The SD-WAN Game

Vonage this week announced plans to launch in early 2016 its SmartWAN, powered by VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN technology. The goal is to improve performance and redundancy for businesses with a high demand for video, SaaS, virtual desktops and other data-hogging services. Vonage SmartWAN can operate over a private MPLS network or over the top of an existing broadband connection and will deliver QoS and uptime protection.

“As businesses increase the usage of video, online collaboration tools and other cloud applications, maintaining the quality of shared bandwidth becomes vital,” said Sanjay Srinivasan, vice president and chief technology architect, business engineering, for Vonage, in a statement. “Vonage SmartWAN complements the features and functionality of a company’s cloud-based unified communications solution with the added reliability they need to maintain quality of service and keep their businesses running smoothly.”

Srinivasan told me that Vonage provides its channel partners with the ability to offer customers the highest level of reliability and QoS for delivery of cloud communication services over private MPLS networks or via dual-broadband public Internet connections. SmartWAN, in combination with Vonage’s national MPLS network of 20 POPs and the ability to provide network-to-network interfaces to the largest broadband providers in the country, will further that effort.

Vonage SmartWAN will also allow for more visibility into a customer’s network through its back-office system.

Fortinet Racks Up Awards

Channel-focused security provider Fortinet announced this week a series of third-party certification and validation test wins, including the Advanced Threat Defense (ATD) Certification from Verizon’s ICSA Labs, which offers vendor-neutral testing and certification. The company says it has received more third-party competitive and performance-based product recommendations from research and testing labs than any other network security vendor.

“With today’s complex and ever-increasing cyber threats, businesses want to know that the vendors and solutions they choose can deliver on the promises they make,” said Ken Xie, founder, chairman of the board and chief executive officer at Fortinet, in a statement. “Third-party validation provides our customers with an independent, objective measure by which to judge security solutions in this highly competitive environment.”

FortiMail achieved a VBSpam+ award from Virus Bulletin in its November 2015 comparative testing, ranking second in spam detection with a final score of 99.98. FortiClient also scored high marks in the Virus Bulletin VB100, an independent comparative testing of antivirus products, in the Reactive and Proactive (RAP) average over October 2014 to April 2015. This test measures the chances new malware will be detected by the current signature as well as the detection of one- to three-week-old malware. Web Content Filtering with FortiClient received an Advanced+ rating on the August 2015 Anti-Phishing Test by AV-Comparatives, the highest score possible.

The ICSA Labs ATD award, which recognizes products that catch malicious threats that traditional security products may miss, goes to Fortinet’s Advanced Threat Protection Framework.

If you’re considering reselling an advanced threat protection suite, it’s worth reading through the ICSA Labs’ certification testing criteria, updated this week. At minimum, these products must detect a high percentage of new, emerging and little-known malicious threats in a timely manner, clearly log that a malicious threat has occurred and avoid misidentifying innocuous activity as malicious — false positives breed nonchalance.

Now the question is, where will the Fortinet rig surface next?

Adobe Flash: Breach Waiting To Happen?

Customers still using Flash may want to adopt new security measures, judging by themassive number of patches released by Adobe this week. The updates affect all platforms; Chrome and Edge users are not off the hook. While the company says none of the 56 exploits addressed is being exploited, they are now public, so make sure you address any instances of Flash running in your and customer networks. SC Magazine offers good analysis. Adobe credits a long list of researchers for notifying it of problems that including stack overflow vulnerabilities, memory corruption flaws and buffer overflows. On the list: Anonymous and others working with HP’s Zero Day Initiative, Natalie Silvanovich of Google Project Zero, Microsoft, Palo Alto and others.

Bottom line: The only good Flash is disabled Flash.

Dell Protects AD in Azure

Let’s face it, not much will ruin your day faster than Active Directory going south. And, extending the service across a hybrid setup is a challenge. To help, Dell announced this week additions to its popular Recovery Manager suite to support item-level Active Directory recovery, comparison reports and attribute rollbacks in Microsoft’s Azure cloud, and to ease disaster-recovery testing by automatically creating a virtual AD lab using production data.

Recovery Manager for Active Directory and version 8.7 of Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition enable customers with hybrid on-premises/Azure AD setups to view and restore changes to objects, including doing DNS and Group Policy object restores on prem. Recovery Manager for Active Directory will also integrate with version 1.1 of Dell InTrust’s IT Search, due by year’s end. Together the products will enable security teams to run audits and investigate changes to Active Directory objects and, if needed, restore AD objects to their previous states and synchronize those changes to Azure. Recovery Manager can also automate recovery of a forest or domain.

The solutions are available both direct and through channel partners.

Dark Side of SaaS

The 2015 Global Application Performance Survey released by Riverbed Technology this week finds that 89 percent of 900 business executives at companies with $500 million or more in revenue say poor performance of enterprise applications has negatively impacted their work — 58 percent say it happens at least weekly. Ouch. The survey also asked executives what they’d sacrifice for applications to work at peak performance at all times — 33 percent would give up their full lunch breaks, 32 percent would also give up a portion of their program budgets and 29 percent would give up caffeine. Now that’s drastic.

Perhaps not surprisingly, nearly all (96 percent) of respondents use cloud-based applications in their work, and 84 percent say use of cloud-based apps will increase over the next two years. Eighty-three percent say they believe troubleshooting application performance issues is more difficult in a hybrid IT environment. They’re right — complexity is a big factor in APM. On average, respondents estimate it takes seven hours for serious problems to be completely resolved. Continued growth in SaaS sales will depend on partners ensuring acceptable performance.

Entries are open now for our fourth annual Channel Partners’ 360° awards program. Follow editor in chief @LornaGarey on Twitter.

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