Importance of SD-WAN in Security and Network Convergence

Importance of SD-WAN in Security and Network Convergence

Enterprise Networking Mag | Tuesday, March 02, 2021

SD-WAN has become the go-to network solution for enterprises' digital transformation and cloud-native IT strategies.

FREMONT, CA: The migration to the cloud makes WAN traffic flows a lot more unpredictable, with branch traffic going to several destinations, not merely corporate data centers. But legacy applications aren't going away, so businesses need to connect everything dynamically and flexibly, which is complex to do with a legacy hub and spoke network architecture. For these reasons, SD-WAN has become the go-to network remedy for digital transformation and cloud-first IT strategies.

With more complicated traffic patterns, connections to public clouds, and broadband for network transport, the threat surface has expanded significantly in recent years. Besides providing secure, encrypted tunnels between all locations, SD-WAN enables centralized policy decisions to be enforced throughout the network, mitigating the risk of human errors and exposure to increasingly sophisticated threats. Traditional security methods have focused on specific, while SD-WAN is flexible and enables embedded security throughout the network, shifting the focus to a full-lifecycle method to security, including prevention, identification, and response. SD-WAN deployments are also more flexible, with options including embedded firewalls in SD-WAN gateways, running third-party security functions as a VNF, service-chaining security functions in the cloud, or integrating with Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB).

 SD-WAN delivers the option to create a full-mesh, partial mesh, or hub-and-spoke architecture, or any combination with centralized management, abstraction, and automation. This offers enterprises the flexibility to quickly adapt to IT and the business's demands compared to conventional networks, which historically assumed few changes would be needed after installation. SD-WAN also offers network-wide application awareness, security, and policy, with vast data collection built into the network to enable frequent and rapid optimization and reconfiguration based on near real-time analysis of network and application performance and instances.

SD-WAN solution also provides centralized policy, application optimization, embedded security, public cloud integration, scalability, and integration with legacy underlay networks to simplify network migration and expansion. An enterprise portal offers simplified dashboards and extensive reporting. At the same time, managed service providers can benefit from multi-tenancy and complete access to all the complex features and functions needed for configuration and troubleshooting.

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