In time of pandemic, Fortinet preaches gospel of SD-WAN technology

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Silicon Valley-based network security firm Fortinet recently held an online forum where its top executives highlighted the benefits of its SD-WAN technology, which is an acronym for software-defined networking in a wide area network (WAN).

Put simply, SD-WAN simplifies the management and operation of a WAN by using software and a centralized control function to more intelligently steer or direct traffic across the network.

According to Fortinet, the dawn of the “new normal” and modified working conditions of many organizations around the world has made the amalgamation of integrated security, routing, and software-defined WAN in one appliance, more appealing.

“SD-WAN is not just for the branch, it’s an important technology for the entire end-to-end enterprise. With applications for work-from-home, campus-to-cloud, data center-to-cloud, and the ability to connect clouds together, Fortinet Secure SD-WAN is a hugely impactful technology that improves user experience and drives cost efficiency and time savings for organizations,” said John Maddison, Fortinet EVP of products and chief marketing officer.

Maddison emphasized that Fortinet is not just a fast-growing SD-WAN provider, but it is also the only major player in the market with an internally developed offering that provides security and networking housed in a single solution.

Martin McManus, CIO for Kennards Hire, said their organization’s “legacy WAN infrastructure was too complex to achieve our digital innovation goals” and turned to Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN solution to improve the performance of its applications and connection to the cloud.

Fortinet said its Secure SD-WAN comes in a neat package of the FortiGate next-generation firewall that can be managed by a remote workforce with minimum IT staff and infrastructure resources.

“Through a centralized Fabric Management Center console, configuration rollouts are done within minutes, ensuring better performance for SaaS applications and voice and video conferencing,” the company said.

Fortinet said its Secure SD-WAN solution can be deployed from large-scale data centers down to appliances designed for branch offices, remote sites, and even small home offices.

In a home office setup, Secure SD-WAN is offered as a desktop appliance with built-in LTE while FortiGate 40F makes sure that business critical activities like customer video demonstrations run on applications smoothly and without a hitch. In the case of teleworkers especially, the availability of scalable performance regardless of local network availability holds vital for quickly and efficiently accomplishing related tasks, it said.

Some of the new capabilities for Secure SD-WAN’s FortiOS 6.4, include enhanced analytics in the form of both real-time and historical statistics for network and application performance, a new SD-WAN orchestrator that simplifies deployment and help organizations with manual management of legacy routers, and dynamic segmentation for the configuration of unique policies and rules for each network/user.

Based on Gartner’s March 2020 SD-WAN market share report, Fortinet ranks third globally for highest revenue market share at 10.4% for the Enterprise WAN Edge Equipment.

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