"We are living through unprecedented times that require enterprises to accelerate the move to an online digital business and support the massive growth of remote workers," says Ghassan Abdo, research vice president, IDC's Worldwide Telecom. "SD-WAN is a great choice to support this new digital economy and address the need for a massively distributed and remote work environment."
As SD-WAN has become the primary WAN architecture, organizations are demanding solutions that deliver a better user experience while being simpler to deploy and manage.
Palo Alto Networks says Next-Generation SD-WAN takes an entirely new approach, with a solution that has the following characteristics:
- App Defined – Providing application layer visibility enabling network teams to create app-based policies and deliver SLAs for all apps, improving the end-user experience.
- Autonomous – Automated operations and problem avoidance using machine learning and data science, eliminating up to 99% of WAN and application access trouble tickets.
- Cloud-delivered – Enabling all branch services to be delivered from the cloud, including networking and security, simplifying WAN management and enabling branches to be rolled out in minutes instead of months.
Palo Alto Network’s approach to Next-Generation SD-WAN can help organizations deliver a return on investment (ROI) of 243%, according to Forrester’s Total Economic Impact of Palo Alto Networks for Network Security and SD-WAN.
New additions to Palo Alto Networks’ Next-Generation SD-WAN solution include:
- Machine learning-based capabilities to simplify network operations
- A small form factor SD-WAN appliance designed for retail and small offices/home offices (SOHO)
- A high-performance SD-WAN appliance suited for large campus locations
- Seamless integration of Prisma Access cloud-delivered security
“With cloud and multi-cloud adoption on the rise, end-user applications like videoconferencing and office productivity solutions are increasingly delivered as cloud services. Legacy WAN architectures have severe limitations, especially when organizations migrate to the cloud. First-generation SD-WAN falls significantly short in changing the economics of branch WAN infrastructure and services,” said Kumar Ramachandran, senior vice president of product management for the firewall as a platform at Palo Alto Networks.
He added that enterprises are demanding an autonomous SD-WAN solution that eliminates the need for manual operational tasks. Enterprises also need a cloud-delivered model for security and other branch services to gain cloud-scale economics. “CloudGenix SD-WAN is the industry’s first next-generation SD-WAN solution that is app-defined, autonomous and cloud-delivered. With powerful ML-based capabilities, we deliver dramatic reductions in “day two” operational costs. A customer recently told us they reduced their WAN costs by 82%,” he added.
Palo Alto Networks has added machine learning (ML) and analytics features to CloudGenix SD-WAN to simplify network operations and improve capacity planning. For instance, the system automatically identifies common root cause events when there are multiple event alarms. This dramatically reduces the time to problem resolution and increases the availability of applications.
Where possible, the system automates problem resolution as well, freeing up operators to focus on higher value activities. New analytics features make capacity planning simpler by allowing operators to easily understand what WAN connections they are using, when they are using them, and what applications are driving that use.
“Organizations are looking to the next generation of SD-WAN solutions to help them with digital and network transformation, which includes a cloud-delivered model of branch IT services delivery to add agility and flexibility,” said Rohit Mehra, vice president of network infrastructure at IDC.
“Palo Alto Networks’ SD-WAN approach enables the delivery of security, UCaaS, visibility and monitoring as cloud-services, reducing operational costs. The use of network analytics and AI/ML to provide autonomous capabilities is another area where enterprises are looking to make enhancements so they can minimize manual troubleshooting and remediation.”