SD-WANs bring security and flexibility to enterprise networks

SD-WAN
istock

The sudden shift to remote working precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic represented a perfect SD-WAN use case. Overnight corporate wide area networks needed to expand to provide security options and reliable communications to hundreds, or maybe thousands of locations they had never previously been required to reach.

To survive, businesses needed to pivot their operating models to deliver their products and services from where their teams were locked down, to where their customers were locked down.

Organisations with multiple facilities have for many years used wide area networks to connect their facilities, to support communications and data transfer between locations and to give regional office access to head office resources. These rigid networks were ill-suited to coping rapidly with the new requirements imposed on them in response to the pandemic.

Enter the software defined network (SD-WAN), such as 2degrees’ recently launched InsightIn a SD-WAN the edge routers perform only switching and routing and implement Control and configuration of the SD-WAN is centralised and simplified. Routers are able to use multiple types of connectivity - MPLS, fixed and wireless broadband, and private data circuits — and manage them as required.

Security is centrally managed and enforced and new security policies can be instantly propagated throughout the network to bolster protection against newly discovered threats. Traffic can be prioritised for specific locations or on specific routes, and priorities can be changed in minutes from a cloud-based console if required.

Security was a focus when 2degrees developed the Insight Network and it is able to help keep data safe and manage threats. The packages include advanced firewall options, which are more important than ever in the current climate.

To develop the Insight Network 2degrees partnered with Fortinet, a global security provider and a Gartner Magic Quadrant leader. The Insight Network is a new cloud-based solution that provides larger businesses with the ability to bring sites together and move away from legacy WAN products and privately owned links between offices.

The pandemic also produced a surge in the use of cloud computing services to give distributed workforces the access they needed to resources. Collaboration tools like Zoom and Productboard saw massive increase in usage, as did ecommerce services like Shopify with people buying online instead of visiting stores.

Eighty three percent of respondents to, said COVID-19 had put more emphasis on finding more secure remote connectivity. The report also noted the increase in demand for network security triggered by the pandemic was reflected in the stock price of some security vendors doubling and tripling in 2020.

Futuriom said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on the SD-WAN market, raising awareness among enterprises of the need for a single, visible, and manageable network with secure remote-access features.

“Cloud-delivered SD-WAN and managed SD-WAN is a growing technology domain that enables enterprises and organisations to set up and manage secure WAN connections using cloud software deployment and management approaches. It has an increasing role to speed up and secure cloud connectivity and has become a dominant growth area for enterprise communications services.”

The 2degrees SD-WAN – powered by Fortinet

2degrees offers an SD-WAN, the 2degrees Insight Network, using technology from leading IT security vendor Fortinet, a well-established SD-WAN supplier with more than 10,000 customers using its SD-WAN technology.

The 2degrees Insight Network offers, out of the box, all the features of SD-WAN described above: greater visibility and control of the network, the ability to prioritise applications, and the ability to operate over any wide area communications network: all easy to configure and use.

To find out more, click here.

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