How 6 top SD-WAN and SASE vendors are evolving

Cisco, Versa, Fortinet, VMware, HPE, Palo Alto Networks envision new SD-WAN features related to 5G, AIops, automation

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New features: In December, Aruba introduced a new EdgeConnect Microbranch solution. With the rise of remote working, this solution was developed to provide remote workers with an in-office connectivity experience by extending SD-WAN and SASE security services via a single access point.

With EdgeConnect Microbranch, IT departments can ensure the employee experience is consistent no matter where workers are located, while also accelerating troubleshooting and maintaining corporate protections by extending on-campus Zero Trust and SASE security frameworks to the home office/small office.

Roadmap: HPE’s future plans include accelerating the ability for their customers to consume Networking- and Security-as-a-Service. HPE will continues to develop SaaS offerings that provide on-demand usage, a consumption-based billing model, self-service capabilities, and elements such as network routers, switches, gateways, and firewalls.

Palo Alto Networks: 5G and stronger AIops support

Current market position: Palo Alto Networks captured 5.1% of the market in the first half of 2021, according to IDC, based on revenues of $86.8 million. That represented a year-over-year increase of 19.3%.

Palo Alto Networks entered the SD-WAN market with its acquisition of CloudGenix in 2020. It has a number of named customers, including Salesforce, AutoNation, and Aaron’s.

Current SD-WAN/SASE offerings: The foundation of Palo Alto’s Prisma SD-WAN solution is Instant-On Network (ION) devices deployed at both branches and central sites. Its AppFabric software consolidates WAN resources (MPLS, broadband, cellular), giving enterprises the ability to create policy-based connectivity for each application and site. ION devices automatically establish secure connectivity among sites and continually monitor the health and performance of WAN links and applications, dynamically choosing the best performing path. Autonomous Digital Experience Management (ADEM) manages the digital experience for mobile users. It enables organizations to gain end-to-end visibility from the management console without the need to deploy additional agents or appliances.

Palo Alto’s Prisma SASE integrates the SD-WAN capabilities from Prisma SD-WAN with cloud-based SASE security capabilities, including ZTNA, Cloud SWG, CASB, and FWaaS.

New features: In 2021, Palo Alto introduced several new security capabilities, including such CASB features as real-time data and zero-day protections. To accommodate hybrid workforces, it also integrated CSWB capabilities to offer web security rules with predefined recommendations and continuous assessments.

Palo Alto released a new version of ION, the ION 1200, which includes 5G support. This gives organizations the ability to deliver 5G WAN connectivity to branch networks as part of the Prisma SASE solution, including the ability to run active/active 5G WAN interfaces for carrier redundancy. Palo Alto also added AIOps capabilities to use ML and analytics to automate IT operations. AIOps provides real-time analysis and detection of IT issues.

Roadmap: In the coming year, Palo Alto plans to invest in a range of additions and upgrades to its SASE/SD-WAN portfolio. These include bandwidth-on-demand service models that give users the flexibility to move bandwidth across branches, home offices, mobile users, etc.; deeper integrations between security and SD-WAN; and further enhancements to multi-cloud and collaboration use cases.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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