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Increase Productivity with Fortinet Secure SD-WAN

  Greg LaBrie     Mar 17, 2020

49817284_l-sd-wan-minSophisticated business models require networking solutions that offer high-performance without increased complexity. As the need for interconnectivity across all sections of business continues to rise, enterprises are increasingly turning to secure SD-WAN for their networking needs.

Organizations with multiple locations are prime candidates. Traditional networking models built around WAN routers and fixed MPLS connections cannot provide the highly flexible and scalable access that organizations like these need for cross-organizational collaboration.

Whether the need is to increase access to cloud-based applications and resources, internet access, or to amplify on-demand connections to other users, Fortinet Secure SD-WAN can meet it.

From internal development to consumer product

When considering a SD-WAN solution, it’s important to address the challenges of connectivity, security, and management. Overcoming these challenges was considered paramount when Fortinet first approached SD-WAN.

Fortinet Secure SD-WAN began development as an internal solution in response to Fortinet’s own growth over the last several years, which included an expansion of brand offices across the globe. To support this growth, Fortinet Secure SD-WAN was created to integrate and simplify local brand networks, while also meeting the need for centralized management, visibility, and security.

Secure SD-WAN functionality accelerates access to applications and ensures connectivity, while also increasing network security through allowing real-time inspection and policy enforcement for all traffic.

Additionally, applications within the cloud, which can have negative effects on user experience, are prioritized and forwarded on using the highest performing WAN link available.

When implemented internally, Fortinet saw, “An 80 percent reduction in the time required to configure each new WAN deployment, a 75 percent reduction in ongoing WAN edge maintenance time, and potentially thousands of staff hours saved due to automated load balancing and policy management for distributed branch office networks.”

As a commercial SD-WAN solution, with advanced routing and WAN optimization capability, it meets or surpasses industry-best standards, which ensures consistent and high-performance connectivity, advanced application steering, real-time load balancing, and seamless connection failover. As an added step, the full suite of FortiGate security solutions are combined to ensure that all SD-WAN traffic is secured, without impacting business applications.

Fortinet Secure SD-WAN connects retail locations

A major retailer in Southern Africa, with more than 1,000 locations, thousands of employees, and several private brands, turned to Fortinet Secure SD-WAN for its WAN and branch requirements.

Its objectives included upgrading existing MPLS connections to improve interconnectivity, implementing direct internet access from each location, and reducing WAN Edge costs without sacrificing application experience.

Due to a need for point-of-sale services at the majority of its branch locations, the retailer required the local LAN to be PCI/DSS compliant, with specific security in place to protect the customers’ personal data. Other SD-WAN providers were unable to meet this challenge without introducing multiple point products at each location.

In contrast, because Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN appliances are built on a FortiGate NGFW network, each device is able to provide secure connectivity while also providing essential NGFW and ISP capabilities as part of Fortinet’s SD-Branch solution.

The retailer’s WAN Edge objectives were achieved while still complying with strict PCI/DSS regulations. Additionally, its LAN architecture was simplified by consolidating networking and security point products into one device. As a result, the retailer was provided an integrated network and security solution that provided all of the services needed at every branch location.

By offering optimized application experience for multi-cloud, PCI/DSS compliance, and consolidation of WAN and LAN functions at a lower TCO, Fortinet was able to win this opportunity and provide the retailer with an all-in-one solution.

Retail locations can have requirements that not only include typical SD-WAN connectivity functionality and application access, but additional security needs for communications and local networks for each branch that require management. Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN and SD-Branch solutions provide a full range of needs while also reducing appliance footprint to ensure organizations can compete in today’s evolving economy.

Ready for a complete secure SD-WAN solution?

Fortinet’s SD-WAN functionality, combined with comprehensive security, provides organizations with a proven and tested solution. With 21,000 deployed customers, Fortinet has transformed WAN edge architecture to deliver optimal user experience while reducing complexity.

NEXT STEPS: If you’re ready to make the change now, contact WEI and we canhelp architect the right SD-WAN solution for your business. If you're still gathering information about SD-WAN, check out the checklist below from Fortinet that provides six reasons why Fortinet Secure SD-WAN is the right choice for your organization.

Get the Checklist - 6 Reasons Why Fortinet Secure SD-WAN is the Right Choice

Tags  Fortinet SD-WAN

Greg LaBrie

Written by Greg LaBrie

Greg LaBrie has more than twenty years of network architecture and engineering experience designing networks that exceed technical requirements, improve operational proficiency and reduce total costs of ownership. As the Director of Technology Solutions for WEI, Greg is responsible for building WEI practices in the areas of Data Center Infrastructure, Storage, Backup & Recovery, Networking & Security and Cloud & Virtualization. Greg holds a number of technical certifications for HPE, Cisco, Fortinet, and much more.

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