Palo Alto Networks First Next-Generation SD-WAN Solution For Secure Cloud-Delivered Branch

CIOReviewIndia Team | Thursday, 17 September 2020, 09:45 IST

paloaltoWith SD-WAN becoming the prime WAN architecture, there are demands arising for user-friendly solutions by organizations, they are enquiring for solutions which are uncomplicated and manageable. Aiding this, Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation SD-WAN has taken a unique approach. Palo Alto Networks solutions are characterized on –

  1. App Definition – It provides application-layer visibility enabling network teams for creation of app-based policies, delivering every app SLAs, thereby creating an improvement in the end-user experience.
  2. Autonomous – Operations are automated, where machine learning and data science give problem avoidance, 99 percent WAN and application access trouble tickets elimination.
  3. Cloud-Delivered – Enablement of branch services delivered from the cloud, which includes networking and security, WAN management simplification, giving access to branches in minutes and not months.

Approach by Palo Alto Networks gives Next-Generation SD-WAN power to help organizations in delivering an ROI of 243 percent (by Forrester Consulting).

Presently, a plethora of new additions by Palo Alto in Next-Generation SD-WAN solution is a reality – Machine learning for network operations simplification, small form factor SD-WAN for retail and small offices/home offices (SOHO), high-performing SD-WAN appliance for large campus locations, and seamless integration of Prisma Access cloud-delivered security.

Kumar Ramachandran, SVP - Product Management of Firewall-as-a-Platform, Palo Alto Networks, said, “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.”

He added, “Enterprises are now 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%.”

ML and Analytics

Palo Alto Networks has incorporated ML (Machine Learning) and analytics features to CloudGenix SD-WAN, simplifying network operations, augmenting capacity planning.

Eg: Automatic identification of common root cause events as result of multiple event alarms, reducing the time for problem-resolution, increasing the application availability. In possible places, the system automates problem resolution, freeing up operators to focus on higher-value activities. Capacity planning is simpler with new analytics features, where operators get easy understanding of WAN connections types, timings, and applications implementing WAN. Palo Alto Networks has expansion plans of ML for other future use cases.

ION 1000

SD-WAN appliance design CloudGenix ION 1000 is a powerful small form factor in retail and SOHO use cases. ION 1000 is fanless, small, and quiet for a placement in workplaces, when no equipment is there in the room. ION 1000 enables consistent and enterprise policy adhering performance controls, availability, and security for a home office with organizations re-architecting teleworking approaches for supporting remote workforces post-pandemic.

ION 9000

The largest and most high-performing CloudGenix ION 9000 by CloudGenix SD-WAN appliance till now. It delivers 2X performance of present flagship device and is ideal for large branches and campuses, supporting multi-gigabit throughput. ‘Fail to Wire’ high availability capability designed to mitigate the physical WAN outages effects.

Prisma Access Security Integration

Seamlessly integrating Prisma Access, CloudGenix SD-WAN is industry’s most comprehensive secure access service edge (SASE) platform. Integration of CloudGenix SD-WAN and Prisma Access allows customers to secure intra/inter branched traffic and traffic from the branch to any applications which are hosted in public/private clouds. Customer-advantage includes integration without up-gradation in-branch appliance hardware or software by unique CloudGenix CloudBlades platform. CloudBlades enables integration of cloud services, like Prisma Access, cloud-hosted API architecture, eliminating additional branch hardware/software requirements in the branch.

Commissioning Forrester Consulting for conducting a Total Economic Impact – TEI, Palo Alto Networks to assess the financial impact of CloudGenix SD-WAN deployment for an organization. CloudGenix SD-WAN investment represents a 243 percent ROI for a three-year period by Forrester.

“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. 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,” said Rohit Mehra, VP, Network Infrastructure, IDC.

Adam Rasner, VP, Technology Operations, AutoNation, said, “As the most respected retailers in the automotive industry for nearly 25 years, the customer experience in our stores is paramount to our business. AutoNation was facing network performance and reliability challenges as well as high OPEX costs for our legacy wide area network. We evaluated multiple SD-WAN products and it became clear to us that CloudGenix represented a best-of-breed solution in the next-generation SD-WAN space. Our experience with Palo Alto Networks has been outstanding – the store closes under the legacy network architecture one night, and opens the next morning as a CloudGenix SD-WAN location – with zero downtime. We can deliver a rich set of services from the cloud with no additional on-site support using CloudGenix ION appliances. The machine learning-based analytics along with outstanding layer 7 visibility for troubleshooting have substantially reduced our OPEX costs.”