WatchGuard expands SD-WAN capabilities to its Unified Security Platform
WatchGuard has released version 12.3 of its Fireware operating system for its Firebox Unified Security Platform appliances. This features dynamic path selection capabilities to optimise WAN resources across complex, distributed networks while securing branch locations with a UTM platform focused on defence in depth.
SD-WAN implementations are zero-touch, made easy with RapidDeploy, WatchGuard’s centralised deployment solution. Businesses and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can utilise this new SD-WAN functionality to seamlessly upgrade site-based security, improve network efficiency, reduce Internet service costs and unify critical network and security management processes within a single platform.
According to IDC, the SD-WAN market will grow at more than a 40% compound annual growth rate until it hits US$4.5 billion (€3.9 billion) in 2022. As bandwidth requirements and Internet costs continue to grow, businesses naturally want to manage budgets by reducing their reliance on the most expensive connection types.
At the same time, organisations need to elevate employee productivity and efficiency with fast, direct access to Cloud applications, and with network performance that supports high quality VoIP and video utilisation. As a result, businesses are turning to hybrid-WAN architectures and SD-WAN technology to help measure and send traffic throughout numerous WAN connections, allowing for the continued optimisation of cost and performance, especially across distributed enterprises.
WatchGuard recognises the need to not only protect branch locations from threats, but to allow organisations to optimise WAN resources with SD-WAN functionality. Capabilities like multi-WAN and policy-based routing, RapidDeploy and traffic management by application have been available in Firebox appliances for years.
With RapidDeploy, organisations can select policies and configurations upfront, so that SD-WAN deployment at scale is as easy as powering on and connecting each Firebox to the Internet. Now, every active Firebox appliance running Fireware 12.3 can also utilise dynamic path selection to measure the performance of each WAN connection and select the best path for each traffic type based on those pre-configured policies.
“WatchGuard already offers the industry’s most comprehensive suite of layered security services, delivered through an intuitive, unified platform for easy deployment and management. With Fireware 12.3, we’re now taking the complexity out of SD-WAN implementations too, and bringing even more value to our partners and customers,” says Brendan Patterson, vice president of product management at WatchGuard.
“As businesses look to leverage SD-WAN technology to reduce OPEX and support better user experiences on the network, and as the threat actors continue to leverage advanced cyber attacks, these new capabilities offer the best of both worlds by driving down the cost and complexity of SD-WAN deployments, while protecting branch sites with industry-leading security.”
Along with SD-WAN capabilities, Fireware version 12.3 also includes:
- A new Professional Services Automation (PSA) integration with Tigerpaw that allows MSPs to better manage their business with actionable data and intelligence.
- New geo-location policy actions, which can enable less restrictive rules for policies such as DNS and Mail.
- Faster recovery of systems with auto-restore of back-ups from USB connected storage, giving organisations more comprehensive options to restore systems in the event of a failure.
- IPv6 Single Sign On updates, which allow companies to see user names rather than IP addresses in their WatchGuard Dimension reports.