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SonicWall bakes SD-WAN software into Capture Cloud Platform

Security vendor SonicWall added SD-WAN software to its firewall appliances while retail companies are hoping SD-WAN can reduce network complexity, according to a Forrester report.

SonicWall has baked SD-WAN software into its Capture Cloud Platform, making it the latest security vendor to integrate software-defined WAN into its firewall appliances.

As enterprises move to hybrid cloud environments, they often implement SD-WAN to better support access to the cloud. The technology gives enterprises the ability to use various types of connectivity to route traffic and, as a result, achieve better application performance and resilience. But SD-WAN can also expose networks to additional vulnerabilities and attack threats, especially when traffic is routed via broadband internet.

SonicWall's answer to this security challenge is to provide increased visibility and control with its updated firewall operating system. In addition to the newly added SD-WAN software, SonicWall updated its firewalls with zero-touch deployment capabilities for easier configuration, according to a company statement. Customers can also choose to include Power over Ethernet and 802.11ac support.

Native features of SonicWall's Capture Cloud Platform include Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection, deep packet inspection and real-time decryption and inspection of encrypted traffic.

Fortinet, another security vendor, recently integrated proprietary SD-WAN software into its FortiGate firewall appliance.

Retail companies turn to SD-WAN deployment

Retailers are feeling the pressure to address the growing complexity in their networks, according to a recent survey conducted by Forrester Research on behalf of Hughes, a satellite and network service provider. To alleviate the pressure, many are looking to deploy SD-WAN software.

Forrester surveyed store operations and technology decision-makers from 100 North American retail and financial services companies, all of which had offices or facilities at more than 200 locations.

Almost 90% of retailers have business-critical applications for personnel management, employee training, inventory and ordering, the report said. But 33% of respondents said network performance with their existing infrastructure was unsatisfactory. Retail stores are also increasingly using mobile point-of-sale systems and mobile payments, in addition to ballooning in-store Wi-Fi requirements, all of which further stress the network.

Only 30% of the surveyed companies said they currently used SD-WAN. But more than half said they intend to either test SD-WAN software in the next year or adopt it within two years.

Among retail and financial companies publicizing their SD-WAN deployments are Gap, Brooks Brothers and Capital One.

Virgin Media Business officially launches managed SD-WAN

Virgin Media Business has launched its managed SD-WAN service, after announcing its intent to do so earlier this year. The service relies on technology from Versa Networks.

Virgin Media's managed SD-WAN is packaged with WAN optimization tools, end-to-end IPsec encryption and an integrated stateful firewall with seven layers of additional security, according to a company statement.

Other service providers using Versa Networks SD-WAN software to support their managed SD-WAN offerings include CenturyLink, Comcast Business, Microland, Tata Communications and Verizon.

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