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Cato Networks' new SD-WAN service combines security and networking

This week's SDN news revolves around SD-WAN. Cato Networks introduces an SD-WAN service which merges networking and security, while Viptela and Riverbed roll out managed SD-WAN announcements.

In what has become almost commonplace for SDN news in the past few months, announcements this week were all about software-defined WAN. Cato Networks launched a cloud-based, secure SD-WAN service; Viptela and Tokyo-based NTTPC Communications Inc. announce a managed SD-WAN service; and systems integrator Teneo said it would use Riverbed Technology's SteelConnect appliance to underpin its managed SD-WAN.

Cato Networks launches secure SD-WAN service

Cato Networks, an Israeli-based service provider, has beefed up its SD-WAN service with security tools it contends will allow customers to eliminate branch firewalls, web filters, VPNs and other security add-ons.

Cato's Secure and Optimized SD-WAN service is based in the vendor's cloud product, Cato Cloud, which uses dedicated links across multiple points of presence to ensure packet delivery.

"Current enterprise networks are built upon 25-year-old networking and security technologies," said Shlomo Kramer, Cato Networks' CEO and co-founder, in a statement. "This aging architecture is incompatible with the cloud-centric and mobile-first modern enterprise. Over the next 10 years, organizations of all sizes will need to re-architect their WANs to provide secure networking capabilities across the business, anytime and anywhere. This challenge requires a new architecture, not merely point solutions like existing SD-WAN products."

The SD-WAN service uses security capabilities embedded in the network fabric  to control direct internet access, enforce security policies and thus eliminate the need for additional security appliances, Cato said. All devices and clients are authenticated by Cato before they can connect to the network. Cato said a single stack enforces policies across both users and data.

Viptela partners with Japanese telecom carrier

Tokyo-based NTTPC Communications introduced Master'sONE, an SD-WAN managed service based on Viptela's SD-WAN technology.

Master'sONE uses Viptela's Secure Extensible Network (SEN) to create an overlaid software-defined WAN for enterprise customers.

"NTTPC joins a growing list of leading national and international carriers that have chosen Viptela to deliver managed SD-WAN services," said Pepe Garcia, Viptela's general manager for Japan and Latin America, in a statement. In October 2016, Viptela announced its vForce Global Partner Program to deliver its SEN technology to enterprises globally. Companies like Verizon and Singtel have subsequently partnered with Viptela to offer Viptela's SEN to their respective customers.

Riverbed partners with Teneo for managed SD-WAN

Systems integrator Teneo said it will now provide managed SD-WAN services to enterprises, basing its service on Riverbed Technology's SteelConnect appliance. Teneo, which has offices in Europe, Australia and the United States, already supports Riverbed's SteelFusion and SteelHead products.

The new service reflects a shift in how companies oversee their branch office communications. And -- as analyst firms such as Gartner, IHS Markit and IDC all report -- companies expect SD-WAN will help out in that regard.

"Many of our customers are beginning the transition to a software-defined networking approach and are looking for ways to see faster results," said Teneo CTO Marc Sollars, in a statement. Teneo, he said, will use the Riverbed partnership to help its clients negotiate around legacy technology and ease their transition to next-generation networks.  

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