WatchGuard Technologies expands SD-WAN capabilities to its security platform

WatchGuard Technologies released version 12.3 of its Fireware operating system for its Firebox Unified Security Platform appliances. Key to this update are added path selection capabilities that allow organizations to optimize WAN resources across networks while securing branch locations with a UTM platform focused on defense in depth.

SD-WAN implementations are RapidDeploy, WatchGuard’s centralized deployment solution. Businesses and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can utilize this new SD-WAN functionality to 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 percent compound annual growth rate until it hits $4.5B in 2022. As bandwidth requirements and Internet costs continue to grow, businesses want to manage budgets by reducing their reliance on the expensive connection types. At the same time, organizations need to elevate employee productivity and efficiency with access to Cloud applications, and with network performance that supports VoIP and video utilization.

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 optimization of cost and performance, especially across distributed enterprises.

WatchGuard recognizes the need to not only protect branch locations from threats, but to allow organizations to optimize 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, organizations can select policies and configurations upfront, so that operationalizing a new 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 utilize 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,” said 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.”

“Companies of all sizes are increasingly demanding SD-WAN services as a way to reduce costs and improve network performance, so we couldn’t be more excited about WatchGuard’s new SD-WAN capabilities,” said Kevin Willette, CEO of Verus Corporation.

“One of WatchGuard’s greatest strengths is its ability to simplify complex technology offerings and deliver them in way that’s easy for us to deploy, manage and scale on behalf of our customers. By combining SD-WAN functionality with its suite of comprehensive security services – and continuing to enable rapid, zero-touch deployments – WatchGuard is again helping us build our business by addressing more of our customers’ needs, without adding cost or complexity.”

Along with SD-WAN capabilities, Fireware version 12.3 also includes:

  • A new Professional Services Automation (PSA) integration with Tigerpaw that allows MSPs to 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 organizations 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.
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