Big Cover - Fortinet SDWAN

The advantages of SD-WAN technology for new corporate networks

Lutech is a Fortinet Expert Partner

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Elimination of the concept of the company perimeter, the high level of delocalization of IT systems and personnel, the use of distributed and heterogeneous environments, and the introduction of new serverless technologies are the reasons justifying the introduction of SD-WAN solutions.

SD-WAN (Software Defined Wide Area Network) technology aims at unified, software-based management of the distributed corporate network. Precisely for this reason, SD-WAN offers a series of advantages, above all in distributed corporate contexts with branch offices.

The application-type approach guarantees total virtualization of the hardware architecture, making its application effective and independent of the equipment and locations which define the physical topology of the corporate network.

Moreover, SD-WAN solutions – such as Fortinet Secure SD-WAN – incorporate best-of-breed functions in terms of network architecture management, such as the introduction of elements of artificial intelligence, machine learning in particular, to help optimize performance, but also with a predictive function.

The pressing requirement for a switch to SD-WAN in all types of companies became particularly evident during the pandemic. This period has seen an enforced decentralization of operations, which has led above all to a complete overhaul not only of network access, but above all protection. This has been primarily due to the connection between “residential environments”, which are by definition highly vulnerable, and corporate ones.

In some contexts, moreover, data protection is undermined by the integration of OT (Operational Technology) elements and by the introduction of IoT devices and sensors connected to the production machinery.

While this emergency management has led to new corporate sensitivity towards the topic of secure connectivity, it is equally true that any work carried out has been insufficient to handle the increased volume of traffic. As well as favoring the introduction of tools for VPN management of connections, the IT managers have taken note of the need to emphasize the end point monitoring requirements and to use more sophisticated tools for recognizing users and devices.

One more lesson from the pandemic is therefore the awareness of a new approach. Decentralization of operations will therefore become commonplace, and this will require a model (Smart Working 2.0) in which the protection of data, applications and profiles will become a priority.

“’Smart Working 2.0’, which will soon be with us, will require a more mature model which makes greater use of project levers and creates a profound change in operational behavior and processes.”
(Gianluigi Citterio, Lutech Group Head of Technology Presales)

When and why SD-WAN is better than MPLS

The introduction of an SD-WAN platform offers network balancing characteristics, optimization of protection, and an increase in availability which cannot be achieved with traditional WAN management solutions.

In a traditional context of connection between branch offices and headquarters, indeed, the entire bandwidth – from data from mission-critical applications to those from personal productivity SaaS applications – uses the same Internet channel indiscriminately.

What’s more, MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) often does not guarantee the necessary level of encryption. This leads to lines becoming easily congested, due to the large quantity of data circulating, with a high cost for the MPLS service. On the contrary, SD-WAN allows for high levels of traffic prioritization, protection and optimization, while still making use of the Internet, thanks to more advanced VPN tools.

It will therefore be possible to segment the network flows, ensuring, for example, that the SaaS application traffic does not interfere with branch-data center communication.

The Software Defined model guarantees various advantages, in particular:

  • Maximum management flexibility. For complete tailoring to specific business requirements.
  • Reduced costs. Thanks to optimization of the necessary hardware and software.
  • Complete management of the company network. Thanks to centralized control and the planning and automation functions.
  • Greater security. The application model guarantees immediate scalability and constant updating of the protection rules.

The value of a consolidated partnership

“Fortinet is among the Magic Quadrant leaders for WAN Edge Infrastructure. This is further confirmation of the importance of the protection component in an SD-WAN solution.”
(Antonio Madoglio, SE Director of Fortinet Italia)

The strong focus on the security component must lead companies towards solutions which consider it an essential and priority component. It is precisely for this reason that Fortinet’s solution is named Fortinet Secure SD-WAN, a platform available to companies of any type and size thanks to its scalability and adaptability characteristics.

The secure by design model is intrinsic to Fortinet’s offering, guaranteeing a unique solution which prioritizes protection of communications, allowing for optimization of the components involved, with clear cost savings, including in operations management terms.

It is precisely for this reason that Lutech Group – top Italian partner of Fortinet – favors Fortinet solutions both for implementation in its clients’ architecture and in the form of SaaS supplied from its Next Gen Security Operation Center in Cinisello Balsamo, near Milan.

Through its own model, Lutech Group offers a built-in and end-to-end protection solution for company networks, thanks to the integration of multi-level security technologies. In particular, the standard approach may involve balancing with an SD-WAN solution, a firewalling component, internal segregation, total protection of traffic, XDR (Extended Detection and Response) monitoring, and 24/7 monitoring through our own Next Gen SOC.

The value of the partnership between Lutech Group and Fortinet also shows itself in the high-level expertise of the Lutech Group’s security specialists, and in their close collaboration in projects to identify the best possible architectural solution for each client.

Lutech Group is so confident in Fortinet’s solutions that it even uses them in its own Next Gen SOC, thus enabling the dual offering of in-house projects at client premises or in the form of outsourced services supplied from its operation center as sole supplier of MSSP services based on the FortiSIEM platform.

“The Fortinet Secure SD-WAN solution guarantees continuity of service, integrity of business data and confidentiality of the profile which is actually managing the data. All aspects which are profoundly related to the business requirements.”
(Gianluigi Citterio, Lutech Group Head of Presales)

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