First Next-Gen SD-WAN Solution Enabling the Secure Cloud-Delivered Branch and Simplified Network Operations

Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation SD-WAN takes an entirely new approach, with a solution that has the following characteristics:

  • App Defined – Providing application layer visibility enabling network teams to create app-based policies and deliver SLAs for all apps, improving the end-user experience.
  • Autonomous – Automated operations and problem avoidance using machine learning and data science, eliminating up to 99% of WAN and application access trouble tickets.
  • Cloud-delivered – Enabling all branch services to be delivered from the cloud, including networking and security, simplifying WAN management and enabling branches to be rolled out in minutes instead of months.

Palo Alto Network’s approach to Next-Generation SD-WAN can help organizations deliver a return on investment (ROI) of 243%, according to Forrester Consulting*

Today, Palo Alto Networks is introducing a number of new additions to it’s Next-Generation SD-WAN solution:

  • Machine learning-based capabilities to further simplify network operations
  • A small form factor SD-WAN appliance designed for retail and small offices/home offices (SOHO)
  • A high-performance SD-WAN appliance suited for large campus locations
  • Seamless integration of Prisma™ Access cloud-delivered security

“With cloud and multi-cloud adoption on the rise, end user applications like videoconferencing and office productivity solutions are increasingly delivered as cloud services. Legacy WAN architectures have severe limitations, especially when organizations migrate to the cloud. First-generation SD-WAN falls significantly short in changing the economics of branch WAN infrastructure and services,” said Kumar Ramachandran, senior vice president of product management for firewall as a platform at Palo Alto Networks. “Enterprises are now demanding an autonomous SD-WAN solution that eliminates the need for manual operational tasks. Enterprises also need a cloud-delivered model for security and other branch services to gain cloud-scale economics. CloudGenix SD-WAN is the industry’s first next-generation SD-WAN solution that is app-defined, autonomous and cloud-delivered. With powerful ML-based capabilities, we deliver dramatic reductions in “day two” operational costs. A customer recently told us they reduced their WAN costs by 82%.”

Machine Learning and Analytics

Palo Alto Networks has added machine learning (ML) and analytics features to CloudGenix SD-WAN to simplify network operations and improve capacity planning. For instance, the system automatically identifies common root cause events when there are multiple event alarms. This dramatically reduces the time to problem resolution and increases the availability of applications. Where possible, the system automates problem resolution as well, freeing up operators to focus on higher value activities. New analytics features make capacity planning simpler by allowing operators to easily understand what WAN connections they are using, when they are using them, and what applications are driving that use. Palo Alto Networks plans to expand the use of ML to other use cases in the future.

ION 1000

The CloudGenix ION 1000 is a powerful small form factor SD-WAN appliance designed for retail and SOHO use cases. The ION 1000 is fanless, small and quiet enough to be placed in a work environment when no equipment room is available. As organizations re-architect their teleworking approaches to support remote workforces post-pandemic, the ION 1000 enables performance controls, availability and security for the home office that is consistent with enterprise policies.

ION 9000

The CloudGenix ION 9000 is the largest and most high-performance CloudGenix SD-WAN appliance to date, delivering twice the performance of the current flagship device. It is ideal for large branches and campus locations, supporting multi-gigabit throughput and a “fail to wire” high availability capability designed to mitigate the effects of physical WAN outages.

Prisma Access Security Integration

CloudGenix SD-WAN seamlessly integrates with Prisma Access, the industry’s most comprehensive secure access service edge (SASE) platform. With the integration of CloudGenix SD-WAN and Prisma Access, customers can secure intra- and inter-branch traffic as well as traffic from the branch to any applications hosted in public or private clouds. Customers can take advantage of the integration without the need to upgrade branch appliance hardware or software through the unique CloudGenix CloudBlades platform. CloudBlades enable the integration of cloud services, such as Prisma Access, using a cloud-hosted API architecture that eliminates the need for additional branch hardware or software in the branch.

Palo Alto Networks commissioned  Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact (TEI) study to assess the financial impact that CloudGenix SD-WAN deployment can have on an organization. Forrester found that the CloudGenix SD-WAN investment represents a 243% ROI over a three-year period.

“Organizations are looking to the next generation of SD-WAN solutions to help them with digital and network transformation, which includes a cloud-delivered model of branch IT services delivery to add agility and flexibility,” said Rohit Mehra, vice president of network infrastructure at IDC. “Palo Alto Networks SD-WAN approach enables the delivery of security, UCaaS, visibility and monitoring as cloud-services, reducing operational costs. The use of network analytics and AI/ML to provide autonomous capabilities is another area where enterprises are looking to make enhancements so they can minimize manual troubleshooting and remediation.”

“As the most respected retailers in the automotive industry for nearly 25 years, the customer experience in our stores is paramount to our business. AutoNation was facing network performance and reliability challenges as well as high opex costs for our legacy wide area network. We evaluated multiple SD-WAN products and it became clear to us that CloudGenix represented a best-of-breed solution in the next generation SD-WAN space. Our experience with Palo Alto Networks has been outstanding – the store closes under the legacy network architecture one night, and opens the next morning as a CloudGenix SD-WAN location – with zero downtime. We can deliver a rich set of services from the cloud with no additional on-site support using CloudGenix ION appliances. The machine learning-based analytics along with outstanding layer 7 visibility for troubleshooting have substantially reduced our opex costs,” said Adam Rasner, vice president of technology operations at AutoNation.

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