SD-WAN is Out. Next-Gen SD-WAN is In.

Enterprises have always been tasked with adapting to ever-evolving business challenges, increasing customer expectations, and security threats all while remaining mindful of budgetary restrictions. To solve many of these challenges, CIO’s began migrating to SD-WAN, with adoption rates only increasing. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2024, 60% of enterprises will have implemented SD-WAN. SD-WAN offers the promise of network transformation while reducing costs by eliminating the need for expensive MPLS connections. From a high-level view, it sounds like a catch-all solution, enabling enterprises to optimize the flow of packets while saving money. The question is, is that enough? Let’s take a deeper look.

Challenges of Legacy SD-WAN Solutions

In reality, ​​today’s legacy SD-WAN solutions fall short in three key areas:

  • Application performance
  • IT operations
  • Branch office security

Legacy SD-WAN solutions require manual intervention for day-to-day operations. This means IT teams are stretched thin and forced to learn a new skill set because SD-WAN management is not the same as WAN maintenance. CIOs struggle to find and retain employees with the necessary experience for both. Now tack on the security skills required for a cloud-based infrastructure, and needless to say, those IT professionals are in high demand. SD-WAN needs to do more. Enterprises need a next-generation SD-WAN solution, one that uses automation and machine learning to reduce the time spent on routine SD-WAN management. If staffing is a challenge for your enterprise, then every day spent without a next-generation SD-WAN is money wasted.

How Next-Generation SD-WAN Solves these Challenges

Not convinced yet? Let’s consider another major challenge enterprises are facing today. Cloud migration is a top priority for many enterprises, with Gartner claiming that by 2025, 85% of enterprises will have a cloud-first strategy. Not only is it a manual hassle to onboard new cloud-based technologies at scale, but securing a cloud-based infrastructure with bolt-on security solutions is clunky, and security gaps are almost inevitable. Because SD-WAN connects users directly to the cloud, rather than hairpinning traffic through the data center, security architects have been forced to piece together branch security systems from products designed for other use cases. With this glue-together security method, vulnerabilities are unavoidable, and they are a headache to manage. While there is no shortage of products on the market that can secure parts of the branch infrastructure, forcing separate management systems to integrate is not easy, and it requires separate management consoles which creates inconsistent security. Bolt-on security with legacy SD-WAN just isn’t secure. With a next-generation SD-WAN solution, policies and network access controls should work as a unified system to provide strong security for branch deployments.

The Solution: Prisma SD-WAN

Seeing a pattern here? If it sounds like I’m telling you that a next-generation SD-WAN solution is the right choice for you, I am. At Palo Alto Networks, we understand the shortcomings of legacy SD-WAN, and that is why we proudly recommend the industry’s first next-generation SD-WAN solution, Prisma SD-WAN. Prisma SD-WAN uses machine learning and data science to automate operations and eliminate up to 99% of trouble tickets, saving time and manual operations. Additionally, the automated capabilities limit the need for SD-WAN management which alleviates the staffing challenges CIOs are facing today. Prima SD-WAN offers a platform called CloudBlades, which is a cloud-based API architecture that automates deployments of third-party entities without needing to update your branch appliance or controller. With CloudBlades, customers can easily deploy cloud security at scale, seamlessly integrated into their infrastructure, eliminating the need to piece together disjointed security solutions.

Prisma SD-WAN addresses the requirements of cloud architectures, overcomes the limitations of legacy solutions such as poor application visibility, time-consuming manual operations, and bolt-on security. With Prisma SD-WAN, those staffing shortages, manual operations, and security vulnerabilities are a problem of the past.

Learn more about why a next-gen SD-WAN solution like Prisma SD-WAN is the solution you’ve been looking for in our ebook.