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A recent survey of IT organizations reveals that nearly every respondent is struggling with networking challenges, with complexity and cloud performance being the top two reasons. An SD-WAN solution can resolve these and many other problems that often accompany traditional WAN solutions. IT professionals can manage security policies and bandwidth at the push of a button from a centralized location rather than having to send technicians out to configure the network physically. It also allows MSPs to monitor the network and prioritize traffic for mission critical applications.

We recently held a webinar on the topic of using an SD-WAN solution for a client’s cloud network, hosted by Mark Ballegeer, Systems Engineer here at Barracuda MSP. Mark discussed the advantages provided by an SD-WAN solution, the evolution and differences from NextGen to CloudGen technology, challenges with current technology, and why Barracuda’s CloudGen Firewall solution is the best choice for MSPs looking to meet their clients’ needs.

NextGen vs CloudGen

One of the most important aspects of NextGen’s resources is that they are vertically scaled, meaning that there is a limited amount of capacity for resources. As a result, NextGen firewalls become very “feature” heavy and expensive.

CloudGen firewalls are horizontally scaled, which offers further flexibility for resource capacity. It offers secure connectivity and removes the challenges associated with the MPLS. The security aspect of the CloudGen firewall is perhaps the biggest and most important distinction between the two firewalls. If you wish to learn more, Mark provides a further in-depth analysis of both these differences in the webinar.

Industry opinions, trends, and challenges

The industry has increasingly moved to adopt the hybrid cloud, tripling its total number from the year prior, to over half of the organizations surveyed. Survey data also shows that within the next 15 months, 80% of all IT budgets will be committed to cloud solutions. Influential IT companies have taken notice, with Gartner saying, “The emergence of public cloud computing has rendered traditional enterprise WAN architectures to be suboptimal, from a price and performance perspective.”

One of the largest remaining challenges in current SD-WAN solutions, and one of the primary motivators of cloud migration, is the existence of the MPLS. MPLS is still prevalent in traditional solutions because it is reliable and secure and has low latency. On the other hand, organizations often find that the MPLS is dated, because it was designed for backhaul-related responsibilities, and not today’s needs of public cloud. It is also very expensive and takes months to deploy.

Requirements for your SD-WAN solution

To effectively deploy an SD-WAN solution, you should have these six key elements in place:

  • Centralized Management
  • Router
  • Threat Protection
  • Firewall
  • Cloud Integration
  • WAN Optimization

Each aspect links with the others to offer a complete solution. Cutting corners by not including one or more of these requirements can expose vulnerabilities in the SD-WAN solution.

Why use a CloudGen solution?

Barracuda’s Cloud Generation Firewall combines all available technologies, including web filtering and secure access, to form the most complete solution available. It also offers physical, virtual, and cloud deployment options (including a zero-touch deployment for faster rollout) to meet the individual needs of each client.

Our CloudGen solution also offers advantages by consolidating SD-WAN with comprehensive security, reducing WAN cost due to MPLS, and dynamic bandwidth and latency detection. We also provide our Savings Calculator as a resource, so that you can see how much your MSP will save on bandwidth costs by using our solution. To learn more about how the CloudGen firewall can help your customers, visit our website or watch our webinar replay.

Photo: Nico El Nino / Shutterstock

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Lindsay Faria

Posted by Lindsay Faria

As Director of MSP Marketing, Americas, at Barracuda, Lindsay Faria is dedicated to empowering Barracuda MSP partners to grow their businesses by providing tools and information to make marketing and selling their data protection services as effective, fast and easy as possible.

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