SD WAN

SD WAN remote access features & vendor comparison

A comparison article covering SD WAN features and a selection of vendors.

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Who are the top/best SD WAN remote access vendors?

The current top 5 SD WAN remote access vendors recommended by Netify are Cato Networks, Silver Peak, VeloCloud, Meraki and Aryaka.

Working remotely or from a home office has become the standard mode of operation for most businesses. While some users may base themselves from the office, there is the flexibility to complete the majority of today's working week everywhere from the user's house to the local cafe and even via wireless aboard aircraft.

Table of Contents

  1. What are the main SD WAN remote access features?
  2. What is Cato's SD WAN remote access solution?
  3. What is Silver Peak's SD WAN remote access solution?
  4. What is VeloCloud's SD WAN remote access solution? (VMWare SD WAN)
  5. What is Cisco Meraki's SD WAN remote access solution?
  6. What is Aryaka's SD WAN remote access solution?
  7. Conclusion

In addition to users, IOT (Internet of Things) has also become part of your remote workforce as devices connect, retrieve and upload data to cloud infrastructure. The result is a shift from the branch office WAN edge to the user-office WAN edge which could be located anywhere at any time from any device.

The onus is on the Enterprise IT team to consider how SD WAN remote access can deliver both application performance and SASE security. Whether the remote work is carried out using browser access or connection via software client, applications are positioned to utilise SD WAN functionality and features such as path selection and WAN optimisation.

In this article, we discuss the top features IT teams must consider together with an overview of 5 remote access vendors.

What are the main SD WAN remote access features?

  • Browser or client access zero-touch SD WAN deployment - out-of-the-box connection to application in minutes via zero-touch deployment downloadable client software or direct access to resources via browser remote access. With client installation, pre-configured access templates can be delivered based on user type, reflecting the level of data and application need. Secure remote access via a browser is typically limited to web-based company resources.
  • Active directory - the majority of remote access authentication occurs via active directory authentication. The fast setup of synchronisation is the enabler to quick deployment of remote network access with full control via your SD WAN management interface.
  • Multi-factor authentication with a single sign-on - the typical enterprise business is partnered with an identity provider for single sign-on (SSO) and strong authentication. When evaluating new remote access products, consider how automatically integrating with identity providers will enhance security and ensure the user is familiar with their sign-in process.
  • Real-time inspection of remote traffic - Secure SD WAN SASE offerings will support NGFW (Next-Generation Firewall), Secure Web Gateway (SWG) with threat protection technology from Intrusion Protection Service (IPS) and Managed Detection Response (MDR). Remote access is an extension of SD WAN capability and therefore, full SASE should be available whether the user is based remotely or from the branch-office.
  • Application performance treatment - SD WAN capability varies across applications treatment features. With selected vendors offering access to private global IP backbone connectivity, global Internet gateways or pure end to end Internet, there's a decision to be made on which solution best fits your business requirements. In the majority of cases, SD WAN vendors will offer path selection with local QoS (Quality of Service), WAN optimisation and path selection to improve network performance with diversity to maintain uptime to avoid packet loss.
  • Cloud unified remote access management - in order to gain insights into remote user performance, manage permissions and create new security policies, the SD WAN solution should offer a unified cloud management approach.
  • Business continuity DR planning - remote access positions all team members to work remotely if the situation arises. IT teams are advised to check whether any prospective SD WAN solutions are BCP (Business Continuity Plan) ready.

What is Cato's SD WAN remote access solution?

Cato offers scalable remote access with connectivity into their local-global PoP with traffic routing across their private backbone. When combined with SASE security as a service, all users are protected end to end with real-time cloud threat protection with continuous learning. Cato also offers single sign-on via integration with authentication services from Office 365 or Azure Active Directory. Cato users connect via cloud-based client download or via browser depending on use case.

What is Silver Peak's SD WAN remote access solution?

Silver Peak's remote access solution is hardware-based using what they term as ultra-small devices (no bigger than a pack of cards) to process up to 100Mbps. Where larger needs are concerned, Silver Peak offer the XS appliance which supports higher bandwidth. The hardware approach is different vs the traditional client, but with sophisticated orchestration, remote access is seamless for users and is the enabler for all home office wireless devices to benefit from security.

What is VeloCloud's SD WAN remote access solution? (VMWare SD WAN)

VeloCloud Prisma access is the technology behind remote user termination, which supports ZTNA (Zero Trust Network Access). The zero-touch approach recognises the need to identify each individual user, their actual identity and the applications. VeloCloud also offer the typical SD WAN approach of traffic optimisation and routing for critical applications via their global gateways.

What is Cisco Meraki's SD WAN remote access solution?

The Meraki adaptive policy technology applies rules which are focussed on the client identity and intent. Meraki add advanced malware protection with a large database of known files which is updated on a constant basis. Devices can be pre-enrolled with wireless and VPN settings and apps pre-configured for user groups. Laptops and mobile devices are all trackable with device health, posture and security all visible via the dashboard.

What is Aryaka's SD WAN remote access solution?

The Aryaka SD WAN solution makes use of their global backbone in conjunction with SmartCDN to deliver the best possible performance between regions. SmartCDN is designed to improve web server performance and VDI access. With SmartCloud, acceleration of SaaS, IaaS and SaaS cloud applications further improve delivery to cloud providers.

Conclusion

The Enterprise is adopting Internet SD WAN technology as the enabler to public cloud application access with SASE security. With users working remotely from home offices, the WAN edge is no longer with branch or HQ. One recent survey suggested that new employees often start their career working from home, meaning the Enterprise must offer good performance and security. Selecting an SD WAN vendor to replace MPLS or facilitate new requirements is critical to get right to ensure users can both access the corporate network and public cloud providers such as AWS, Azure and Google. Selecting and implementing the right remote secure access solution is key to the success of your organisation.

USED BY PERMIRA, CDC, BRITISH LEGION, TILNEY AND MORE

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