Choose the Right SD-WAN Firewall

Choose the Right SD-WAN Firewall

As the owner of a computer repair service in the heart of London, I’ve seen my fair share of networking headaches over the years. But lately, one issue has been cropping up more and more – businesses struggling to find the right SD-WAN firewall solution for their needs. It’s a tricky conundrum, I tell you.

You see, the world of SD-WAN is a bit like a maze these days. There are so many different options, each with their own unique features and quirks. And when you throw a firewall into the mix, well, it can feel downright dizzying. Do you go with a fully managed solution? Do you try to DIY it? And how the heck do you make sure your precious firewall plays nice with the whole SD-WAN setup?

Fear not, my friends, for I’m here to guide you through this labyrinth. Drawing from my own experience and the insights of industry experts [1-7], I’ll show you how to navigate the SD-WAN firewall landscape and choose the perfect solution for your business.

Understanding the SD-WAN Firewall Landscape

Let’s start with the basics. SD-WAN, or software-defined wide-area networking, is a technology that allows businesses to leverage multiple internet connections and intelligently route traffic across them. This can provide increased reliability, performance, and cost savings compared to traditional WAN architectures.

But where does the firewall come into play, you ask? Well, as your business’s first line of defense against cyber threats, your firewall is a critical component of your network security. And when you layer SD-WAN on top of that, you need to make sure the two work together seamlessly.

The tricky part is that different SD-WAN solutions handle this integration in different ways. Some may require you to disable certain firewall features or even hand over control of your network’s security to the SD-WAN device [6]. Others, like Bigleaf’s [6], are designed to play nicely with your existing firewall without compromising any of its functionality.

Choosing the Right SD-WAN Firewall Solution

So, how do you know which SD-WAN firewall solution is right for your business? It all comes down to asking the right questions and understanding your needs.

First and foremost, you’ll want to consider the impact on your firewall’s key features. As I mentioned, some SD-WAN solutions may require you to disable or modify things like LAN routing, DHCP, NAT, traffic filters, and network segmentation [6]. This can be a major headache, not to mention a potential security risk.

“It’s important to understand how different SD-WAN technologies will interact with your firewall and what those differences will mean for your company,” explains the experts at Bigleaf [6]. “Choosing an SD-WAN that ‘kind-of’ works with your firewall could add hours to your installation time. It will also likely require poking holes in your network perimeter — potentially compromising your security, compliance, and network stability.”

Another crucial factor is the installation process. Some SD-WAN solutions can be a real pain to set up, especially if you have an existing firewall in place [6]. You don’t want to be stuck in a never-ending cycle of configuration and troubleshooting, trust me.

“Installation times can be even longer for multi-site deployments depending on the availability of highly-skilled network engineers needed to configure the new security integration correctly,” the Bigleaf team warns [6]. “Those hours are expensive, so be sure to clarify how long an SD-WAN’s install typically takes with an existing firewall in place.”

And let’s not forget about the all-important issue of inbound traffic. If you’re running any kind of internal servers or applications, you’ll need to make sure your SD-WAN solution can handle that traffic without any hiccups [6]. After all, what good is an SD-WAN if it can’t even route traffic to your own website?

The Bigleaf Advantage

As I mentioned earlier, Bigleaf [6] has taken a different approach to the SD-WAN firewall challenge. Instead of forcing you to compromise your firewall’s security features, they’ve built their solution to work seamlessly alongside your existing setup.

“From day one, Bigleaf was built to work with your firewall without compromising any of its functionality,” the Bigleaf team explains [6]. “To your firewall, Bigleaf looks like an internet connection. To install Bigleaf all you do is update your firewall’s WAN IP address — no compromises to your security or compliance.”

And the best part? Bigleaf’s installation process is about as simple as it gets. According to their team, setting up Bigleaf alongside your firewall can be done in just 90 seconds [6]. No complex configurations, no lengthy integration process – just plug and play.

“Bigleaf is known for our firewall-friendly, 90-second install,” they proudly declare [6]. “That’s because our SD-WAN sits outside the firewall and requires no firewall features to be disabled.”

So, if you’re tired of dealing with the headaches and hassles of other SD-WAN solutions, I highly recommend taking a closer look at Bigleaf. It’s the SD-WAN firewall solution that puts your security and sanity first.

Conclusion

Choosing the right SD-WAN firewall solution for your business can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By understanding the key factors to consider and exploring innovative options like Bigleaf [6], you can find the perfect balance of performance, security, and ease of use.

Remember, your firewall is the backbone of your network’s defenses, and you can’t afford to compromise on that. So, take the time to do your research, ask the right questions, and find an SD-WAN solution that will work seamlessly with your existing setup.

Trust me, your IT team (and your peace of mind) will thank you.

References:
[1] https://community.sophos.com/sophos-xg-firewall/f/discussions/143642/sophos-xg-19-0-and-19-5-traffic-choosing-wrong-firewall-rule-if-using-sdwan-rules-to-far-end-subnet
[2] https://versa-networks.com/sd-wan/vendor/
[3] https://community.sophos.com/sophos-xg-firewall/f/discussions/142714/best-choice-for-link-quality
[4] https://www.fortinet.com/resources/cyberglossary/diy-vs-managed-sd-wan
[5] https://meraki.cisco.com/products/security-sd-wan/models/
[6] https://www.bigleaf.net/resources/choosing-firewall-friendly-sd-wan/
[7] https://live.paloaltonetworks.com/t5/general-topics/route-amp-path-selection/td-p/222268

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