Networking and security teams are constantly trying to maintain a balance between security, complexity, and application experience. This situation has become much more challenging with organizations adopting multiple clouds and hybrid cloud environments for their business needs. Fortinet’s new “Secure SD-WAN for Multi-Cloud” solution addresses these challenges by enabling enterprise IT to build a seamless cloud-to-cloud network and security architecture that is consistent and robust across the different clouds.
The Benefits and Challenges of Multi-Cloud Environments
Cloud infrastructure spend is rapidly becoming a larger portion of the CIO’s budget, and as a result, enterprises are increasingly adopting a multi-cloud approach for their cloud deployments. A multi-cloud strategy enables these organizations to avoid vendor lock-in and to select the best cloud services to meet the requirements of a particular application or workload. Organizations are also able to choose cost-optimized services and leverage geographically dispersed clouds for disaster recovery, to meet data sovereignty requirements, and to improve overall user experience. And a multi-cloud model also provides redundancy to reduce the risk of downtime.
For these reasons and more, enterprises are building their new data infrastructure across multiple clouds. And at the same time, IT continues to constantly evolve their cloud network infrastructure to meet new performance, security, scaling, and cost goals that have a tangible impact on their business outcomes.
However, even with so many benefits and use cases, multi-cloud is not without its challenges.
1. Complex Network Architecture: The diversity of cloud platforms is a key challenge for IT since it is difficult to find skilled personnel who are experts in every single cloud environment. These skills gap often results in an IT team’s inability to scale adequately to keep up with the different demands of the large number of cloud service providers being used. Due to fundamental differences between cloud providers, IT typically struggles to deploy a consistent network infrastructure for applications and workloads that are deployed in or that span across multiple clouds. This increased complexity can slow down operations.
2. New Security Risks: This same problem also increases security risks. A lack of a consistent security infrastructure that can seamlessly span multiple clouds, especially in terms of policy orchestration and enforcement, results in security gaps that prevent end-to-end visibility and uniform security control.
3. Application Performance:Previously, to overcome these challenges, enterprises have chosen to backhaul cloud traffic to on-prem data centers or network service/colocation provider points of presence. While the goal is for cloud workload traffic to be centrally inspected and routed between the different clouds, these dedicated backhaul connections are often expensive and can quickly become bottlenecks. And this problem can be exacerbated because backhauling traffic over cloud provider VPN gateways to on-prem data centers can add significant latency and degrade application performance.
All these challenges demand a new approach for establishing secure and high-performance connectivity between multiple clouds—especially without increasing cost and complexity.
How Fortinet Secure SD-WAN Solves Multi-Cloud Challenges
Fortinet Secure SD-WAN for Multi-Cloud is a new use case built around a FortiGate-VM next generation virtual firewall combined with a FortiManager central management console.
This new offering enables a unified networking and security strategy with a programmable framework to ensure consistent policies for securing and transporting traffic across multi-cloud environments. This application-aware overlay network can be easily deployed, and operates seamlessly across multiple Public and Private cloud virtual networks. It leverages internet connections as well as collocation and leased line connections to each cloud—including public cloud transport services like direct connect, express route, and interconnect—to offer the option of select different links per application and workload. And to reduce complexity and increase agility, the solution also supports repeatable deployments using automation templates and broad support for public cloud and SDN/SDDC integrations.
Next, this solution—supported by Fortinet fabric connectors that enable full integration with and between cloud providers—automatically updates dynamic addresses of workloads as they are spun up and spun down. Appropriate security policies are then dynamically tied to workloads without the need for manual intervention. In addition, cloud-native integrations, such as tag-based segmentation, enables the application of policies to segment workloads. And with pipelined automation that uses Cloud provider serverless functions, IT can decrease response times to security events through automation applied across multiple FortiGate-VM Secure SD-WAN nodes. And finally, deep packet inspection and advanced security, such as IPS and AV, provide deep visibility into any security threats across the multi-cloud deployment.
This solution can work on either cloud provider direct connections or internet links based on predefined or custom application signatures—and it also utilizes encryption to securely transport application traffic using internet links. And its SD-WAN dynamic path selection capability chooses optimal link(s) to deliver the best application experience. FortiGate-VM also offers over 20Gbps of IPsec performance for fast encrypted connections over internet links to reduce operational costs.
How Customers Benefit from Deploying Fortinet Secure SD-WAN for Multi-Cloud
Here are a couple of the customer benefits Fortinet Secure SD-WAN for Multi-Cloud provides:
- Enables Consistent Security: Fortinet Secure SD-WAN for Multi-Cloud lowers cybersecurity risks and improves compliance by deploying security policies and advanced protection uniformly across multi-cloud deployments, as well as securing application traffic with high speed encryption and traffic inspection.
- Optimizes Application Experience: Fortinet Secure SD-WAN for Multi-Cloud accelerates time to revenue and improves business productivity by increasing the agility of application deployments across multi-cloud environments, eliminating current limitations while delivering the right application experience at a reduced cost.
Key Secure SD-WAN for Multi-Cloud Capabilities
For those enterprises looking to reduce complexity, increase cost efficiency, and improve application experience when operating multi-cloud environments, Secure SD-WAN for Multi-Cloud offers:
• An overlay transport that creates a single, seamless network that spans different cloud environments
• Consistent security controls and visibility in spite of a dynamic application infrastructure
• High-speed encrypted traffic performance over less expensive internet links and leased lines
• A scalable and future-proof solution, that enables the implementation of business policies and ongoing management and orchestration of connectivity and security from a single, centralized console.