Less than a year after the launch of its Connect SD-WAN, Netsurion is upgrading the service with an all-in-one consolidated network management and security orchestration platform for distributed businesses. That product is branded BranchSDO, for branch software-defined orchestration.
The Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based company was formed in 1989 to sell specialized security technology to multi-tenant enterprises. Last March, it branched into SD-WAN with the launch of its Connect SD-WAN product that combined network connectivity, security, and management.
However, it’s now moving away from the term SD-WAN with its new software-defined branch service, according to John Ayers, vice president of product at Netsurion.
“What we found with SD-WAN is that we’re not [just] SD-WAN; we’re not CloudGenix, we’re not Bigleaf, we’re not Viptela, or Velocloud, or any of those guys,” he said. “We started to look in the mirror and say look, we don’t want to be in that argument, we don’t want to be in that conversation because that’s not who we are.”
Netsurion considers BranchSDO to be an evolution or the next iteration of its Connect SD-WAN, expanding the service to include edge optimization and secure connectivity. “This evolution took us to our niche, what we think is our market segment,” Ayers said. “So we’re not getting in the fight with the other five or six or everyone talking about SD-WAN — we’re really carving out our own slice of the market.”
BranchSDO combines a number of Netsurion’s offerings to optimize edge network connectivity, security, scalability, and costs for branch locations. It will also optimize for IoT applications. The idea being that “what’s next for SD-WAN is really removing the handcuffs off of the branch and allowing this resilient, agile security solution that also delivers compliance” across a customer’s network, said Ayers.
Additional capabilities include cloud orchestration for rapid service provisioning with network, device, traffic, and data usage monitoring; a secure gateway with the company’s cloud-based next-generation firewall, application control, web filtering, and an intrusion prevention system; site-to-site virtual private networking (VPN) connectivity; cellular failover; managed WiFi; cloud-managed switches; a suite of PCI DSS compliance tools; and advanced threat protection that is powered by its EventTracker security information and event management (SIEM). The SIEM technology is from Netsurion’s 2016 acquisition of EventTracker.
Not only is this product a rebrand and consolidation of Netsurion’s brands, it is a return to its roots. “We really have taken our DNA, which is security, from our managed firewall days and [have] really weaved that into our BranchSDO product offering so that we didn’t forget about our roots, we actually built that into our solution,” said Ayers. The BranchSDO offers a stateful firewall, its SIEM service, and compliance offerings as well as offers the ability to service chain unified threat management (UTM) services via the BranchSDO Orchestrator.
BranchSDO is a “plug-and-play” solution. Ayers claims that from taking the BranchSDO box, plugging it in, and operationalizing it takes between 15 and 30 minutes. Once operationalized, it can all be managed through a single-pane-of-glass portal.
The single box delivering a myriad of network solutions is not dissimilar to another trend that managed SD-WAN providers are pushing toward — the universal CPE (uCPE). The uCPE would allow service providers to deliver SD-WAN as a hardware appliance with support for additional virtual network functions (VNFs) including firewall and optimization. These would enable providers to support multiple VNFs, multiple vendors, and multiple environments.
Branson noted some of similarities between its BranchSDO and the uCPE approach, saying that both have various virtualized functions on a single box. However, he says that the SD Branch service has a leg-up as it leverages the cloud, namely Amazon Web Services (AWS), to manage its solutions.
A number of providers are already working toward this approach including Comcast Business, which plans to launch a uCPE platform that supports multiple virtualized services by mid-year.