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7 min read

What is SD-WAN?

SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) is a technology that allows for the management and optimization of a wide area network (WAN) through software, rather than through hardware-based network devices. SD-WAN allows for more flexibility and cost savings from internet bandwidth economics, increased business value from agility, as well as improved network performance. SD-WAN uses a variety of techniques such as traffic steering, encryption, and quality of service (QoS) to optimize and secure WAN connections, such as broadband and cellular. It is often used by organizations with multiple branch offices to connect to a central location.

How does SD-WAN work?

SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) is a technology that allows for the management and optimization of a wide area network (WAN) through software, rather than through hardware-based network devices. The basic principle of SD-WAN is to use software to control the routing of network traffic over multiple WAN connections, such as broadband and cellular, in order to optimize network performance and reduce costs. Here is an overview of how SD-WAN works:

  • SD-WAN devices are installed at each location that needs to be connected to the WAN. These devices can be physical appliances or virtual instances running on x86 hardware.
  • The SD-WAN devices at each location establish a secure connection to a central management system, which is typically hosted in the cloud.
  • The central management system uses algorithms to determine the best path for network traffic to travel from one location to another, based on factors such as network congestion, available bandwidth, and cost.
  • The SD-WAN devices at each location use this information to direct traffic over the best available path, using techniques such as traffic steering, encryption, and Quality of Service (QoS) to optimize network performance.
  • The central management system also provides a centralized console for administrators to monitor and configure the WAN, including setting policies for traffic routing, security, and application optimization.
  • In case of failure of one of the WAN connections, the user traffic will automatically failover to another connection, ensuring reliability and preserving user experience.
  • By using software to control the routing of network traffic, SD-WAN allows organizations to easily connect remote locations to the corporate network, and can easily scale up or down to accommodate changing business needs.


What is Netskope Borderless SD-WAN?

Borderless drives the concept of extending the benefits of the SD-WAN outside of an enterprise perimeter and placing it where it belongs, with each and every user/device, regardless of where they happen to be located, while at the same time introducing new capabilities which limits SD-WAN today.

Borderless SD-WAN is a way to create a safer, more reliable, and higher performance networking architecture that fits today’s highly diffuse and cloud-based technological environment. The goal of borderless SD-WAN is to provide great network performance with a consistent, satisfying user experience no matter where the user is and no matter what device they are using. Patchwork solutions won’t achieve this goal. Companies need an integrated, and converged platform.

Data Sheet: Borderless SD-WAN
Gartner® Quick Answer: How Does Netskope’s Acquisition of Infiot Impact SD-WAN, SASE, and SSE Projects?


What are the Borderless SD-WAN solutions?

Secure SD-WAN
Secure SD-WAN converges networking and security without performance trade off. By operating with Netskope Cloud-XD, Netskope Borderless SD-WAN delivers context-aware SD-WAN policies that are based on zero trust principles and deep visibility into applications and app risk, user/user risk, device/device risks that delivers true single vendor SASE. By sharing the application database, Secure SD-WAN supports industry’s highest number of applications with pre-configured Netskope CCI (Cloud-Confidence Index) based smart defaults.

With one-click to SSE, Secure SD-WAN, protects the entire infrastructure from outside threats because networking and security can be converged for the user through centralized policies that apply no matter where the user or the applications resides. Secure SD-WAN provides secure, optimized on-ramp to any cloud from any location globally distributed Cloud Services Fabric – deployed at top-tier data centers or in Service Provider SDN PoP.

Branch of One
Borderless SD-WAN provides that mobility and enables that wireless-first strategy, along with security and edge computing with SD-WAN, delivered through a hardware device that can go along with users wherever their branch of one is located. Branch of One is fitted with the Power of One delivered by an All-in-One AI-powered SASE gateway that consolidates cellular, security, SD-WAN, and edge compute and helps enterprises build smart work spaces for employees working from home, to fleets, and more. Imagine an energy company, with hundreds of fleet trucks that have an access point, a switch, a router and a wireless device- and most of these devices have to be ruggedized to withstand harsh environments. On top of all these, customers need SD-WAN to consume applications at any location from any location.

Wireless WAN
To be able to work anywhere, at any time in a many-to-many world, we need more on the wireless front than what SD-WAN has provided. What’s required is fast and reliable connectivity in every location, whether it’s in a field vehicle always on the move or a stationary, enterprise access point on a wall that provides a strong signal inside your IT closets. Borderless SD-WAN as a Wireless WAN device that is ruggedized, compact form factor, C1D2 rated, and is suited for hazardous and harsh environments. The Netskope cellular gateway can be mounted on the rooftop and powered by POE cable, and provides the strong signal strength to the Borderless SD-WAN gateway in the closet. This helps organizations manage all devices from a single console vs deploying multiple vendors and consoles saving costs and also overcoming the limitations of external antennas that lose signal strength as a function of the distance and becomes almost unusable if the distance between the close router and the roof top is too long. Legacy SD-WAN cannot do this. Borderless SD-WAN can.

Multi-cloud Networking
With Borderless SD-WAN, not only can multi-cloud networking occur from a single unified console, where Borderless SD-WAN’s light weight software can be easily instantiated across all of the clouds. Automated cloud operations from this single unified console allows these Borderless SD-WAN software instances to interoperate and exchange routes with major cloud providers like AWS Transit Gateway, Azure Virtual Router, and GCP Cloud Router. With one-click access to Netskope’s intelligent SSE (security service edge), companies also have integrated full stack security to protect from all cyber attacks.

IoT intelligent Access
Netskope SASE gateway supports zero-touch provisioning, with integrated edge compute, brings compute closer to the data source. It can collect and unlock and extract data from IoT sensors devices and deliver only the data that exceeds certain thresholds to the IoT cloud using 4G/LTE wireless or other transport connections of choice. of your choice. With scalable application life-cycle management (ALM), customers can run their own application or out-of-the-box container services like Azure IoT edge runtime, or run other services from a catalog of services provided by Netskope much like Application Store for mobile devices.


What are the benefits of Borderless SD-WAN?

Netskope Borderless SD-WAN

Netskope Borderless SD-WAN offers a number of benefits for organizations:

  • Improved network performance: SD-WAN can optimize network traffic by directing it over the best path available, whether that be a broadband or cellular connection. This ensures that critical applications are delivered with the best possible performance.
  • Cost savings: By utilizing multiple WAN connections, organizations can reduce their dependence on expensive MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) connections and take advantage of more cost-effective broadband and cellular options.
  • Increased security: SD-WAN can provide a number of security features such as encryption and traffic segmentation to protect against cyber threats.
  • Flexibility: Borderless SD-WAN allows organizations to easily connect remote locations and mobile workers to the corporate network, and can be easily scaled up or down to accommodate changing business needs.
  • Simplicity: SD-WAN provides a centralized management platform to monitor and control all the WAN connections, making it easy for administrators to manage, troubleshoot and configure the WAN.
  • Improved User Experience: Borderless SD-WAN ensures a consistent and quality user experience, regardless of location or device.

Overall, Netskope Borderless SD-WAN can help organizations improve their network performance, reduce costs, increase security and flexibility, and simplify network management. These benefits have led many companies to adopt the technology and make the move to Netskope SD-WAN.

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