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Palo Alto SD-WAN & SASE Netify Review

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Palo Alto Networks is as a Leader within the Gartner Magic Quadrant, recognised for their Prisma SD-WAN platform, which includes Instant-On Network (ION) edge appliances and orchestration. Palo Alto operates a global presence and serves approximately 3,500 SD-WAN enterprise customers across various industries and sizes. Future investments are expected in application acceleration, SASE enhancements, and packet steering.

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Review

Prisma SD-WAN in Action - Demo

I started the  Palo Alto SD-WAN demo by deploying  the Panorama™ management server to centrally govern the SD-WAN setup across both hub and branch devices. The server consolidates management tasks and reduces operational load. I found the installation of the Prisma SD-WAN plugin and configuration straightforward, with simple to manage interface settings and SD-WAN configurations.

Below: Palo Alto Panorama is the centralised management portal used to configure, deploy and read reporting statistics across our test SD-WAN.

Palo Alto Prisma SD-WAN Setup

Prisma SD-WAN ensures application availability based on real-time performance SLAs and visibility, which delivers a significant improvement in performance compared to legacy MPLS. Palo SD-WAN uses application response time to determine the optimal path for a flow and confirms that the path adheres to the application's requirements. In our test, the traffic steering feature worked by performing below latency, jitter and packet loss threshold levels.

I noted that Primsa publicises their capability to reduce network trouble tickets by up to 99% by providing at-a-glance management of multiple Internet and MPLS circuitst. Prisma's user-friendly interface and  integration with Prisma Access for securing remote networks demonstrates that it is simpler for IT teams to understand network issues which reduces the reliance on support.

As the demo progressed, it became clear that Palo Alto has an good SD-WAN features but excellent SASE security capability. The integration of next-generation firewalls into the SD-WAN architecture provided me with a highly secure environment, capable of safeguarding sensitive business with comprehensive cloud security measures integrated into their network fabric. The intent is to ensure that cloud applications and protected against cyber threats.

Through the Panorama management server, I set up and monitored link health to manage traffic across the demo network. One clear benefit I noted was the ability to facilitate centralise control without compromising the granular visibility required to safeguard and enhance branch-office and user experience. For instance, handling traffic for cloud services and applications through encrypted links proved to be reliable during the test.

Below: Here, we connected 3rd party endpoints via the branch management interface.

Palo Alto Prisma SD-WAN Link Health

In my hands-on experience, I valued the capability of the Palo Alto Prisma suite to extend security to remote users, regardless of their location without compromise vs branch-office or HQ sites. These features are important for businesses that are increasingly reliant on the cloud for their operational needs.

Palo Alto Prisma SD-WAN, initially CloudGenix, has significantly evolved since Palo Alto Networks acquired the company in 2020. Prisma now supports complex network architectures and offers improved network visibility. Palo Alto Networks has continued their development, specifically surrounding SASE capabilities.

Pros & Cons

What are the pros and cons of Palo Alto Networks SD WAN & SASE Cybersecurity?

List of the pros and cons associated with Palo Alto Networks SD WAN and SASE security.

Pros

  • Innovation: Recognised for recent and planned innovations across AIOps, visibility, and granular policy control, with potential game-changing capabilities.
  • Customer Experience: Above-average customer experience ratings based on Gartner interactions and Peer Insights data.
  • Market Understanding: Strong understanding of both current and future customer requirements.

Cons

  • Pricing: Higher SD-WAN pricing as observed in client interactions.
  • Performance Optimisation: Limited capabilities across TCP protocol optimisation and WAN optimisationfeatures.
  • Multiple SD-WAN Products: The existence of two different SD-WAN products may lead to market confusion and challenges in choosing the right product based on security and SD-WAN needs.
Marketplace Assistance

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Comparison

Comparison: Palo Alto vs Fortinet vs FireEye SD WAN & security

Consider the points below to compare Palo Alto vs Fortinet vs FireEye SD WAN and SASE security.

Palo Alto

  • Palo Alto's main product focus is a converged SD WAN and SASE platform, delivered from the cloud. The solution supports remote and home workers as well as those on-premises. 
  • Palo Alto offers fully featured SD WAN via their acquisition of CloudGenix. 
  • Palo Alto support remote users with the Okyo Garde appliance, which works as an extension of the corporate network avoiding the need to configure VPNs. 

Fortinet

  • Fortinet offer hardware-based SASE and SD WAN, with offerings for Extended Detection and Response (XDR). 
  • Fortinet's SD WAN offering was built internally from the ground up as a component of their overall solution. 
  • Fortinet support users with cloud-delivered threat protection which removes the need for legacy VPN technologies. 

FireEye

  • FireEye offer XDR and cloud security services, with a range of managed security solutions.  
  • FireEye do not offer SD WAN or SASE services. 
  • FireEye offer security for remote users via a technology partnership with iBoss. The solution features authentication and SSL  decryption, with intelligence-driven technologies to detect and protect against zero-days attacks. 

Forcepoint

  • Forcepoint offer SASE with options for integrated data protection services. 
  • Forcepoint do not have an SD WAN offering. 
  • Forcepoint offer security for remote users via a cloud delivered security gateway, Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and private access to applications. 

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Service Providers

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Proposition Focus

Proposition Focus

Features4
SASE/Security4.7
Cloud5
SD WAN4.5
Industries

Industry Coverage

Finance131%
Manufacturing107%
Services140%
Other29%
Education113%
Healthcare76%
Energy and Utilities45%
Communications35%
Retail34%
Government 33%
Transportation18%
Media17%
Construction 16%
Focus

Other Focus

Remote users40
Simplicity40
Complex requirements20
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Geographic

Geographic Focus

EMEA30
APAC20
Americas50

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