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Palo Alto Networks launches new SD-WAN solutions and enhancements

Palo Alto Networks has introduced two new SD-WAN appliances and enhancements to its next-generation SD-WAN solution, expanding the company’s CloudGenix SD-WAN solutions reach.

The new additions includes machine learning-based capabilities to further simplify network operations; a small form factor SD-WAN appliance designed for retail and small offices/home offices (SOHO); a high-performance SD-WAN appliance suited for large campus locations; and integration of Prisma Access cloud-delivered security.

The new machine learning (ML) and analytics features for CloudGenix SD-WAN simplify network operations and improve capacity planning.

The system automatically identifies common root cause events when there are multiple event alarms to reduce the time to problem resolution and increases the availability of applications, Palo Alto Networks states.

Where possible, the system automates problem resolution as well, freeing up operators to focus on higher value activities.

New analytics features make capacity planning simpler by allowing operators to understand what WAN connections they are using, when they are using them, and what applications are driving that use.

The company plans to expand the use of ML to other use cases in the future.

On the appliances front, the CloudGenix ION 1000 is a small form factor SD-WAN appliance designed for retail and SOHO use cases.

The ION 1000 is fanless, small and quiet enough to be placed in a work environment when no equipment room is available, the company states.

As organisations re-architect their teleworking approaches to support remote workforces post-pandemic, the ION 1000 enables performance controls, availability and security for the home office that is consistent with enterprise policies.

The CloudGenix ION 9000 is the largest and most high-performance CloudGenix SD-WAN appliance to date, delivering twice the performance of the current flagship device, according to Palo Alto Networks.

It is designed for large branches and campus locations, supporting multi-gigabit throughput and a fail to wire high availability capability designed to mitigate the effects of physical WAN outages.

CloudGenix SD-WAN now integrates with Prisma Access, meaning customers can secure intra- and inter-branch traffic as well as traffic from the branch to any applications hosted in public or private clouds. 

Customers can take advantage of the integration without the need to upgrade branch appliance hardware or software through the CloudGenix CloudBlades platform.

CloudBlade’s enable the integration of cloud services, such as Prisma Access, using a cloud-hosted API architecture that eliminates the need for additional branch hardware or software in the branch.

Palo Alto Networks senior vice president of product management for firewall as a platform, Kumar Ramachandran, says, “With cloud and multi-cloud adoption on the rise, end user applications like video-conferencing and office productivity solutions are increasingly delivered as cloud services.

"Legacy WAN architectures have severe limitations, especially when organisations migrate to the cloud. First-generation SD-WAN falls significantly short in changing the economics of branch WAN infrastructure and services.”

Ramachandran says, "Enterprises are now demanding an autonomous SD-WAN solution that eliminates the need for manual operational tasks. Enterprises also need a cloud-delivered model for security and other branch services to gain cloud-scale economics.

"CloudGenix SD-WAN is the industry's first next-generation SD-WAN solution that is app-defined, autonomous and cloud-delivered. With powerful ML-based capabilities, we deliver dramatic reductions in day two operational costs. A customer recently told us they reduced their WAN costs by 82%."

The ML and Prisma Access security integration capabilities are available now through CloudGenix 5.4 and CloudBlades 2.0. The CloudGenix ION 1000 and ION 9000 are available now.

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