Author: Mr. Amir Cohen VP Technologies and Business Development
August 5th, 2020 Over the past quarter we’ve witnessed a new era in employment, where physical presence in an office is no longer a job requirement. Employees are working from home offices, coffee shops, or any place where they can connect online.
We’ve seen a similar change in the world of connectivity. Physical networks are being replaced by virtual ones. Classic routers, with the firewalls that protected our internal networks, are becoming less relevant with the introduction of SD-WAN to the world.
Before we jump into SD-WAN, let’s step back a moment and look at how routers and firewalls worked together.
The Router’s Job
Historically, routers have acted as a gateway for data to enter and exit a network. Essentially, they find the best way to route data to the user.
You can think about routers like a postal service. Your mail carrier is interested in your address, zip code, city and country. However, mail carriers don’t care about the package inside the envelope; they are only focused on delivering the package to the right address.
Routers work in the same way. They don’t care about the content in the data. They simply ensure that the data arrives to the right point.
Checking the Data
The firewall, on the other hand, has a much different role to play. It is more like a security checkpoint at an airport. It opens the package, parses through the information, and makes sure that it is safe to introduce into the network.
The firewall doesn’t really care where the data is going. It leaves that to the router. Its only focus is on the content.
As technology has changes, yesterday’s technology seems to go by the wayside.
Business organizations are no longer focused on how to get data to reach an address. Rather, they want to find the optimal path for a specific application to reach its destination, and the network relationship to that application.
Whereas traditional routers focused on getting data from one place to an address, today’s networks require that ability to connect users to applications. It must recognize the application, understand the network policy around that application, and then connect the application to the user.
In this environment, the system needs to begin by looking at the user, and connecting users to applications, rather than delivering data.
In this process, the router is replaced by SD-WAN.
What will Happen to Legacy Players?
You may wonder what’s going to happen to router manufacturers like Cisco or Juniper. It’s a really good question, and like everything else, it depends on the approach they take.
If Cisco, Juniper and other router manufacturers adopt the new technology, and see it as a new application, they may succeed. However, if they try to force SD-WAN into their existing framework of routers, they will be doomed to failure.
The LAN world, where servers and routers were dominant, tried and failed to integrate virtual system into their networks before. However, today all organizations are moving to full cloud solutions without physical servers.
What Else Does SD-WAN do?
In addition to SD-WAN’s basic improved routing capabilities, SD-WAN offers several key advantages over routers.
Traditional routers were able to create physical links between networks. However, those networks needed to use the same technology, and be on the same bandwidth.
SD-WAN offers a significant advantage in that it can cross technologies, connecting satellite, fiver, MPLS, internet, cellular and microwave networks.
Additionally, it isn’t limited by bandwidth, and can easily connect a 400-mega internet line width a 200/10-MB asymmetric satellite line.
Connectivity is automatic and utilizes easily configurable drag-and-drop tools.
The world of routers required point management, where each end point needed to be defined within the network.
In the world of SD-WAN, we use a paradigm called cloud perception.
The SD-WAN sits in the center of the network, and can be connected to the organization, data center, or cloud server. It communicates with the network elements, making it easy to upgrade software regardless of the underlying technology.
This significantly reduces the efforts required by network engineers, making it easier to manage and secure network elements.
With SD-WAN sitting in the center, it creates a network that is stronger than the sum of its parts.
SASE – Security Access Service Edge
This new concept represents a change in network security. As we see it, smart organizations take care to protect their assets, regardless of whether they are physical or virtual.
While traditional network security architecture can leave network areas exposed, SASE’s innovative approach ensures full network protection.
SASE is a complete, end-to-end solution that embeds the information security system as part of the client’s SD-WAN network. It securely separates the applications that are designed to be in the enterprise and web applications.
About Amir Cohen, GILAT Telecom CTO:
Mr. Cohen joined Gilat Telecom in 2017 bringing broad experience in leading the service delivery, operation and assurance activities in leading network operators and system integrators. Mr. Cohen is a true IT and Telco ace, bringing many years of both hands-on and formal know-how experience that has been tested over and over again by the delivery of complex solutions executed under his leadership of IT professionals teams.
Mr. Amir Cohen offical Certifications: