Free SD-WAN capability highlights new SonicWall Capture Cloud Platform announcements

SonicWall also makes several other announcements, with the common theme being the extension of the company’s hybrid cloud portfolio and capabilities.

Lawrence Pingree, EVP of Product Management at SonicWall

Today, SonicWall is announcing major enhancements that advance their hybrid cloud capabilities. This includes major new Capture Cloud Platform capabilities, a Secure SD-WAN that will be offered without charge, and Zero-Touch Deployment that eliminates the need to have an engineer on site to configure a system. In addition, personalized Risk Meters that provide company-specific, real-time threat intelligence and risk scoring have been added to the Capture Security Center. Two new unified threat management [UTM] firewalls, the SonicWall TZ300P and TZ600P have been added to the portfolio, with the P in their names standing for Power over Ethernet [PoE] capability.  Finally, next-generation virtual firewall capabilities have been extended to cloud deployments, including Hyper-V, Azure and AWS, with the NSv Firewall Series.

“We know that our customers are on a digital business transformation journey to the cloud,” said Lawrence Pingree, EVP of Product Management at SonicWall. “We are extending Capture Cloud Platform support for our NSv Firewall line, to provide next-generation virtual firewall capabilities to cloud deployments, including Hyper-V, Azure and AWS. It gives customers adopting hybrid cloud an answer, and expands our hybrid cloud portfolio.”

The new SD-WAN capability comes through an enhancement to SonicOS 6.5.3, the operating system for SonicWall next-generation firewalls. Developed in-house by SonicWall engineers, it will provide consistent performance and availability for applications with intelligent failover, application-based load balancing and quality of service capabilities.

“SD-WAN allows customers to purchase a lower-end commodity type of Internet connection for their branch and remote sites, instead of using f MPLS technology, which is much more expensive,” Pingree said. “The cost of five or six locations with MPLS can easily be $3000-5000 a month. This is now part of SonicOS, so is provided to customers free of charge.”

While there are multiple established vendors in the SD-WAN space, they primarily serve distributed enterprise and larger midmarket customers, Pingree said.

“We are still in the early stages of adoption of this technology in the SMB space,” he said. “We don’t see a lot of the SD-WAN vendors in the SMB, and in any event, those other providers can’t and won’t want to compete with ‘free.’

“We are coupling the SD-WAN with Zero-Touch deployment for distributed enterprises,” Pingree added. “It allows clients to drop-ship a unit on location and bring system up live without hands-on work. Before, an engineer would have had to be on site to configure things and add policies. Now, the unit immediately comes live within the management console, eliminating the on-prem engineering effort that used to be required.”

Pingree said that the joint addition of the SD-WAN and the zero-touch provisioning to the platform gives SonicWall a huge competitive advantage.

“It provides our customers with substantial cost savings in two different areas,” he stated. “It’s the best of both worlds.”

SonicWall is also introducing a new service, SonicWall Capture Security Center Risk Meters. It provides customers with data-driven analysis about evolving threat vectors that include networks, web, clouds, applications, endpoints, mobile devices and databases, which is personalized for the specific organization. The service provides computed risk scores and threat levels which are continuously updated based on live threat data relative to defense capabilities

“These personalized Risk Meters use our threat data so the customer can see different layers of defenses and see which layer is turned on, and which threats would get through without more advanced features,” Pingrees said. It also has value for the partner because it is a form of sales tool.

“It lets the partner review what layers are on, and have a conservation with the customer about risk,” Pingrees said.

Two new firewalls were announced. The SonicWall TZ300P and TZ600P unified threat management [UTM] firewalls provide power directly to connected PoE/PoE+ enabled devices, like wireless access points, point-of-sale terminals, printers, cameras and other IP devices.

“These PoE devices can be paired with our access points, which allows the firewall to be a Wi-Fi controller,” Pingrees said “This is a lower end line, and adoption of PoE  at the low end is small, but increasing.”

Pingrees said that the package of announcements significantly enhance SonicWall’s hybrid cloud capabilities.

“We are innovating at such a fast pace now, with our engineering team cranking out things at a brisk pace,” he said. “We have significantly increased our offerings for MSSPs in support of the trends of transition to cloud and hybrid cloud. Compared to 12 months ago, our portfolio here is much improved, and we are in a very good position in the market.”

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