SonicWall continues refresh of firewalls with higher end NSa and NSsp models

The firewall refreshes are the highlight, but as is their custom, SonicWall also accompanied them with a flurry of software updates, as well as availability for free of all their security information through a single Capture Labs portal.

SonicWall NSa 6700 firewall

Today, SonicWall continues the continued refresh of its firewall models, which began at the lowest levels of each line and has seen new models moving steadily upmarket announced. Today they are announcing new NSa 4700 and NSa 6700 appliances in their mid-range line and the NSsp 13700 in their high-end portfolio.   In addition to the new firewalls, SonicWall is also announcing free access to all users for their threat research and security news through their Capture Labs Portal. They are also unveiling updated versions of their Network Security Manager, SonicWall Analytics and SonicWall Cloud Edge Secure Access software.

The new firewalls all have at least three times the throughput of the models that they replace.

“We have significantly improved the hardware that’s lying underneath them,” said Kayvon Sadeghi, Executive Director of Product Marketing at SonicWall. “3x is at the low end of the improvement. It can be up to 6x to 17x, depending on the model level.”

The SonicWall NSa 4700 and NSa 6700 next-generation firewalls now deliver 18 and 36 Gbps of firewall throughput. With their availability, very little  in the NSa mid-range line remains to be redone. Several models still remain in the NSsp portfolio to be refreshed, however. The high end of the market has not been SonicWall’s strength historically, but they have been doing well there lately.

SonicWall NSsp 13700 firewall

“We have been gaining market share there, significantly exceeding the growth rate of the market,” Sadeghi said.

SonicWall also announced that they have now consolidating access to all their threat research and security news in the Capture Labs Portal, and are making access to it available for free to anyone who wants to see it.

“It’s free for everyone, not just partners,” Sadeghi noted. “We have added some new functionality like geolocation, but what is especially significant here is that we have put everything into a single place. That’s the major benefit that this now is providing.”

SonicWall’s cloud-native Network Security Manager [NSM], which was rebuilt as a cloud-native product with its 2.0 release, is being enhanced in the 2.3 release being announced today.

“This release has multiple layers of improvement,” Sadeghi indicated. “We have introduced new SD-WAN orchestration, which provides a step-by-step guideline that helps you set up SD-WAN to minimize the possibility of misconfiguration. We have also introduced something similar in VPN Wizard, and additionally we have introduced new templates where you define the basic environment and can replicate it for hundreds of environments.”

SonicWall Analytics 3.1, which provides analytics components that assess employees’ internet utilization and behavior, is also being announced.

“It now has  two major improvements,” Sadeghi said. “It lets you run productivity reports that indicate the ratio of productive vs unproductive web sites that users visit, to identify risky users. We have a default value, but an admin can change it. The second is new VPN reporting, that shows who is using VPN to look at company resources, how much traffic they get, and how much bandwidth they consume.”

Finally, with SonicWall Cloud Edge Secure Access 1.1, SonicWall is making enhancements to the Zero Trust Network access solution they introduced last year.

“We are adding two new features,” Sadeghi said. One is a Device Posture Check, that looks for what AV runs on a user’s machine, and if it doesn’t match policies, you can deny access. The other is a new Network Traffic Control capability that  enforces access control to resources based on user groups, IP addresses, ports and network protocols.”