Digital transformation has changed networks so rapidly that traditional security tools can no longer provide the consistent security that networks require. As the SD-WAN market matured, it became evident that it is important to take a security-driven networking approach to SD-WAN to achieve successful business outcomes. The rise of SD-WAN has also given birth to new terms like SD-Branch. But what is a software-defined branch and why are more enterprises with large numbers of branch locations more likely to adopt SD-WAN? Here we explore Nemertes’ Research studies behind SD-Branch, helping you understand the benefits and how it’s addressing security challenges at the network edge.

What is SD-Branch?

SD-Branch is an SD-WAN-based strategy that allows enterprises to minimize IT infrastructure and automate operations at branch offices, helping to reduce costs while also improving application performance. SD-Branch replaces the standard IT branch office hardware stack with software, using SD-WAN as a single platform to address all branch network needs. In short, it allows organizations to consolidate the entire branch by converging their security and network access.

What benefits does SD-Branch provide?

In addition to minimizing the need for on-site IT personnel, SD-Branch helps:

Who uses SD-Branch and why?

According to Nemertes, companies of all sizes use SD-Branch either at some or at all locations for the following purposes:

Research also shows that enterprises with a lot of branches (more than 250) are far more likely to be deploying SD-WAN and SD-Branch strategies. In fact, 87.5% of large enterprises are already adopting it; furthermore, analysts expect enterprise adoption to rise above 90% by the end of 2020.

How does SD-Branch address security?

One of the biggest challenges of deploying SD-branch solutions is direct access to the internet and SaaS applications that increase the attack surface. When firewalls are located back at the corporate data center, branch sites can be left vulnerable because they bypass the data center. But there’s help. Security-driven SD-WAN solutions embed next-generation firewalls and encryption to help clients implement security protections. These consolidated services converge end-to-end security coverage and network access services, making an ideal architecture solution for SD-Branch deployments.

The security-driven approach to SD-Branch: Fortinet and Masergy

Masergy and Fortinet have partnered together to provide security-driven SD-Branch solutions for global enterprises. SD-Branch solutions pair Fortinet’s edge devices and security features with fully managed SD-WAN services from Masergy.

SD-WAN with built-in security including next-gen firewalls and advanced routing 

Plus, Masergy’s SD-WAN gives enterprises the agility they need in the digital age