šŸ˜·Unmasking the Firewall Disguise: When VPNs Renamed as SD-WAN Fall ShortšŸ©¼

šŸ˜·Unmasking the Firewall Disguise: When VPNs Renamed as SD-WAN Fall ShortšŸ©¼

Discover the Truth Behind SD-WAN and VPNs: Avoid Repackaged Solutions

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3 min read

In the rapidly evolving landscape of networking solutions, a trend has emerged where firewall vendors are eager to jump onto the Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) bandwagon. However, a closer inspection reveals that many of these vendors are merely repackaging their Virtual Private Network (VPN) solutions as SD-WAN, creating an illusion of innovation where none truly exists.

The VPN in SD-WAN Clothing

The so-called SD-WAN solutions offered by certain firewall vendors are essentially traditional site-to-site VPNs that have been in existence since the inception of IPSEC. While they may bear the SD-WAN label, these solutions remain clunky and slow, akin to attempting to enhance the performance of a Ford Escort by shoehorning a V8 engine under the hood.

Each firewall vendor has its own syntax, and although SD-WAN introduces its own syntax complexities, it offers a less convoluted approach. However, the reality is that these firewall-based SD-WAN solutions do little to innovate or improve upon the inherent limitations of traditional VPNs.

The Carpet Bombing Approach

What these firewall SD-WAN solutions often enable is a carpet bombing approach, where multiple firewalls are deployed at different edges. This strategy may seem advantageous for the firewall vendor, creating a chorus of "Kerching," but it often results in empty pockets for the customers. The promised performance boost is achieved only by throwing additional hardware at the problem, leading to increased expenses and operational challenges.

Optimal SD-WAN Deployment: Stripped Client and Central Firewall Cluster

Contrary to the firewall-centric approach, the optimal SD-WAN deployment involves a stripped-down client at the network edge connected to a central firewall cluster. This strategic configuration minimizes the number of firewalls deployed at the edge and consolidates them into a centralized infrastructure within the data center. The result? A resounding "KERCHING!" for cost savings and operational efficiency.

Redefining Cost-Effective SD-WAN

Fusion Broadband South Africa (FBSA) stands out as a cost-effective alternative in the SD-WAN landscape. The concentration of SD-WAN in the data center incurs no additional licensing costs. FBSA adopts a unique model, providing a networking node known as an aggregator at the data center without charge. All service charges are solely associated with edge locations, ensuring that businesses can optimize their SD-WAN deployment without draining their budgets.

Wrap: Unveiling the True Face of SD-WAN

Wrapping up, the rush of firewall vendors to rebrand VPN solutions as SD-WAN has created a smokescreen of innovation. Beneath this disguise, the limitations of traditional VPNs persist, offering little more than a veneer of progress. The optimal SD-WAN deployment revolves around stripping down clients at the edge, connecting them to a central firewall clusterā€”a strategy that Fusion Broadband South Africa has masterfully executed.

It's time to unmask the illusions and embrace true innovation in SD-WAN, steering clear of repackaged solutions that fall short of delivering on the promises of enhanced performance and cost-effectiveness.


Ronald Bartels provides solutions to networking and last mile reliability problems. The solution from Fusion Broadband allows a business to stay 100% connected, avoid downtime and keep working. The Fusion Broadband solution has been installed in many vertical industries including state owned and private entities.In addition to the IBM Beacon Award 2020 for Infrastructure Services, the solution is a mature software platform that has over 2000 installed instances of multiple site private wide area networking deployments.

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