AUTHOR: Julian Owusu-Abrokwa
The marriage of software-defined networking (SDN) benefits to WAN technology yields the software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), which allows consumer-grade links (or links without assured performance) to be leveraged for business-class services. Through the use of common VPN capabilities and the separation of data and control planes within SDN, software-managed connections can be established and managed between multiple sites over any number of link types (e.g., fixed circuit, DSL, cable, mobile, MPLS, and so on) without the operational challenges of having to manage different links. SD-WANs easily establish links, manage traffic over links according to application or service requirements (e.g., VoIP vs. Facebook), and enforce policy control capabilities (e.g., limit web-based traffic to 50% of a given link), and they are simple to manage. SD-WAN options are part router, part WAN optimization, and part firewall. In addition, some SD-WAN offerings provide robust security, which makes for a compelling alternative to the multiple-appliance approach that is often required at remote locations.
NSS Labs performed an independent test of the Forcepoint NGFW 1101 vSMC 6.3.6, engine 188.8.131.5202. The product was subjected to thorough testing at the NSS facility in Austin, Texas, based on the NSS Labs Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) Test Methodology v1.2. This test was conducted free of charge and NSS did not receive any compensation in return for Forcepoint’s participation.
PRODUCT TESTED IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS:
- Performance: Measures the performance of the SD-WAN using various traffic conditions that provide metrics for real-world performance
- Stability and reliability: The ability of the device to maintain security effectiveness while under normal load and while passing malicious traffic
- Total cost of ownership (TCO): Costs associated with product purchase, maintenance, installation and upkeep
As with all NSS Labs group tests, there was no fee for participation. In addition, the test methodology applied is in the public domain to provide transparency and to help enterprises understand the results.