Noting that the future of work requires flexible IT infrastructure, and hot on the heels of introducing a digital experience monitoring suite to allow IT teams to gain insight into networks used across a hybrid work environment, Cloudflare has introduced an open source software-defined software package, Magic WAN Connector, designed to make it easier for businesses to connect and secure their entire corporate network.
Cloudflare said that businesses have struggled to move from fragmented and patchwork legacy architectures to modern zero-trust networks because of the complexity and cost of coordinating with dozens of disparate security and networking vendors. The company cited research from Gartner that said one-third of new SASE deployments will be based on a single-vendor SASE offering by 2025, up from 10% in 2022.
With the new solution, Cloudflare believes it can now deliver a “true” integrated SASE security and networking solution to protect and accelerate the performance of enterprise devices, applications and networks. Additionally, Cloudflare announced new participants in its Network On-ramp partner programme to give customers flexibility and freedom of choice no matter how they connect to Cloudflare’s network.
The software-defined Magic WAN Connector is an open-source software package engineered to securely connects any network – whether physical, such as an office, manufacturing facility or retail store; or virtual, such as a private cloud property – to automatically configure secure tunnels and routing policies, directing traffic to Cloudflare’s global network. Transition to a modern SASE architecture is said to result in reduced costs, increased simplicity and quicker deployments.
As part of the SASE solution, this allows for access to a full suite of security tools including zero-trust network access (ZTNA), data loss prevention (DLP), intrusion detection system (IDS), and cloud access security broker (CASB), among other applications. It can be used with other on-ramps to the Cloudflare network such as the WARP device client, the Cloudflare Tunnel application-layer connector and direct connections via Cloudflare Network Interconnect.
Magic WAN Connector software provides traffic routing, load balancing and failover; application-aware traffic steering and shaping; and automatic configuration and orchestration to ensure that traffic from customer locations to network is secure, fast and reliable, said Cloudflare.
It is said to be designed to replace a patchwork of connectivity and security solutions in offices and remote locations with a single-vendor SASE solution managed through a common dashboard, allowing firms to connect offices, datacentres and cloud properties. Users can prepare their business for hybrid work, reduce their attack surface area, and improve employee productivity using advanced traffic management features and fully integrated security that eliminate the need to backhaul traffic to a hub site.
To give customers flexibility and freedom of choice in how they connect to the global network, the solution can also be deployed as a virtual machine on a physical device, cloud service or with OEM hardware. To facilitate this, Cloudflare has announced partnerships with certified bare-metal OEM hardware companies. Customers can work with additional channel partners in the Cloudflare One Partner Program ecosystem to support the installation and deployment of Magic WAN Connector and manage OEM partner hardware lifecycles.
“When I speak to CIOs working to support evolving workforces, they want one vendor to work with that can offer them everything they need,” said Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare.
“Whether that means securely connecting remote employees, offices, datacentres, or even multicloud deployments, IT teams shouldn’t have to sacrifice speed or security to keep their business productive.”