3 ways Cato Cloud isn’t your father’s (or mother’s) SD-WAN

April 10, 2018

IT teams are excited about the opportunities afforded by SD-WAN. Rapid deployment. Incredible capacity. If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time (or followed SD-WAN’s development in other blogs for that matter) you’ll know what I’m talking about.

But what’s interesting about Cato SD-WAN is that even the SD-WAN hype doesn’t do it injustice. Cato Cloud is more than just SD-WAN. It converges threat protection, cloud  security, SLA-backed networking, and optimized mobile access as well as SD-WAN into a single, global network.

With so many capabilities, Cato Cloud is being used by enterprises to address a diverse range challenges beyond what’s normally seen with SD-WAN. Yishay, our vice president of marketing,  recently explored several unusual ways customers leverage Cato Cloud in our recent webinar “SD-WAN: Use Case and Success Stories.” I encourage you to listen to the replay. Here are a three examples from that webinar.

Reduce latency between global locations

While most webinar respondents (53 percent) identify MPLS costs as a major challenge, eliminating MPLS completely often remains impossible for SD-WAN solutions, particularly in the case of global networks.

The basic challenge of global Internet connectivity is the inability to control IP routing. This leads to unpredictable latency and packet loss which impacts the user experience. As a result, organizations are often forced to maintain some MPLS investment even once deploying SD-WAN.

That’s not the case with Cato. Cato Cloud is a global cloud network with ~40 PoPs across the globe. By connecting users, branches or cloud resources to any two PoPs customers can achieve optimal , SLA-backed routing between these locations. Traffic isn’t subject to the erraticness of the global Internet or the costs of MPLS.

“With Cato, we connected our twenty-one sites and still saved 30 percent on the costs of our (previous) six-site, MPLS network,” says Stuart Gall, the Infrastructure Architect in the Network and Systems Group at Paysafe, a leading global provider of end-to-end payment solutions.

“And we didn’t compromise on performance. During our testing, we found latency from Cambridge to Montreal to be 45% less with Cato Cloud than with the public Internet and about the same as MPLS.”

Performance testing: Cato Cloud vs. MPLS vs. Internet VPN

Affordable MPLS alternative

As Cato provides a global network with performance comparable to MPLS, organizations find they are able to fully eliminate MPLS and dramatically reducing their WAN costs. Cutting costs, as you might example, was of major interest to webinar respondents. The overwhelming majority (78 percent) of respondents pointed to costs of MPLS managed services as a WAN challenge.

Fisher & Company is a  typical example of how Cato customers reduce and get more value for their WAN spend. The manufacturer in the automotive industry relied on a managed MPLS service for its global network. The delays and costs of running an MPLS network led Kevin McDaid, the systems manager at Fisher & Company, to look at various options. “With Cato, the costs of our connection to Mexico alone dropped more than 80 percent, and we received twice the capacity,” he says (see “Cato vs.MPLS: Annual Spend Comparison”).

Cato vs. MPLS: Annual Spend Comparison

Alewijnse, a global engineering firm, had a similar story. Company locations span Europe and Asia and were connected by a mix of MPLS and site-to-site VPNs. The team there was also looking to reduce MPLS costs as well as consolidate security for all locations. “With Cato, monthly costs dropped 25% and yet we still received 10x more bandwidth,” says Willem-Jan Herckenrath, Manager of ICT at Alewijnse.

Branch appliance elimination

Many webinar respondents (58 percent) also indicated that branch security was a major WAN challenge. Cato Cloud addresses the many challenges associated with branch appliances.

Cato a includes a complete security stack, eliminating the need for NGFW, SWG, and IPS/IDS functionality in the branch. Gone the is testing, deployment, and applying of patches to security appliances. Cato Research Labs is responsible for maintaining and keeping its branch security infrastructure current.

Pet Lovers Centre is a great example of the power of branch appliance elimination. The  company is a leading Asian retailer of pet products and services with more than 100 partners and locations spread across Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. The company needed to provide local Internet access to its stores Deploying security appliances on-site would have been too expensive and taken too long, says David Whye Tye Ng, the CEO and executive director at Pet Lovers. Instead they opted for Cato Cloud. “Before security management was tedious and slow. Now, we can implement policies immediately by ourselves,” he says.

One solution to many, many problems

Like the proverbial swiss army knife, Cato Cloud packs many tools into one package. Calling it simply “SD-WAN” misses the point. Cato Cloud leads to true WAN transformation converging all users, all locations, onto a single, global platform, controlled and secured by a single set of policies. Again, check out Yishay’s webinar to learn more about the incredible agility of Cato Cloud..

Dave Greenfield

Dave Greenfield

Dave Greenfield is a veteran of IT industry. He’s spent more than 20 years as an award-winning journalist and independent technology consultant. Today, he serves as a secure networking evangelist for Cato Networks.