With the backdrop of more companies keeping their employees at home for work, Masergy is serving up SD-WAN-based "work from anywhere solutions." The new work-from-home (WFH) offerings come in two flavors and are part of the company's Managed Secure SD-WAN portfolio.
With companies sending millions of employees to work from home in about mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, most of the first WFH solutions entailed getting VPN concentrators enabled for a large number of employees to sign on and use at the same time, which most weren't built to do.
With the uncertainty around when offices spaces will be safe again, vendors and service providers have diligently been working on remote solutions for business employees, which includes extending the WAN into users' homes.
Masergy's SD-WAN Secure Home includes a lightweight Fortinet Secure SD-WAN device for quick connections using a residential internet connection. It also includes a built in firewall and router, direct connections to cloud services and secure access service edge (SASE) cybersecurity features.
For mobile users, Masergy's SD-WAN On the Go, which will be available next month, is a multi-platform software client and VPN that uses IPsec tunnels and endpoint protection to secure remote access to corporate networks. It also provides users with SASE-based secure connectivity anywhere.
SD-WAN On the Go also has zero touch provisioning for quick set-ups by remote workers and a unified client portal for IT managers.
WFH has pushed SD-WAN vendors that didn't previously have a software client for mobile devices or laptops to quickly create one.
In June, Versa Networks launched Versa Secure Access, which was designed to provide SD-WAN and security capabilities for employees that are now working-from-home (WFH.) Comcast Business, which uses Versa for its SD-WAN service, is in the process of evaluating a WFH SD-WAN solution while AT&T announced a new broadband tier for remote workers that included a gateway that is SD-WAN compatible.
Previously, Roy Chua, the founder and principal at AvidThink, said in an interview with FierceTelecom that a dedicated last mile service that's separate from home broadband—which is under additional strain due to remote learning and video streaming during the coronavirus—is a much more ideal solution for WFH, which is what AT&T is offering.
While software-based SD-WAN solutions can provide improved security and visibility, carriers have an advantage for WFH solutions because they own the last mile.
"While these SD-WAN software solutions solve the security and visibility problems, they are still constrained by their employees' last mile access," Chua previously said. "The usual benefits of SD-WAN like application-based QoS, or multi-path routing can only be achieved with control over the employees' home routers or wireless gateways, and with the addition other another of access, like an LTE link or a second broadband link.
In a follow-up email, a Masergy spokesperson said it addresses the last mile issues by separating work-related IP traffic from employees' home internet services, among other features.
Masergy owns and operates its own Secure Edge Network. Cato Networks and Aryaka also rely on their own networks to deliver their SD-WAN services.