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SD-WAN

Windstream Enterprise adds site, device analytics to Fortinet SD-WAN

To help enterprise customers better analyze data from their SD-WAN deployments, Windstream Enterprise is adding Sites Digest and Device Digest to its WE Connect Insight Engine for managed SD-WAN with Fortinet customers.

Mike Frane, VP of product management for Windstream Enterprise, says Insight Engine aggregates telemetry from SD-WAN, voice, security, ticketing and inventory systems to filter data and provide insights into potential network improvements.

"SD-WAN is really great at telling people information at a site-level – how an application or circuit is performing at a site. What it doesn't do is give you a picture of the entire network," says Frane. "Our Insight Engine really filters that to say which areas are the most important to focus on to deliver the highest value to the end-user."


On this episode of The Light Reading Podcast, Windstream CMO Mike Flannery explains why enterprises didn't deploy SD-WAN as widely as the industry anticipated they would at the start of the pandemic.


Only the good stuff

Sites Digest and Device Digest identify a baseline of network behavior and pinpoint any anomalous activity, says Frane. For example, Sites Digest provides insight into bandwidth spikes, offline locations and which sites have high throughput, latency, jitter or packet loss.

"In other SD-WAN systems you would have to look at each individual site to see what's going on," says Frane. "Our system distills all that down and bubbles up only the good stuff to the top, and makes it easy to see where they need to take action."

Device Digest shows which devices and applications are using the most bandwidth across all customer locations to identify misconfigurations or unusual activity. It also provides a breakdown of devices that have significantly increased bandwidth use over the past 30 days or new devices activated on the network over the past seven days. Customers can also use a month-over-month view to track device usage and identify trends over time, adds Frane. Rules can be set up to manage unusual device activity as well, he says, and in the future Windstream Enterprise will provide trending analysis so customers can flag and address device issues even sooner.

Both Sites and Device Digest were previously available for Windstream Enterprise customers using managed SD-WAN by VMware; now the features are also available for Windstream Enterprise customers with managed SD-WAN by Fortinet.

"The Fortinet-based Secure SD-WAN managed solution, when combined with the WE Connect Insight Engine, provides businesses with the tools to better understand how their network is performing and changing over time, as well as how bandwidth is being consumed by applications and devices," said John Maddison, CMO and EVP of Products for Fortinet, in a statement.

In the future, Windstream Enterprise plans to expand on the capabilities that Sites and Device Digest provide to indicate potential security threats, says Frane.

"Being able to pull more security aspects into the Insight Engine will become more and more important as more customers adopt secure remote access, cloud web security and firewall-as-a-service from us," says Frane. "Being able to tie all that together will become critically important."

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— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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