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Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of attending RSA Conference 2019 in San Francisco. VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud was invited by Intel to attend the cybersecurity conference to showcase our partnerships with Intel and Palo Alto Networks through booth demos and theater presentations.

This was a great opportunity to meet with other industry professionals, gain feedback on our edge appliance and SD-WAN solution, and learn the top priorities within the cybersecurity industry this year.

If you missed this year’s conference or were too busy to experience everything available, I’ve put together a breakdown of our experience at RSA 2019 and the most important trends we learned while attending.

uCPE and VMware VNF Demos

Over the four-day conference VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud was part of demos at the Intel booth showcasing a lightweight uCPE (Dell VEP 4600) running multiple 3rd party VNFs. Using VMware SD-WAN VNF, Palo Alto NGFW VNF, and Intel IoT SDO VNF we were able to highlight how a single uCPE is able to eliminate multiple appliances such as routers, switches, firewalls, and load balancers at the branch site to significantly reduce the CAPEX.

Here’s what we showcased as part of demos:

  • VMware SD-WAN Edge Appliance demonstrated the ability to bring up a new branch edge without requiring a networking professional onsite.
  • Palo Alto VNF showed how an API integration can be used to natively onboard VMware SD-WAN Edge.
  • Intel showcased the IoT gateway as part of their IoT SDO VNF demo.

In case you missed it, you can view a Periscope video of the enterprise IoT edge security demo here.

Embrace Digital Branch Transformation with SD-WAN

In addition to demos, I had the opportunity to present on the security capabilities of SD-WAN with Sam Rastogi, Data Center and Cloud Product Marketing lead from Palo Alto Networks. With a security focused audience and SD-WAN being such a hot topic, this presentation started some great conversations. Here are the most important takeaways from the talk:

  • Simplified WAN Management: SDN provides much simpler operations and edge deployments that allow for a more scalable WAN. With deep application recognition (DAR), SD-WAN can automatically inspect and classify new applications. One-click service insertion allows for simple branch edge and datacenter edge deployment.
  • Assured Application Performance: With continuous monitoring, dynamic per packet steering, and on-demand remediation, SD-WAN can transport independent performance for the most demanding applications over any link. This allows you to leverage more economical bandwidth while still maintaining high application quality and performance.
  • Security Architecture Support: The biggest security benefits of SD-WAN involve its ability to serve as an additional layer integrated with existing security solutions. An SD-WAN integration can support a built-in firewall, SWG integration, centralized firewall, or firewall VNF.
  • Intel Technologies SD-WAN Benefits: VMware SD-WAN complements Intel Technologies for enhanced performance, scale, and security. Intel QuickAssist Technology (QAT) provides hardware acceleration for compression plus encryption and DPDK packet processing accelerates hardware and software with intelligent routing and security.
  • Palo Alto Networks Security: Integrating with a VNF such as Palo Alto Firewall VNF provides the best branch and edge security by streamlining operations, consolidating resources, and creating a flexible security architecture. Deploying SD-WAN and Palo Alto Networks offers an ease of provisioning that eliminates truck rolls.

Major Cybersecurity Trends from RSA Conference

One of the most valuable parts of RSA Conference for us was the opportunity to speak with other IT security professionals and learn the most important things enterprises are dealing with this year.

While there were many valuable sessions and presentations at RSA, we didn’t benefit from as many of those while spending most of our time on the conference floor. However, this did give us the chance to talk to other attendees to learn which presentations resonated the most and what the major takeaways of the conference were. Here is what you should know:

  • Cloud and Virtualization Security: There was an entire track of content devoted to cloud and virtualization security and the architectural and infrastructure changes enterprises are dealing with. With a stronger drive to the cloud than ever before, many companies struggle with cybersecurity for their traditional network environment as more and more cloud applications are added on.
  • Cybersecurity and SD-WAN: The biggest question surrounding SD-WAN is how it will integrate with existing security infrastructures. There was some confusion around SD-WAN at RSA as many companies are now rebranding their VPN as an SD-WAN solution to capitalize on the trend.
  • Edge Security: Edge was the hot topic at Mobile World Congress in February and we still saw a lot of conversations surrounding it at RSA. The edge uCPE demo benefits were well received as most enterprises are currently looking for ways to better secure the edge without complicating their infrastructure, increasing expenses, or slowing down their network.

RSA Conference 2019 was a great opportunity for VMware to showcase its SD-WAN solution and for us to get more insights into the top cybersecurity concerns for enterprise businesses today. We look forward to having an even greater presence at RSA 2020.