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Cradlepoint unveils networking architecture addressing 5G, SD-WAN, zero-trust intersection

Cloud-delivered LTE and 5G wireless network services provider launches software-based offering to manage remote connections and provide flow-level visibility

Business transformation, accelerated by the pandemic facilitating a rapid pivot to remote working, continues to fuel increased cloud, mobility and internet of things adoption, yet, according to Cradlepoint, wide area network (WAN) architectures have proven too limited and inflexible for securely connecting distributed enterprise sites, vehicles, remote employees and devices.

In addition, the company said 5G is quickly emerging as an essential WAN infrastructure, and will drive WAN expansion and evolution. However, these trends can produce a larger attack surface, unique, cloud-driven traffic patterns, and a greater number of connected endpoints.

An architectural extension of the existing offering, the new version of NetCloud is designed to address these issue and help “lean IT organisations” amplify the 5G experience with advanced SD-WAN and zero-trust capabilities and security services.

The extension is based on what is called an agile LTE/5G VPN-like service designed to enable secure end-to-end connections for thousands of locations in three steps. It is attributed with overcoming the operational complexities of traditional VPNs through automated tunnel deployments, efficient encryption, name-based routing and simplified IP address management. Zero-trust principles include IP address cloaking and no default network access to change the traditional VPN paradigm from “connect and then secure”, to “secure and then connect” to provide least privileged-based access.

Advanced SD-WAN features extend Cradlepoint’s current SD-WAN capabilities by adding end-to-end support and advanced application optimisation. This adds features such as 5G network slicing, simplified configuration at scale, more advanced cloud integration, more resilient and flexible traffic steering, and more scalable and resilient private and cloud datacentre terminations.

Zero-trust network access comprises a service that is simple to deploy and uses flexible, finegrained user, site, application and resource-based policies that use identity, context and 5G attributes to control network access.  

All services are delivered using the NetCloud Exchange Service Gateway offering for private and cloud datacentres, which aggregates remote connections, provides flow-level visibility and acts as the policy-enforcement point for the services it supports.

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“As organisations continue to undergo digital transformation, IT teams must evolve how they manage the network edge,” said Rohit Mehra, group vice-president of network and telecom infrastructure at leading analyst IDC. “Cradlepoint’s innovation in wireless WAN is enabling enterprises to deploy 5G with the management and security functions needed to scale.”

Cradlepoint’s EMEA product manager added: “Most network solutions today are designed for wired-only deployments. With the new NetCloud Exchange extension, NetCloud now offers new 5G and security-first services to support enterprise WAN transformation, including end-to-end secure connectivity, hybrid SD-WAN and zero-trust networking – all lifecycle-managed through a single pane of glass.”

Read more on WAN performance and optimisation

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